University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Kathy Quirk

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Oct 19, 2011 
2011 in Review: Public Health dean named

Magda Peck
Magda Peck

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) announced that Magda Peck will become the founding dean of the Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, effective March 1, 2012.

Peck, a nationally recognized expert in maternal and child health, comes to UWM from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, where she is professor of pediatrics and public health and associate dean for community engagement and public health practice. Peck’s areas of expertise include preventive care and public health for women and children, and the translation of science into effective programs and policies.

“Dr. Peck brings to UWM and Milwaukee more than 20 years of experience in transforming research and data into action,” said UWM Chancellor Michael R. Lovell. “Her prior work at the local, state, national and international levels, particularly on issues impacting women and children, is an excellent fit with the public health needs of Milwaukee and Wisconsin.”

Peck serves as a member of the Select Panel on Preconception Care with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, helping shape national recommendations on the care of women before pregnancy. In addition, she serves on the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Preventive Services for Women, and she is consulting with several urban communities on reducing infant mortality.

She is founding CEO and senior adviser of CityMatCH (, a national public health organization dedicated to improving the health and well being of women, children and families in urban communities.

Her proven record of working in partnership with other urban public health organizations also make her a good fit for UWM, Chancellor Lovell added. The Zilber School of Public Health works in partnership with a number of organizations, including the City of Milwaukee Health Department and the Medical College of Wisconsin. A key initiative of the school and its partners is reducing the infant mortality rate in Milwaukee.

As the lead for the Plaza Partnership, a National Institutes of Health-funded initiative focused on South Omaha's largely Latino population, she is creating a new model for academic-community research.

Peck is also a national leader in workforce and leadership development for the public's health.

Peck received her master’s and doctoral degrees (1983, 1986) from the Harvard School of Public Health, specializing in maternal and child health and child health policy. (See complete CV.)

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health conducts rigorous public health research and scholarship; educates the current and future public health workforce; and influences the development of strategies and policies that promote health among diverse populations.

The school currently has three academic programs (Master of Public Health, Graduate Certificate in Public Health and Ph.D. in Environmental and Occupational Health). The school, which was founded in 2009, has a thematic focus on social and environmental justice.