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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Karen Krymski (BCHS '82) wins Network State Star Award

Karen Krymski recently receiv...
Karen Krymski (BCHS '82) wins Network State Star Award

Karen Krymski recently received  the Florida SBDC Network’s State Star Award at the Network’s Small Business Success Summit, held in Tampa on June 28. The award recognizes Krymski for her accomplishments in 2021. Only one State Star is awarded by the Network each year. Krymski, who earned her ... (08/26/2022)

New Public Health Leaders Named

Two departments will welcome ...
New Public Health Leaders Named

Two departments will welcome new leaders in time for the fall semester. Mary Hawk has been appointed chair of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences and Yan Ma will lead the Department of Biostatistics. “We are excited to welcome these leaders,” said Dean Maureen Lichtveld. “The... (07/27/2022)

Study finds health care workers reluctant to post about COVID -19 vaccine on social media

NEXT PITTSBURGH - BCHS' Beth ...
Study finds health care workers reluctant to post about COVID -19 vaccine on social media

NEXT PITTSBURGH - BCHS' Beth Hoffman and Jaime Sidani led a study, recently published in the Journal of Community Health, which highlights COVID-19 hesitancy, acceptance and promotion among health care workers. Partnering with scientists in the Department of Psychiatry they used Twitter analysis an... (07/20/2022)

Alumni Update: Before Walking Down the Aisle, Marching with Many Puppets

NEW YORK TIMES - After meetin...
Alumni Update: Before Walking Down the Aisle, Marching with Many Puppets

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 cha... (06/06/2022)

Meet the anti violence expert advocates want on jail oversight board

Pittsburgh City Paper - BCHS'...
Meet the anti violence expert advocates want on jail oversight board

Pittsburgh City Paper - BCHS' Richard Garland has been recommended by the Pennsylvania Prison Society, Let's Get Free: the Women and Trans Prisoner Defense Committee, and Book 'Em, to serve on the Allegheny County Jail Oversight Board (JOB). Garland has gained respect and notoriety for his steadfas... (06/01/2022)