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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Albert on Another COVID-19 Challenge: Vaccinating the Homebound

AARP - "It's catch-as-catch-c...
Albert on Another COVID-19 Challenge: Vaccinating the Homebound

AARP - "It's catch-as-catch-can," says BCHS Chair Steven Albert about efforts to get vaccinating the estimated 2 million older adults in the U.S. who are unable to leave their homes for health reasons. "It really is not as clear or rational as it should be."  (03/05/2021)

‘Déjà vu’: HIV-positive Pittsburghers say we have much to learn about COVID by comparing it to our other deadly epidemic

PUBLIC SOURCE — Pittsburghers...
‘Déjà vu’: HIV-positive Pittsburghers say we have much to learn about COVID by comparing it to our other deadly epidemic

PUBLIC SOURCE — Pittsburghers who have lived with HIV for decades say the COVID pandemic echoed many of the scariest and most dangerous parts of living through the HIV and AIDS epidemic, including confusion about the science, social isolation, a reluctance to adopt public health measures, and a lac... (02/22/2021)

Sexual violence and adolescent relationship abuse unaffected by gender-based outreach program

PSYCHIATRY ADVISOR  – Researc...
Sexual violence and adolescent relationship abuse unaffected by gender-based outreach program

PSYCHIATRY ADVISOR  – Research by Elizabeth Miller of Pitt Medicine and BCHS showed small, neighborhood classes could significantly reduce sexual violence among teenage boys living in areas of concentrated disadvantage. Adapted from a program in Brazil, Manhood 2.0's core message remains the same: ... (02/22/2021)

Albert on how to remain independent as you age

MARKETWATCH -  Three-quarters...
Albert on how to remain independent as you age

MARKETWATCH -  Three-quarters of adults in an AARP survey said they wanted to remain in their homes, but only 59% thought they would be able to do so. If you want to stay in your home as you age, experts recommend paying attention to these 9 things now. BCHS Chair Steve Albert talks about saving mo... (02/20/2021)

Covid vaccine misinformation target of Pitt study

KDKA CBS NEWS — Fueled by a g...
Covid vaccine misinformation target of Pitt study

KDKA CBS NEWS — Fueled by a grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, Pitt researchers are studying and combating false online information about vaccines. “Vaccines are often the victim of their own success,” said BCHS doctoral student Beth Hoffman, a research assistant at the Center for Resea... (02/01/2021)