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SPPH Faculty Q&A: Dr. Mac McCullough

A man with light skin and stubble is standing in front of a green landscape. He has short brown hair and is smiling.Name:

Dr. Mac McCullough


Associate Professor

What originally encouraged you to work and teach in the public health space?

I have always been motivated by the scale of public health — working to have impacts across entire populations and entire lifespans. Public health is also a nice match with my tendency to think and work to prevent things upstream rather than downstream after something has already happened. For those fortunate enough to have access, our healthcare system can provide some remarkable treatments. At the same time, we are devoting huge resources to health care yet living shorter and sicker lives. That paradox of rapidly increasing spending and stagnating population health outcomes is, to me, one of the most important challenges facing public health and society.

What brought you to Boise State University?

Boise State’s School of Public and Population Health is a great fit for me and it is exciting to be part of a new and growing School. There is a great match between the School’s focus areas and my areas of interest — public health financing, policy, management, and economics. Boise also offered a chance to be closer to some family as my wife grew up here. I’m looking forward to enjoying time outside on the Greenbelt, the foothills and the mountains.

What courses are you most excited to teach and engage students with? And why?

I will be teaching several classes on healthcare financing, public health budgeting and financial management, and other topics. I’m biased, but I see financial management and related skills to be incredibly important for everyone entering the public health profession. Eventually many Boise State grads will be responsible for managing public health programs or organizations and these skills can help make for more effective managers. Financial management skills can also spill over into our personal lives too, of course!

What sort of research or project are you excited about?

One of the big pieces of my portfolio here at Boise State is my role of Director of Public Health Agency Partnerships. I’ve long advocated for more sustained and robust partnerships between academic institutions and public health departments. In previous positions I actually would split my time between a university and a county health department (the equivalent of Idaho’s health districts). I’m optimistic that we can establish more pipelines of student internship and job opportunities for SPPH students who want to work in Idaho’s public health community.

What do you enjoy doing for fun?

I have two young boys so when I’m not at the office I’m usually with them at a park or around the neighborhood. When they’re busy I enjoy running on the Greenbelt, biking in the foothills and skiing at Bogus Basin.