Alumni Stories

Pitt Public Health graduates are at the center of impressive news stories

7,000 strong and growing, Pitt Public Health alumni have exciting careers across the United States and around the world. Meet some of these award-winning, world-changing alumni.

Allegheny County Health Department prizes alliance with Pitt Public Health alumni

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You don’t have to look far to find a School of Public Health (SPH) graduate among the people working within the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) to ensure the well-being of western Pennsylvanians. "The school really is a feeder institution," says LuAnn Brink (EPI '99), PhD, a 12-year ACHD veteran and chief epidemiologist since 2014. Brink supervises the county's Bureau of Data Reporting and Disease Control and oversees surveillance... 

New tools to support new moms: an interview with Jennifer Barkin

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MAD IN AMERICA - Jennifer Barkin (EPI '09, BIOST '02), a biostatistician and psychiatric epidemiologist, discusses the development of the Barkin Index of Maternal Functioning, the first patient-centered wellness-assessment tool focusing on mothers’ daily lives during the first year after giving birth. “I developed that actually during my doctoral studies… and the reason that I developed it was I linked up with a sort of famous reproductive psych... 

Alumni Update: Before Walking Down the Aisle, Marching with Many Puppets

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NEW YORK TIMES - After meeting through a Craigslist personal ad that neither can remember placing, Jonathan Gann and Michael Shankle (BCHS '96) had their first date at the Million Puppet March in Washington. Shankle is chief operating officer at the Washington Health Institute and serves as the chair of Washington’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission for the Chinatown, Downtown and Penn Quarter areas.   

Christian Garcia-Calavaro (EPI '19) appointed head of Department of Epidemiology Chilean Ministry of Health

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With a warm and inviting smile – and a colorful tattoo of the Andy Warhol bridge on his forearm – Epidemiology alum Christian Garcia-Calavaro is eager to share his public health journey from his native Chile to Pittsburgh and back again. As he reflects on his experiences at Pitt Public Health he shares, “Through knowledge and example, I learned what made me the public health professional I am today and the foundations of the virtuous person who ... 

Saldana named Vice President at Abt Associates

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Congratulations to Kelly Saldana (BCHS '01) who joins Abt Associates as vice president, systems strengthening and resilience. Saldana was previously employed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), where she has held increasingly senior roles in the agency's health sector for the past two decades. In her new role, Saldana will lead technical solutions and approaches to international development projects and proposals.   

Kelly Lavin Delmore named one of The Hill’s top lobbyists of 2021

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On December 1, 2021, The Hill released their annual list of Top Lobbyists, including 2004 HPM graduate Kelly Lavin Delmore (HPM ’04). Ms. Delmore is a Principal in the Government Relations and Public Policy Practice at the health law firm, Hooper Lundy & Bookman, P.C., where she lobbies for an array of health care clients on a bi-partisan level. With close to two decades of experience on Capitol Hill, much of her work in the past year focused on... 

A Broken System: Health Care Inequity

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WQED - EPI’s Dara Mendez, BCHS’s Patricia Documet, and Diego Chaves-Gnecco (MMPH ’00) are featured in a 30-minute documentary showcasing widespread and troubling health disparities. Lack of access to affordable care, racism, marginalization and other factors have led to increased rates of cancer, diabetes, asthma, and fetal and maternal death in Pittsburgh’s African American, Latinx, LGBTQIA+ and disabilities communities.  

Misled on lead: The campaign to keep toxic lead in hunting ammo and fishing tackle

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ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH NEWS - EOH student Sam Totoni authored a two-part feature series to inform the public. “Hunting and fishing have a science denial problem. Special interest groups are misleading hunters and anglers—some of the country's proudest conservationists—into poisoning wildlife. Hunters are also being misled into risking the health of their families and recipients of donated meat. Even small amounts of lead affect nearly every organ ... 

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Alumni Profiles

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Meet Yomei Shaw, HPM alum 

Meet Yomei Shaw, HPM alum

After completing her dissertation about treatment decision making in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Yomei Shaw (HPM '16) has continued to work in rhematology research in the context of two rheumatic diseases registries, Forward, the National Databank for Rheumatic Diseases (USA), and the Swiss Clinical... (01/01/2018)
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Mary Hawk, Co-Founder of Open Door Pittsburgh 

Mary Hawk, Co-Founder of Open Door Pittsburgh

Pitt Public Health alumna and professor, Mary Hawk (BCHS '12) is a founding member of this local housing program that uses harm reduction and housing-first approaches to engage marginalized people living with HIV/AIDS in clinical care. Hawk published the first study to use HIV viral load to measure... (08/03/2018)
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Meet HPM alumna, Johanna Bellon 

Meet HPM alumna, Johanna Bellon

Johanna Bellon (HPM '15) is the director of clinical analytics and data science within Cigna's Global Data and Analytics organization. She leads a team of data scientists who use advanced statistical and machine learning approaches to help identify and engage customers for Cigna's case management, ... (03/01/2018)

Myunghee Cho Paik (BIOS ’87) 

Myunghee Cho Paik (BIOS ’87)

Myunghee Cho Paik (PhD ’87), who until recently was a professor of biostatistics and director of the DrPH program at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York, is now at Seoul National University in South Korea. Paik is coauthor, along with Joseph L. Fleiss and Bruce Levin,... (01/01/2000)

John Lachin (BIOS ’72) 

John Lachin (BIOS ’72)

John Lachin (ScD ’72) is professor of biostatistics and epidemiology at the George Washington University (GWU) School of Public Health and Health Services in Washington, D.C. He served as director of the Biostatistics Center at GWU from 1988 to 2000, and led the development of the GWU Graduate Progr... (01/01/2000)
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