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Prevention and Community Health

Harnessing the power of community to promote health, well-being, and equity

Welcome to Prevention and Community Health

The Department of Prevention and Community Health’s mission is to assess and address multilevel drivers of health inequities with the goal of catalyzing social transformation and promoting collective health across the lifespan. Our faculty of social and behavioral scientists reflects multiple disciplines including psychologists, sociologists, and anthropologists, as well as experts in community-based health education and communication sciences.

Department Directory

Mission and Approach

We pursue our mission by engaging in innovative and rigorous research, training and practice that is founded in cutting-edge social-structural and behavioral theories and mixed methodologies and driven by diverse community voices and partnerships. In these efforts, we employ a transdisciplinary approach that is reflective of the range of disciplines represented among our faculty. Our research spans the translational science continuum from observational social determinants and methods development work to intervention trials and implementation science. Through our academic training programs, we prepare the next generation of social and behavioral researchers and community health practitioners to respond to pressing public health challenges using a variety of approaches including community mobilization and policy advocacy, and individual behavior change.

Academic Training

Academic degree programs in PCH include: a Social and Behavioral Sciences PHD and 4 MPH programs in; Community Oriented Primary Care; Health Promotion; Maternal and Child Health; Public Health Communication and Marketing.

MPH Program Details

PHD Program Details

Explore PCH


Faculty, staff and students study and intervene on health outcomes in areas such as: HIV, cancer, mental health, substance use, violence, child and adolescent development, and sexual and reproductive health.

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Drawing on deep connections with community and governmental partners, our faculty, staff and students work in collaboration with these partners to improve the health of multiple underserved populations.

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PCH is home to 4 centers and its faculty, staff and students are affiliated with many other centers throughout both the Milken Institute School of Public Health as well as the University as a whole.

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Interdisciplinary Research Team Awarded Funding to Study Impact of Stress, Adversity on Latino/a Adolescents

PCH Professor Kathleen (Katy) Roche was recently awarded a grant from the National Institute of Health’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The five-year project, “A Longitudinal Study of Adversity, Stress Processes and Latinx Health from Adolescence to Young Adulthood” will engage colleagues and students from throughout GW including Dr. Elizabeth Vaquera, director of GW’s Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute and PCH student Mercedes Salazar. The study will examine how chronic and/or severe exposure to adversity, such as the U.S.’s anti-immigrant environment and the COVID-19 pandemic, can influence health risks and social mobility as Latinx youth transition to adulthood. Pease see the full story posted on GW Today, below.

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Department News

GW and Community Partners Launch Violence Prevention Program

WASHINGTON (November 11, 2022) --The Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University today announced the award of a major grant from the...

Parental Intervention May Help Gay/Bisexual Youth Reduce HIV Risk

WASHINGTON (Nov. 9, 2022)-- A first of a kind study published today suggests that parents can be taught to communicate with their gay or bisexual sons about safe sex...

Wanda Nicholson Joins Milken Institute School of Public Health as Senior Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Professor of Prevention and Community Health

WASHINGTON (Oct. 19, 2022) — The Milken Institute School of Public Health is pleased to announce that Wanda Nicholson, MD, MPH, MBA will be joining the school as a...