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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Hoffman says look to influencers to fight vaccine misinformation

CODA - Beth Hoffman (BCHS '19...
Hoffman says look to influencers to fight vaccine misinformation

CODA - Beth Hoffman (BCHS '19, ‘22) said public health institutions should be thinking more about how to harness local influencers. She pointed to a June 2021 study by researchers with the Public Good Projects, a U.S.-based public health nonprofit, analyzing the success of a micro-influencer campai... (09/20/2021)

Chu and Hershey - Collaborative Public Health Strategies to Combat e-Cigarette Regulation Loopholes

JAMA NETWORK - While the 2020...
Chu and Hershey - Collaborative Public Health Strategies to Combat e-Cigarette Regulation Loopholes

JAMA NETWORK - While the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey reported a decline in youth e-cigarette use, the use of disposable e-cigarettes has increased for children. This Viewpoint summarizes recent efforts by the FDA and state lawmakers to address the youth e-cigarette epidemic and offers a fram... (09/14/2021)

Odds of death for COVID-19 patients 'falling 5 percent every month,' Angus and other UPMC doctors say

PENN LIVE - "We have found m...
Odds of death for COVID-19 patients 'falling 5 percent every month,' Angus and other UPMC doctors say

PENN LIVE - "We have found [monoclonal antibody treatments] to be remarkably safe and remarkably effective," said HPM faculty Derek Angus (BCHS '92) who is also the Mitchell P. Fink Endowed Chair of Critical Care Medicine at Pitt Medicine. UPMC is also involved in a global trial, known as REMAP, wh... (09/13/2021)

Meet our Research Assistants: Sarah Scott

Sarah Scott got the opportuni...
Meet our Research Assistants: Sarah Scott

Sarah Scott got the opportunity to work in Elizabeth Miller's lab as a research assistant on Project Catalyst, a state project to promote IPV prevention and increase the health and safety of survivors of IPV and human trafficking. Scott is passionate about women's health, specifically the intersect... (08/22/2021)

Garland Examines Rise in Young People's Involvement in Local Violence on Hayes-Freeland show (video)

KDKA - BCHS' Richard Garland ...
Garland Examines Rise in Young People's Involvement in Local Violence on Hayes-Freeland show (video)

KDKA - BCHS' Richard Garland spoke with KDKA's Lynne Hayes-Freeland about the factors that are contributing to a rise in violence among youth in Pittsburgh. (08/03/2021)