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Thistle I Elias, DrPH

Visiting Assistant Professor, Behavioral and Community Health Sciences


4132 Parran Hall
R-znvy: ryvnf@cvgg.rqh
Primary Phone: 967-179-0086

Personal Statement

My research interests have largely been 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.

Throughout the years I have worked on a variety of projects including evaluation of a two state child neglect prevention program with the American Academy of Pediatrics, local Early Head Start continuous quality improvement, a three year exploration of aging in public housing, a PA Dept of Health five year initiative to improve women’s health, and a range of smaller individual organizational and programs. Although I use mixed methods as appropriate, I am especially inclined towards using qualitative methods in community-engaged work.

I conduct evaluative research with the Evaluation Institute for Public Health at GSPH. I direct the Certificate for Health Program Evaluation and advise several students through their evaluation 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 have provided ongoing health literacy and cultural sensitivity 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, Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action, and the Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice.



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 community partnerships and practica, in addition to partnering with organizations to help meet their evaluative needs and build their capacity.

I am invested in teaching graduate students especially, and 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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