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K-State Today

September 24, 2015



Michael Cates receives service award from Kansas Public Health Association

By Joe Montgomery

Michael Cates, director of the Master of Public Health program

Michael Cates, director of the Master of Public Health program at Kansas State University, received the 2015 Special Service Award from the Kansas Public Health Association at its annual conference this month.

"Dr. Cates represents a rare combination of specializations with both DVM and MPH degrees," said Mark Thompson, chairperson of the association and project director for Healthy Kansas Schools for the Kansas State Department of Education. "As such, he has provided tremendous contributions to Kansas by highlighting the importance of animal health to public health, a connection unfamiliar to the general public"

Cates has helped improve the interdisciplinary graduate public health program at K-State, growing student enrollment from 26 students in late 2008 to more than 90 today, and aiding the program in receiving accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health in 2014.

"I have really enjoyed my work with the Master of Public Health program faculty and students at Kansas State University, as well as my interactions with many other individuals and groups interested in Kansas public health,"  Cates said. "I will always consider this unexpected honor a highlight of my time in Kansas, and I now hope K-State will build upon the recent successes of our MPH program and continue our engagement with public health leaders throughout the state."

In addition to being the director of the Master of Public Health Program, Cates also is a professor in the diagnostic medicine and pathobiology department in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

"Dr. Cates has done a tremendous job in establishing and leading the MPH program at K-State," said M.M. Chengappa, department head. "He's an excellent educator in the fields of public health and zoonoses. Our department is fortunate to have him on our faculty."

Cates also was commended for his service as a director and officer on the boards of the Mercy Regional Health Center in Manhattan and the One Health Commission in Washington, D.C. He has been active in the Kansas Public Health Systems Group and the Kansas Public Health Workforce Development Coordinating Council. Cates also was recognized for his membership with the Flint Hills Wellness Coalition and the Riley County Public Health Advisory Council. He currently serves as director-at-large for the Kansas Public Health Association.

"Mike has created a tremendous footprint in Kansas public health in a relatively short period of time," Thompson added. "His contributions to the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, the MPH program, KPHA and other initiatives with which he has been involved will be felt for years, if not decades, to come."