We Create Healthier Communities

In the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, it's our mission to improve and promote health and equity by engaging individuals, communities, and systems through our research, teaching, and practice. 

We prepare students 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.

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BCHS graduate outcomes

Wondering what BCHS students do after graduation? Check out the latest outcomes survey to find out the top employment sectors, job titles, employers, and more for recent BCHS graduates.

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Pitt Public Health team wins third place at Morningside International Global Health Case Competition

In collaboration with the Cen...
Pitt Public Health team wins third place at Morningside International Global Health Case Competition

In collaboration with the Center for Global Health, Pitt held its first-ever Global Health Case Competition last fall. Pitt supported the winning team from that competition to enter Emory University's Morningside International Global Health Case Competition. Emily Crisan (BCHS '24) joined five unde... (04/04/2021)

Gary-Webb, Baumann featured in new book The Science of Health Disparities Research

NIMHD - The Science of Health...
Gary-Webb, Baumann featured in new book The Science of Health Disparities Research

NIMHD - The Science of Health Disparities Research is an in-depth volume for comprehensive information on conducting clinical and translational health disparities studies and features EPI's Tiffany Gary-Webb and BCHS' Sara Baumann (BCHS '19) authored the chapter "Racial/Ethnic, Socioeconomic, and O... (03/25/2021)

Albert says without a ride, many in need have no shot at coronavirus vaccine

WASHINGTON POST - One of the ...
Albert says without a ride, many in need have no shot at coronavirus vaccine

WASHINGTON POST - One of the biggest challenges for state and local officials has been getting vaccines to homebound older adults, said BCHS Chair Steven Albert. "This is an invisible population. They're not like long-term care residents in nursing homes. They are very elderly and frail and they li... (03/25/2021)

Leaf, Sokol, Lamonte present on experiential learning in the time of COVID-19

When the COVID-19 pandemic hi...
Leaf, Sokol, Lamonte present on experiential learning in the time of COVID-19

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Pitt Public Health and the Allegheny County Health Department had to think fast and act quickly to implement its long-standing public health internship safely. Robin Leaf, director of strategic academic initiatives and accreditation, Jamie Sokol (BCHS '07), and Leah ... (03/15/2021)

Albert on Another COVID-19 Challenge: Vaccinating the Homebound

AARP - "It's catch-as-catch-c...
Albert on Another COVID-19 Challenge: Vaccinating the Homebound

AARP - "It's catch-as-catch-can," says BCHS Chair Steven Albert about efforts to get vaccinations to the estimated 2 million older adults in the U.S. who are unable to leave their homes for health reasons. "It really is not as clear or rational as it should be."  (03/05/2021)