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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Burke selected to participate in Academic Leaders Network program

BCHS’ Jessica Burke has been ...
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. (11/22/2021)

Meet Kayla Ortiz, Health Justice Scholar

“At my core, I am a health ed...
Meet Kayla Ortiz, Health Justice Scholar

“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). (11/18/2021)

Albert on a link between social isolation and increased inflammation

MNT - BCHS’s Steven Albert ...
Albert on a link between social isolation and increased inflammation

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... (11/15/2021)

Meet Monica Henderson, Health Justice Scholar

“My focus on public health an...
Meet Monica Henderson, Health Justice Scholar

“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 ... (11/15/2021)

Meet Sarah Scott, Health Justice Scholar

Sarah Scott (BCHS ’23) is a f...
Meet Sarah Scott, Health Justice Scholar

Sarah Scott (BCHS ’23) is a first year MPH student and Pittsburgh native who returned home after completing her undergraduate degree in psychology at Pepperdine University. “I am most looking forward to learning more about health equity theories and frameworks to better develop my research projects... (11/15/2021)