Center for Health Equity

Engaging Communities
Eliminating Health Disparities
Advancing Social Justice

About Us

On December 15, 2011, the Graduate School of Public Health and the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences established the Center for Health Equity (CHE), which aims to understand and reduce health disparities in underserved populations, particularly those in Western Pennsylvania. CHE engages the community in efforts to reduce the major causes of excess mortality among disadvantaged populations in the region, such as infant mortality; community violence; and cardiovascular health, with the ultimate goal of reducing excess mortality in the southwestern Pennsylvania region.



The Center for Health Equity focuses on excess premature mortality (deaths before age 65) in populations experiencing health inequities with four major aims:

  1. To gain a further understanding of the causes of health inequities with a focus on Western Pennsylvania and, more specifically, Allegheny County
  2. To develop, implement, and evaluate interventions designed to reduce those inequities
  3. To provide capacity-building services to community organizations in our region
  4. To disseminate findings and experiences through the CHE website, conferences, and peer-reviewed publications.

“There is something better than science … That is science with a moral compass, science that contributes to social equity, science in the service of humanity.”

William Foege
Former Director of CDC
Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient
(from an address at the University of Washington on 8 March, 2006)

Upcoming CHE Events

Center for Health Equity Meeting

CHE Focused Writing ONLINE

Friday 3/27 9:00AM - 12:00PM
CHE invites all students, faculty, staff, and community members to join an online Focused Writing Session.
Have your laptop ready and whatever you want to write (manuscript, thesis, class paper, grant proposal, report, etc.) The meeting proper starts at 9 am.
Topic: Documet, Patricia Isabel's Zoom Meeting
Time: Mar 27, 2020 08:45 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 731 716 272

One tap mobile
+12678310333,,731716272# US
8778535247,,731716272# US Toll-free

Dial by your location
        +1 267 831 0333 US
        877 853 5247 US Toll-free
Meeting ID: 731 716 272
Find your local number:

Join by SIP

Join by H.323 (US West) (US East) (China) (India Mumbai) (India Hyderabad) (EMEA) (Australia) (Hong Kong) (Brazil) (Canada) (Japan)
Meeting ID: 731 716 272

Last Updated On Thursday, March 26, 2020 by Bray, Lora Ann
Created On Thursday, March 26, 2020

Mendez on addressing Pittsburgh's public health crisis: racism

90.5 WESA - The report brought attention to issues that already existed, says EPI's Dara Mendez. She made recommendations to Pittsburgh City Council at a hearing earlier this month about how to frame legislation passed Tuesday. To address these inequalities correctly, Mendez says that the women who are currently working on racism as a public health crisis need to be centered in the reporting of the issues and in finding the solutions. She adds t... 

Mendez addresses contributing factors to the racial inequalities in pregnancy, birth, and women's health

NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER - The CDC also found that about 3 out of 5 pregnancy and childbirth-related deaths are preventable. The work of Dara Mendez examines how the environment, policies, and systems affect pregnancy outcomes. "If we’re trying to center the experiences of the most marginalized, then they also need to be at the forefront of research." Practitioners, researchers, community members and organizers need to review the data and understa... 

Maseru and Mendez agree that racism as a public health crisis should be focus of city council meetings

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - Noble A-W Maseru of BCHS and director of the Center for Health Equity, noted the life expectancy difference between mostly white Highland Park (84 years) and nearby, mostly black Larimer (62 years). Dara D. Mendez, EPI, added that racism weathers the body, accelerating aging, and sapping the strength of society through a waste of community resources. Likely coming later this month: votes on a trio of bills that would de...