DepartmentHealth Care Administration and Public Health

Senior citizens eating in a nursing home cafeteria talking to an administrator

Prepare to make change in healthcare through health humanities, public health, or healthcare administration.

Bellarmine's Health Humanities, Public Health, and Health Care Administration programs prepare students, improve healthcare systems and procedures, and foster compassionate relationships between patients and caregivers.

By appreciating the bigger picture of healthcare and thinking beyond clinical roles, students can enjoy meaningful work in a wide range of careers, from art therapy to epidemiology, from health law to chaplaincy, from social work and community education to medical writing, from healthcare management to bioethical research, and even end-of-life work such as grief counseling or funeral services.

Additionally, public health and health humanities are distinctive majors for pre-med students who want to stand out.

“The first wealth is health”
 —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Healthcare in the United States is overwhelmed by challenges and demand only grows for healthcare professionals of all kinds, including those working outside of clinical spaces. Organizations using creative problem-solving to approach health promotion, disease prevention, health equity, health policy, and health publication and media, will play a vital role in putting the “care” back in US healthcare. These programs prepare students to be on the forefront of that trend.

Completing requirements for these majors equips students with a strong liberal arts undergraduate education. The programs in our department utilize uniquely developed health services courses that, when combined with a variety of courses from departments across the university, create an interdisciplinary experience that not only prepares students for the current world of healthcare, but also for the future of healthcare they will continue improving for coming generations.


Jessica Hume, Ph.D., MFA (email)

Jessica HumeJessica C. Hume is an Associate Professor and department chair. Dr. Hume came to healthcare by a circuitous route, graduating from Bellarmine in 2005 with a B.A. in English before moving on to an M.F.A. in creative writing from Spalding University and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Humanities (with a focus in medical humanities) from the University of Louisville. In 2009, Dr. Hume returned to Bellarmine and served as director of the writing center for two years before transitioning into a full-time position teaching in the Galileo Learning Community for students in the health sciences, which she has held since 2011. In 2021, Dr. Hume became the founding program director for Bellarmine’s Health Humanities program, which was funded by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Dr. Hume has presented in the U.S., the Netherlands, England, and Spain, and published several book chapters.

Her academic interests include breast cancer narratives, illness narratives from marginalized populations, medical history, health disparities in Louisville, teaching compassion to healthcare providers, reducing burnout in healthcare workers, and anything else related to interdisciplinary concepts of health and wellness. She is a creative thinker, a problem solver, an avid crafter, voracious reader, devoted fan of drag, and a collector of aged animals, vintage clothes, and medical ephemera. Away from work, she spends her time chasing her son and her backyard chickens.

Dr. Madeline Tomlinson

Madeline TomlinsonDr. Tomlinson is an Assistant Professor of Public Health and Health Administration. She moved to Louisville to complete her Ph.D. in Epidemiology and MPH focusing on Global Maternal Child Health from the University of Louisville after earning her bachelor's degree in the History of Public Health, Science and Medicine from Yale University. Dr. Tomlinson joined Bellarmine in 2023 after a post-doctoral fellowship with the Envirome Institute at the University of Louisville. Additionally, she taught undergraduate and graduate level classes at the University of Louisville for 4 years as a part-time instructor.

Her research interests are in the areas of maternal and child health, women’s and reproductive health, environmental epidemiology, and global health. Dr. Tomlinson is currently leading a research project in Nigeria working on improving menstrual hygiene for adolescent females. In addition, Dr. Tomlinson collaborates with researchers at the American Heart Association to help mitigate youth vaping and researchers at the University of Louisville to evaluate the health impacts of greener neighborhoods. Dr. Tomlinson’s classes focus on global health, maternal and child health, epidemiologic and statistical methods, and research methods.

Dr. Lyndsey Blair

Lyndsey BlairDr. Blair is an Assistant Professor of Healthcare Administration and Public Health. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Epidemiology and Population Health, a Master of Public Health (MPH) with a focus in Epidemiology, and a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Biology from the University of Louisville. Dr. Blair is joining Bellarmine after more than 5 years working as a Senior Community Epidemiologist with the Lincoln Trail District Health Department. She possesses a strong foundation in both biological sciences and the intricate dynamics of population health. She has carved a niche as a skilled biostatistician, employing advanced statistical methodologies to analyze and interpret epidemiological data.

Dr. Blair's research endeavors are primarily focused on the intersection of environmental exposures, epidemiology, and public health. Currently, her work involves a comprehensive evaluation of radon exposure and its potential impact on breast cancer survival. In addition, Dr. Blair is deeply engaged in the realm of legal epidemiology. She is at the forefront of evaluating the impact of private well water testing laws, specifically those pertaining to arsenic, and their potential correlation with bladder cancer. She has a keen interest in policy-related approaches to addressing environmental health concerns. Her classes focus on advanced statistical methods as well as managerial epidemiologic methods.

Chris Ekstrom, Department Assistant

Experiential Learning

Our internships are individually curated to give each student the opportunity to engage with an organization that matches the student’s field and specific interests. Bellarmine University has strong ties to knowledgeable leaders in local and national and healthcare organizations and other health-related entities. These leaders become mentors for our students during their internships, and they work one-on-one with students to challenge them, support their growth, and provide connections to other outstanding professionals in the field.

Related Student Organizations

  • Students for Health Humanities

Health Humanities: First in Kentucky

Health Humanities is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field, with programs at many other outstanding universities across the country. In 2021, Bellarmine became the first – and only – university in Kentucky to offer a four-year baccalaureate degree in Health Humanities. The launch of this innovative program was funded by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, which extends until 2024. For more information about the grant and its implementation in the department, read Bellarmine's news article about our New Interdisciplinary Major in Health, Culture, and Compassion, or WTVQ's news article about Kentucky's first major of its kind.  

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Related Professional Organizations

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