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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:

 

Pallatino to begin postdoc research at Magee Women's Research Institute

We hear that new doctoral alum...
Pallatino to begin postdoc research at Magee Women's Research Institute

We hear that new doctoral alumna CHELSEA PALLATINO (BCHS ’17) will begin a position as a postdoc researcher with Magee Women’s Research Institute in July. She’ll be studying unintended pregnancy, Hep C prevalence, and intimate partner violence among opioid-dependent mothers. (06/16/2017)

Tucker's pregnancy-focused startup wins $2500 at Blast Furnace Demo Day

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETT...
Tucker's pregnancy-focused startup wins $2500 at Blast Furnace Demo Day

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - Congratulations to BCHS student ALYSIA TUCKER, who took home $2,500 for her Best4Baby startup that connects soon-to-be mothers with local, affordable doulas. Tucker said her company will only match expecting mothers with fully-trained doulas who have undergone 30 ... (06/09/2017)

BCHS alumnus Broughton improving regional health services through consistent assessments

EAST CAROLINA UNIVERSITY - Alu...
BCHS alumnus Broughton improving regional health services through consistent assessments

EAST CAROLINA UNIVERSITY - Alumnus WILL BROUGHTON (BCHS '14) is coordinator for the Office of Health Access in the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University as well as future project coordinator for an apples-to-apples project to standardize the methodology and synchronize the assessment ... (06/02/2017)

Zimmerman, Nowalk, Hawk, and Ricci receive Adult Immunization Publication Award

Kudos to (photo front, left to...
Zimmerman, Nowalk, Hawk, and Ricci receive Adult Immunization Publication Award

Kudos to (photo front, left to right) alumna PATRICIA NOWALK (EPI '81, ’93) and BCHS faculty MARY HAWK, ED RICCI, and (back) RICHARD ZIMMERMAN, who received the Immunization Publication Excellence Award presented during the National Adult Influenza Immunization Summit, May 10, 2017, in Atlanta, Geor... (06/01/2017)

BCHS student Emma Hosman leads ACHD CPR class

BCHS student EMMA HOSMAN is wo...
BCHS student Emma Hosman leads ACHD CPR class

BCHS student EMMA HOSMAN is working with the Allegheny County Health Department through the Pittsburgh Summer Institute (bit.ly/2rVg2RO). This morning, in collaboration with ACHD's Emergency Preparedness Program, she helped to lead a CPR class for 17 community participants. (05/31/2017)

 

Thu
7/20
BCHS Dissertation Defense
Steven Meanley - "Experiences of Discrimination and Social Well-Being among Midlife and Older..." BCHS Dissertation Defense
Steven Meanley - "Experiences of Discrimination and Social Well-Being among Midlife and Older..."
Thu 7/20 2:00PM - 4:00PM
Public Health A521

Steven Meanley will be defending his dissertation, “Experiences of Discrimination and Social Well-Being among Midlife and Older Adult Men Who Have Sex with Men from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study.”
Fri
8/4
BCHS Dissertation Defense
Maria Catrina D. Jaime- "Exploratory Research on the Associations of Masculinity and Gender..." BCHS Dissertation Defense
Maria Catrina D. Jaime- "Exploratory Research on the Associations of Masculinity and Gender..."
Fri 8/4 3:00PM - 5:00PM
Public Health Auditorium (G023)

Maria Catrina D. Jaime will be defending her dissertation, "Exploratory Research on the Associations of Masculinity and Gender Attitudes related to Sexual Risk Behaviors Among Young Men Involved in the Juvenile Justice System."
© 2017 by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

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