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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