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Thistle I Elias, DrPH

Assistant Professor, Behavioral and Community Health Sciences


6123 Parran Hall
R-znvy: ryvnf@cvgg.rqh
Primary Phone: 967-179-0086

Personal Statement

My research interests are largely in the areas of community-engaged evaluation and research, social determinants of health, and health equity for populations by income, gender, ethnicity and dis/ability. The public health value of social justice drew me to community and behavioral health in the first place and I firmly believe that we have great opportunities within public health to make change.   I am passionate about teaching and incorporate "real world" and practice examples into the classroom, based on the variety of partnerships and projects with which I'm engaged.

I have a decade of evaluation experience with both community-based organizations and state-wide initiatives.  I am a proponent of using mixed methods in order to get more complete understanding and especially enjoy using qualitative methods in community-engaged work in order to capture the perspectives of people which might otherwise be missed.

I conduct evaluative research with the Evaluation Institute for Public Health at GSPH, direct the Certificate for Health Program Evaluation and advise students through evaluation and other practica, in an effort to ensure quality learning in organizational settings. I sit on the Committee for the Certificate in Health Equity and am a faculty affiliate of the Center for Health Equity.

I have co-directed Bridging the Gaps-Pittsburgh for over a decade. This multi-disciplinary, community health internship program is in collaboration with the School of Medicine and aims to train health professional students while providing critical support to organizations that work with vulnerable populations.

I provide ongoing health literacy, community engagement and cultural humility trainings to several local health care organizations and health professional continuing education programs.

I have been a reviewer for the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice, Child Abuse and Neglect, Maternal and Child Health Review, and Child Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action.



2012 | University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA | Doctor of Public Health

1993 | University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA | Master of Public Administration

1993 | University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA | Certificate in Non Profit Management


I enjoy advising students from many disciplines and mentoring students through independent study, field placements and practica, in addition to partnering with organizations to help meet their evaluative needs and build their capacity.

I am privileged to teach the fall GSPH core class on Behavioral and Community Health, as well as Health Equity courses and Health Program Evaluation, required courses for their respective Certificates. I serve on the GSPH MPH Curriculum Committee. 

Selected Publications



Thistle I Elias, DrPH
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