BCHS Department News

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.  

Williams Pate aims to make a difference in healthcare access

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“While I explored a community health career, I found that medicine is my true passion. I know that my public health background will help me to better serve my patients and to better understand how their social conditions may impact their physical or mental health.”  

Interventions for Teen Dating Violence Do Hold Water

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MEDPAGE TODAY - …”Historically, [teen dating violence] prevention interventions have not included families,” Pitt Medicine’s Maya Ragavan and Elizabeth Miller wrote in a corresponding editorial. Miller also holds a secondary appointment with BCHS.  

Two community-created Collaborative Filmmaking films from Burke and Baumann to debut at Nepalese film festivals

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As a part of an ongoing research collaboration with Liverpool John Moores University in the UK, with funding from the British Academy, BCHS’s Sara Baumann and Jessie Burke have two new community-created films from applying the Collaborative Filmmaking method in Nepal being aired at the Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival, and the Pame Film Festival in Nepal this December.  

A Conversation with Student Services Staff Paul Markgraf

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Paul Markgraf joined BCHS in 2016 as academic administrator. He was motivated to choose BCHS because he believes in what our school is doing and wanted to be a part of it. He previously worked at a “for-profit” university and couldn’t morally justify what they were doing there. Markgraf is proud of the work our students and faculty members do here at Pitt.  

A Conversation with MPH student Amanda Cruce

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Amanda Cruce is a BCHS MPH student in a joint Social Work PhD program whose role models in community and public health are the individuals and families that are impacted by the work. She believes that both community and public health are best implemented when impacted groups are involved in the whole process. Their voice, lives, and health depend on an imperfect system and are the real heroes!  

Robertson: 2021 Margaret F. Gloninger Service Award

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Lyn Barry Robertson (BCHS '05) awarded Margaret F. Gloninger Service Award in recognition of significant contribution to the school or greater community through volunteer service.   

Burke selected to participate in Academic Leaders Network program

BCHS’ Jessica Burke has been selected to participate in the 2021-2022 ACC Academic Leaders Network (ALN) program. This exciting collaborative leadership program is for faculty at ACC institutions who aspire to leadership roles in higher education.  

Meet Kayla Ortiz, Health Justice Scholar

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“At my core, I am a health educator. However, I know that we can’t address health inequities by simply looking at the individual. We must interrogate the structural and historical causes that disproportionately impact the health of BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ folks,” said Kayla Ortiz (BCHS ’23).  

A conversation with BCHS student Samantha Rosenberg

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MPH student Samantha Rosenberg is currently working for the Department of Psychology's Brain Aging and Cognitive Health Lab at Pitt. The lab is focused on healthy aging and specifically on how regular physical activity relates to changes in cognitive health and overall well-being among older adults. Rosenberg is the lead recruiter for three of the research studies and heavily involved with community-outreach efforts. Recently, the lab’s focus ha... 

A Conversation with BCHS faculty and alum Elizabeth Felter

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Elizabeth Felter joined BCHS as a faculty member in 2010. Her research and practice-based work is focused mainly in the area of health education/communications and evaluation, including supporting health departments, health clinics, and non-profits with their COVID-19 response. She was motivated to join the faculty as a doctoral student. "I remember falling in love with the faculty at Accepted Applicant's Day!"   

Albert on a link between social isolation and increased inflammation

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MNT - BCHS’s Steven Albert who said, “If social isolation truly increases [the] risk of poor health by elevating immune markers, we need to redouble our efforts to reduce social isolation. The strength of the association between [the] level of isolation and IL-6 and CRP differed and only showed a dose response for CRP. This suggests a complex association. The clinical significance of the size of the association also needs further study.”  

A Conversation with BCHS MPH student Michaela Avino

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MPH student Michaela Avino was motivated to choose BCHS because of Pitt’s reputation in the field of public health. She got a good feeling from the BCHS faculty and the broader school faculty, as well as the students who made her feel like everyone really cared about and respected each other as whole people – not just as researchers, academics, and educators. All of the students who she had the opportunity to speak with sounded genuinely very ha... 

A conversation with research administrator Missy Evanko

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Missy Evanko accepted a research administrator position with BCHS in October of 2021. Evanko has been at Pitt for over ten years, working in pre-award, post-award, and personnel administration across several departments: General Internal Medicine and Family Medicine in the Department of Medicine, the McGowan Institute, and University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI). She is excited to join BCHS and is looking forward to connecting with fami... 

Meet Monica Henderson, Health Justice Scholar

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“My focus on public health and equity is rooted in my lived experiences as a Black woman but more importantly, the centering of others’ experiences with oppression to let their narratives drive equity work,” explains Monica Henderson (BCHS ’22). Her interests include child health and racial equity and for her thesis she plans to explore Black hair politics and the impact on the health of Black youth.  

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