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Behavioral and Community Health Sciences

Behavorial and Community Health Sciences Degree //

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Behavioral and Community Health Sciences Degree

The Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences (BCHS) of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health prepares students pursuing a behavioral sciences degree to apply theories, concepts, and methods of the various social and behavioral science disciplines to the development, implementation, and evaluation of programs that prevent illness and promote health. BCHS applies research on the dynamics of health behavior change to improve community health.

All diseases are shaped by behavioral and sociocultural factors. To improve health outcomes and promote health, we believe these diseases must be understood as a function of the individual, family, organizations, communities, and public policy. This system is dynamic and shapes things like access to care and adherence to care recommendations. Accordingly, the behavioral and community health sciences within public health assess the health needs of populations and communities, design interventions to prevent disease and increase adherence based on social/behavioral theory, and use research methods to evaluate these programs and recommend improvement, often within community-based settings.

The Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences emphasizes community-based programs and works with grass roots, nonprofit, private, philanthropic, and governmental organizations. We also collaborate extensively with other departments and centers within Pitt Public Health and throughout the University to carry out the teaching, research, and service mission.

Areas of expertise

BCHS students have the option of developing expertise in the following areas:
  • Community-based participatory research and practice
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered (LGBT) health and wellness
  • Global health
  • Maternal and child health/women’s health
  • Health equity
  • Public health and aging

Find a research program for your interests

The department is well-known both for its Institute for Evaluation of Science in Public Health and for the faculty and staff’s utilization of community-based participatory research strategies. Research topics include:
  • Cancer screening
  • Diabetes
  • Maternal and child health
  • Healthy aging
  • Health equity
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) health
  • HIV/AIDS

Pursue a career in behavioral and community health science

BCHS graduates pursue positions in a variety of public health and non-profit organizations, including federal, state, and local governmental organizations. Graduates provide program planning, implementation and evaluation, , management, and oversight for community health programs designed to improve the health status of populations. Career examples include:
  • Regional director for Pennsylvania Department of Health
  • Director of a statewide HIV/AIDS education program
  • Health Coach at UPMC Health Care System
  • Program director with an international relief agency
  • Evaluation and research director for a regional reproductive health program
  • Research and evaluation specialist for the City of Pittsburgh School District
  • Health and Wellness Coordinator at Gwen's Girls, Inc.

Degrees

BCHS offers a master’s degree program which prepares students for careers in public, voluntary, and private organizations that focus on public health concerns and two doctoral degree programs. The doctoral programs prepare students for careers in research, leadership, and teaching in academic and practice settings.
BCHS also offers joint degrees with other graduate schools within the University of Pittsburgh.

With the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Department of Anthropology:
With the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs:
With the School of Social Work

Fri
2/24
Center for Health Equity Meeting
Focused Writing Sponsored by ILRI through Center for Health Equity Center for Health Equity Meeting
Focused Writing Sponsored by ILRI through Center for Health Equity
Fri 2/24 9:00AM - 12:00PM
Public Health 4140

Mon
3/6
Center for Health Equity Meeting
Focused Writing Sponspored by ILRI through Center for Health Equity Center for Health Equity Meeting
Focused Writing Sponspored by ILRI through Center for Health Equity
Mon 3/6 9:00AM - 12:00PM
Public Health 4140

Fri
3/17
Center for Health Equity Panel Discussion
Grand Rounds Health Equity Through Action on the Social Determinants of Health Center for Health Equity Panel Discussion
Health Equity Through Action on the Social Determinants of Health
Fri 3/17 2:00PM - 4:00PM
Public Health Auditorium (G023)

Fri
3/24
Center for Health Equity Meeting
Interdisciplinary Latino Research Initiative- Networking Meeting Center for Health Equity Meeting
Interdisciplinary Latino Research Initiative- Networking Meeting
Fri 3/24 2:00PM - 3:00PM
Public Health A521

Mon
3/27
Center for Health Equity Meeting
Focused Writing Sponspored by ILRI through Center for Health Equity Center for Health Equity Meeting
Focused Writing Sponspored by ILRI through Center for Health Equity
Mon 3/27 9:00AM - 12:00PM
Public Health 4140


BCHS's Ron Stall named a 2017 chancellor award winner for research

UNIVERSITY TIMES - Selected fo...
BCHS's Ron Stall named a 2017 chancellor award winner for research

UNIVERSITY TIMES - Selected for this award in recognition of his “pioneering efforts in the field of HIV pre- vention and LGBT health,” RON STALL is praised as a leader in the development of behavioral risk reduction interventions because he has directed this field to examine HIV from new angles. (02/16/2017)

BCHS alumnus Jason Herring on how stigma prevents Pittsburgh sex workers from accessing resources

CITY PAPER - PATF's JASON HE...
BCHS alumnus Jason Herring on how stigma prevents Pittsburgh sex workers from accessing resources

CITY PAPER - PATF's JASON HERRING (BCHS '13), director of programs and communications, says “We really want people to be honest. We’re a harm-reduction facility, so at the heart of that, we don’t judge. I’m not going to tell you what to do or what not to do. I’m here to help you be healthier." (02/10/2017)

Jennifer Jones

JENNIFER JONES (BCHS ’11) is t...
Jennifer Jones

JENNIFER JONES (BCHS ’11) is the community engagement coordinator for the University of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute. In this role, she acts as a bridge between community and academia, creating capacity and partnerships. (01/27/2017)

Melissa Knorr

MELISSA KNORR (BCHS ’16) is th...
Melissa Knorr

MELISSA KNORR (BCHS ’16) is the operations manager at The Open Door, Inc. She was first introduced to the organization as a social work intern in 2014, and stayed connected as a board member for the next two years. (01/27/2017)

TaylorDaphne Morsillo

TAYLORDAPHNE MORSILLO (BCHS ’1...
TaylorDaphne Morsillo

TAYLORDAPHNE MORSILLO (BCHS ’16), while working to obtain her Master of Public Health and global health certificate, began her employment at the Allegheny County Health Department as a program coordinator for the Plan for a Healthier Allegheny. (01/27/2017)
© 2017 by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

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