Screen Shot 2019-12-18 at 12.41.28.pngHere’s our press release — would love to have HIFA collaborators:

– co-offer the MPH — and your university can charge some students a small amount to cover your costs of arranging mentors, if you need to — that is our partners’ only cost/needed contribution – help us create more courses – create some (media) attention for it — Twitter here , Facebook here

Press release (with peer reviewed references is below, and a 2-page description of the MPH degree program is here

*The first globally free degree* and its distinguished partners are together offering *the world’s first free degree, *a Master’s degree in Public Health (MPH).

Universities, health ministries, and learners have already begun adopting this remarkable resource in 191 (of 193) countries, powerfully addressing the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) declaration that the world needs 13 million additional health workers in the next 15 years and should use distance learning to help achieve this.

WHO’s Dr. Erica Wheeler says:  “The World Health Organization was’s first funder (in 2001, when Dr. Frank invented it) and among its first users; we can safely say it has become one of our most fruitful collaborations yet.  Their extraordinary and tested innovation is aligned to our mission of strategic collaborations to promote equity in health and education. Access to this free platform will allow widespread understanding of global and population health, and amplification and diversification of the workforce and education. The WHO is proud to join other prestigious institutions partnering with to make the world’s first free degree, a Master’s in Public Health, a reality.”

This curriculum is now being offered to medical students, faculty, residents, and staff at the University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine (*UIWSOM , in San Antonio, Texas).

UIWSOM’s Dean, Robyn Phillips-Madson, D.O., states: “We are honored to work with in being the first University to use this outstanding and freely available curriculum, thanks to’s unique success in making high-quality health sciences education globally available with its partners.”’s Founder, Dr. Erica Frank, MD, MPH, FACPM, explains that “With’s uniquely offering free accredited courses (since 2012) and now even a full degree with our partners, would-be healthcare professionals and other learners in every corner of the world have equal access to first-class learning resources, without economics or geography as a barrier. This truly for the first time democratizes advanced education by offering world-class resources to everyone, regardless of place or circumstance.”

To create this offering, has collaborated with and received funding from globally leading public health organizations, including the American College of Preventive Medicine, Asian Society for Lifestyle Medicine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC), European Lifestyle Medicine Organization, Grand Challenges Canada, Institute of Lifestyle Medicine at Harvard Medical School, NATO, Stanford University’s WELL for Life, and the World Health Organization.’s $20 million Annenberg Physician Training Program (APTP) endowment ensures that will persist.

APTP’s Executive Director, Dr. Stuart Gitlow, MD, MPH, MBA, says: “It’s hard to imagine any outcome that would have pleased Walter Annenberg more than this.’s offering the world’s first free degree isn’t just another Massive Open Online Course, it’s uniquely achieved the holy grail of free, high quality, globally available higher education.” has tested and published on this free model in North American medical and public health,
and in community health workers and primary care physicians in Kenya
, and in India , with as much knowledge gain and greater student satisfaction than with traditional courses, and the creation of a community of practice that has learned to interact globally and productively.  This supportive literature
can be found in these articles published in prominent journals including *The Lancet* (here and here , and in *Annals of Global Health* , *BMC Medical Education* ,
*Healthcare* , and *Open Praxis*

Dr. Jerome Kassirer, former Editor-in-Chief of the *New England Journal of Medicine*, says:  “’s data show that they have sustainably and permanently transformed education, with the opportunity to supply millions of well-trained physicians, nurses, public health workers, and other professionals and workers to the world.”

Dr. George Lundberg, former Editor-in-Chief of the *Journal of the American Medical Association* and of Medscape, adds, “’s model presents the next great frontier for globally democratizing higher learning, a huge leap forward for education, equity, and health – this unique approach could save countless lives worldwide. Dedicated to improving the health of the public by leveraging higher education internationally,‘s unique altruistic model continues to expand and…. give…give…give. Kudos deserved.”

All trainings are reviewed and endorsed by their global academic, governmental, and professional partners (listed on each course’s home page, available for anyone to freely browse), and use expert-created, published competencies, addressing the competencies with publicly posted, screened educational resources from four authorized sources (governments, peer-reviewed journals, universities, and professional societies). All program components can be coordinated through the free Moodle-based learning platform, either for learners directly (for those wanting only to take individual courses) or for universities adopting the
full MPH degree program.

These partner universities provide the needed mentoring course support and any other regional accreditation requirements, with some universities charging
some trainees a sustainable cost (thus far, mainly to pay mentors).

Knowledge acquisition is computer-based, done by studying resources from the above-mentioned four authorized sources. Engaging local and/or remote peer and mentored activities are included and are required to fulfill competencies addressing skills, behaviors, and attitudes, along with creating worldwide communities of practice. For each individual course in the MPH program, there are practice quizzes in each module, and at the end of each course students will complete a (free) final exam and receive a (free) certificate from and the course’s cosponsoring institution.

Brewster Kahle, Founder of the Internet Archive concludes that “NextGenU is launching the great Internet opportunity—making high-quality, accredited educational resources available free to people all over the world.” invites would-be learners, potential institutional collaborators, and the media to visit, or to email for further information.

*Media and collaborator contact, *’s Founder, Erica Frank, MD, MPH, FACPM,, 360/466-8040

*Additional resources*

·        Peer-reviewed publications evaluating are listed here
·        Still images of’s Founder, homepage, and of NextGenUsers are available here
·        Dr. Frank’s TedMed talk about is here
·        “How was invented”, with and without musical score (1 minute)
·        “Why was needed”, with and without musical score (2 minutes)
·        “Experience of UK/Nigerian mentor, Dr. Monye”, with and without   musical score (1 minute)
·        Twitter here  Facebook here

*Additional quotes*

“Healthcare equity and universal access to healthcare cannot be achieved without first creating equity in healthcare education. Nurses International is honored to work alongside Dr. Erica Frank and to create equity in healthcare education through innovative models that provide opportunities to all and reduce suffering on a global scale. The model behind‘s MPH is a true gamechanger that we hope will be used for many degrees and in many places to begin filling the growing gap between the number of healthcare workers the world has and the number it needs.” — Miriam Chickering, RN and CEO of Nurses International.

“CDC has supported’s development through our Workforce Improvement Program (WIP) cooperative agreement and has used public health courses offered by NextGenU for CDC trainees domestically and globally.” — Eric Kasowski, MD, MPH (Chief, Population Health Workforce Branch, Division of Scientific Education and Professional Development), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC).

“In an era where millions of bright young people In the United States and throughout the world cannot afford college,’s free MPH degree offers hope to would-be students and enhanced health to communities as students are finally given this unprecedented opportunity to achieve their potential.” — Marilyn Winkleby, Ph.D., MPH, Professor of Medicine, emerita, Stanford Prevention Research Center.

“Education is the key to success, quality of life, and better health throughout a lifetime., the world’s first free degree program, will open new vistas of hope for billions of people who want to earn a Master’s degree or other accredited training.  Imagine a world where equal opportunity is available to everyone.  Envision an educational system that offers everyone an opportunity to change the world.” — Wesley F. Alles, Ph.D., Director, Stanford Health Improvement
Program; Director of Faculty and Staff Wellness, Senior Research Scholar, Stanford University.

“Lack of advanced education has been cited as one of the key “push” factors contributing to the migration of health workers globally. These high-quality courses and degree programs create remarkable local opportunities for educating health workers in their own communities for the local context and needs, reducing the brain drain and exodus of health workers from communities that need them most.” — Kate Tairyan, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health,; Senior Lecturer, Simon Fraser University Faculty of Health Sciences.

HIFA profile: Erica Frank is the Founder and President of, the world’s first portal to free, accredited higher education, now being used in 193 (of 195) countries, and offering the world’s first free degree (a Master’s degree in Public Health), as well as a MedSchoolInABox that includes Graduate Medical Education. Erica is Professor and Canada Research Chair of Preventive Medicine and Population Health at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and is a physician specializing in preventive medicine. Her research established the strong and consistent influence of clinicians’ health habits on their patients. She was Co-Editor in Chief of the journal Preventive Medicine (1994-1999), and the 2008 President of the Nobel Peace Prize winning (1985 and 2017) Physicians for Social Responsibility.  erica.frank AT