Directory Calendar Careers Alumni Giving

Patricia I Documet, MD, DrPH

Associate Professor, Behavioral and Community Health Sciences

Associate Professor, Clinical and Translational Science

Scientific Director, Center for Health Equity

Associate Director, Evaluation Institute

Associate Professor, Center for Latin American Studies


6133 Parran Hall
R-znvy: cqbphzrg@cvgg.rqh
Primary Phone: 967-179-6156

Personal Statement

Education is an integral part of all that I do as a faculty member. My focus is on the influence of social relationships on health among disempowered minorities, especially Latinos. My ultimate goals are 1) to increase health equity by using social network and participatory theories to train researchers and practitioners, especially those from disadvantaged groups, and 2) to empower communities. The research  I conduct contributes to scientific development, and also enriches my in-class instruction. Over time, my studies have become increasingly participatory, enabling me to involve students in data collection and analysis as well as in collaborative design.  Most of my current work involves peer support or community health workers (CHW). For eight years I have been associated with the Latino Engagement Group for Salud (LEGS), a coalition comprised of community members and organizations working with Latinos, focused on community-based participatory initiatives. Together, we have completed an assessment of the health of Latino immigrant men and have implemented a male promotores (CHW) network in Pittsburgh. Our team continues working with the LEGS in new initiatives. In the same vein, I collaborated with faculty across campus in implementing a CHW intervention to prevent obesity among Latino children. In another study, I have been testing an innovative method for cancer screening among Latinas that takes advantage of established social relationships. With the Violence Prevention Initiative, I participate in reviewing all Allegheny County homicides to find suitable points of intervention. We are now implementing GRIPS, a trauma unit-based intervention, where CHW offer support and conflict resolution to gunshot victims. My research interests include social relationships, cancer, breastfeeding, racial and ethnic disparities, evaluation, violence and global health. 


MD, 1984  Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru
Pediatrician, 1988  Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru
MPH, 1995, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
1996, Certificate in Latin American Studies, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
2002, DrPH, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA


I hold three core beliefs about education: 1) research, teaching and practice are complementary activities; 2) a carefully built curriculum supports the best education; and 3) diversity is enrichment. My students are professionals in training. My task is to help them discover and develop their talents and identify how they can contribute to their fields and their communities. By including my students as collaborators in research studies, exposing them to research design, data collection and analysis as well as ethical considerations, I am able to blend education and research. I have mentored students within the context of a variety of my own research projects, from population-based surveys to community-based participatory research (CBPR). In the same spirit, I engage students in service opportunities with communities to increase their cultural competence, and in service with professional organizations to broaden their connections for future research and practice. In summary, research and practice ground education in real issues that matter to communities as well as in the field of social and behavioral sciences. Students are most engaged if they find the material useful for their careers. To illustrate,in “Introduction to Applied Research,” students talk about positions they foresee holding after finishing their degree. The discussion then focuses on what aspects of the course are beneficial for them, especially for those who want a career in public health practice. At their request, I have emphasized materials and approaches likely to be used by practitioners in implementing and evaluating interventions. Recently, I am also teaching “Measurement in the Social and Behavioral Sciences,” where I emphasize on practical aspects of the selection and use of scales that fit the particular community students are working with.I regularly work with students who wish to conduct research or community work with Latinos.For example, I have mentored medical students in organizing and implementing an interpreter service for Latinos at a clinic offering free medical services to adults as part of the University of Pittsburgh’s Program for Underserved Populations. Frequently, I serve on theses or dissertations of Anthropology students. Because of my affiliation with the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, I regularly mentor students designing research in or about Latin America.


Since July2012, I serve as Scientific Director of the Center for Health Equity (CHE). Withinthe CHE, I am involved in an initiative to prevent violence in AlleghenyCounty.  We are working on expanding ourHealth Advocates in Reach program, where local barbershops offer a space toprovide health education and screening right in a trusted community space. Ialso am a member in the BCHS Doctoral Committee. Outside the University, I haveserved as a reviewer for several journals, including Health Education andBehavior, the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the Journal of the NationalMedical Association, and the Journal for Health Care for the Poor andUnderserved among others. I have been active in the Latino Caucus of APHA,having served as the Scientific Program Organizer for the 2007 and 2008meetings and as Treasurer between 2010 and 2011. However, the service project Ihold most dearly is La Feria Latina, acommunity-based participatory practice effort to design and implement achurch-based service fair offering a single event with information about varioushealth and human services available to Spanish-speaking residents of AlleghenyCounty. 

Selected Publications

Documet PI, Macia L, Thompson, AF, Boyzo, M, Fox, AR, Guadamuz, TE. M. A male promotores network for Latinos: Process evaluation from a community-based participatory project. Health Promotion Practice; published online Oct. 20, 2015.


Niebler, M, Documet, PI, Chaves-Gnecco, D, Guadamuz, TE. Childbirth experiences of immigrant Latina women in a new growth community. Journal of Racial Health Disparities; published online August 29, 2015. DOI 10.1007/s40615-015-0159-y 


Macia, L, Ruiz, HC, Boyzo, R, Documet, PI. Promotores’ Perspectives on a Male-to-Male Peer Network. Submitted to Health Education Research; published online April 21, 2016.

Casas A, Duell J, O'Malley T, Documet P, Garland R, Albert S, Fabio A. Housing Relocation Policy and Violence: A Literature Review. Trauma,
Violence and Abuse; published online Sep. 6, 2015.


Yonas, MA, Jaime, MCD, Barone, J, Valenti, S, Documet, PI, Ryan, CM, Miller E. Community Partnered Research Ethics Training Process in Practice – A Collaborative Approach to Certification. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics (JERHRE). (In Press; accepted March, 2016).


Flatt, JD, Hughes, TF, Documet, PI, Lingler, JH, Trauth, JM, Albert, SM. A Qualitative Study on the Types and Purposes of Social Activities in Late Life. Activities, Adaptation & Aging, 39:2, 109-132, DOI: 10.1080/01924788.2015.1024485


Benadof, D, Polk, D, Documet, PI. Stages and transitions in the  development of tooth brushing skills in children of Mexican immigrant families. A qualitative study. Published online in Journal of Public Health Dentistry, May, 2015.


Documet, PI, Bear, TM, Flatt, JD, Macia, L, Trauth, J, Ricci EM. The Association of Social Support and Education With Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening. Health Education and Behavior, 42(1): 55-64, 2015. 


Seaman, JB, Bear, TM, Documet, PI, Sereika, SM, Albert SM. Hospice and Family Involvement With End-of-Life Care: Results From a Population-Based Survey. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care. Published online September 12, 2014.


Documet PI, Kamouyerou A, Pesantes A, Macia L, Maldonado H, Fox AR, Bachurski L, Morgenstern D, Gonzalez M, Boyzo R, Guadamuz T. Participatory Assessment of the

Health of Latino Immigrant Men in a Community with a Growing Latino Population. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 17: 239-247, 2015. DOI 10.1007/s10903-013-9897-2

Documét, P.I., Trauth, J.M., Key M., Flatt, J.D., Jernigan, J. Breast cancer survivors’ perception of survivorship. Oncology Nursing Forum, 39 (3): 309-315, 2012.


Cardoza, V.J., Documét, P.I., Fryer, D.C., Gold, M.A., Butler, J. Sexual Health Behavior Interventions for U.S. Latino Adolescents: A Systematic Review of the Literature. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol, 2011.


Documét, P.I. Confianza. Entry in Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health. Loue, S. and Sajatovic, M. (Eds).New York, NY: Springer, 2011


Trauth J., Documét P.I., Hawk M., Arnold N. Aligning a Departmental DrPH Program with the new ASPH Competencies. Public Health Reports, 126(2), 2011). 

Sharma, R., McGinnis, K., Documét, P.I. Disparities in Health Status and Health-Service Utilization among Hispanic Ethnic Subgroups.  Social Work in Public Health. 23(2):167-191 , 2008.

Documét, P.I., Green, H., Adams, J., Weil, L.A., Stockdale, J., Hyseni,Y. Perspectives of African American, Amish, Appalachian and Latina Women on Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening: Implications for Cultural Competence. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 19(1): 56-74, 2008. 

Green, H.H., Documét, P.I. (2005). A Community-Based Initiative for Teen Pregnancy Prevention. Journal of Adolescent Health, 37, 100-107.  

Documét, P.I., Sharma, R. Latinos Health Care Access: Financial and Cultural Barriers. Journal of Immigrant Health. January 2004. 6 (1): 5-13. 

Patricia I Documet
© 2017 by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

Login  |  Sitemap