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Prevention and Community Health

Harnessing the power of community to promote health, well-being, and equity
Carlos Rodriguez-Diaz, PCH Department Vice-Chair, with PCH Students

Welcome to Prevention and Community Health

Faculty, staff and students in the Department of Prevention and Community Health (PCH) work to understand the multi-level drivers of health inequities and the role of social justice in the public’s health. Through academic training, research and practice we use theory and innovative mixed methods to investigate and promote community health. Our faculty of social and behavioral scientists reflects multiple disciplines including psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists and experts in health education, communication and behavior change. Our community-engaged research and intervention approaches range from those focused on developing and evaluating individual level behavior change interventions using digital health approaches to those focused on structural level changes and broader societal transformation using community mobilization and advocacy.

Department Faculty Directory

Welcome Message from PCH Chair

In this challenging moment in time, I want to extend my sincere welcome to all those seeking to learn more about PCH including the cutting-edge research of its faculty, its rigorous academic degree programs and its commitment to public health practice particularly in underserved communities. The field of prevention and community health and the role of the social and behavioral sciences could not be more critical to addressing today's public health challenges. As we experience both the rapid and disruptive evolution of the COVID-19 global pandemic and continued deep concern about harm caused by multiple forms of oppression and structural racism, our department has as its paramount focus understanding and addressing the impact of these public health crises on the health and well-being of the individuals and communities we aim to serve. -Dr. Deanna Kerrigan

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

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Addressing Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C) in the DMV

PCH Associate Professor Karen McDonnell and PCH Director of Practice Don Strong, and colleagues Mariya Taher, co-founder and Executive Director of Sahiyo; Shelby Quast, Co-founder of the US End FGM/C Network Steering Committee; and Angela Peabody Founder and Executive Director of Global Woman PEACE, joined Milken Institute School of Public Health Dean Lynn Goldman, Executive Associate Dean Natasha Kazeem and Associate Director for Strategic Initiatives, Tonia Valmore, for “Addressing Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C) in the DMV”. In the session co-sponsored by the GWSPH and its Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force, McDonnell and colleagues discussed their advocacy in the passage of HR 6100: Stop FGM Act of 2020.

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Department News

Deanna Kerrigan, Dave Huebner, Amita Vyas, Olga Acosta Price and Bill Dietz Join Milken Institute School of Public Health Colleagues for “Celebrating 200 Years | Science, Policy, and Advocacy: GWSPH and the Future of Public Health”

On Thursday, September 9, several PCH faculty members participated in “Celebrating 200 Years | Science, Policy, and Advocacy: GWSPH and the Future of Public Health”...

PCH Professor Lorien Abroms and PCH graduate students Jessie Armstrong, Megan Hatheway and Meredith Hernlund launch the GW Health Communication Volunteer Corps

The GW Health Communication Volunteer Corps (HCVC) was formed in the Spring of 2021 as PCH faculty and students became increasingly aware of the presence of...

PCH Faculty Member Dave Huebner Publishes on Cardiovascular and Cortisol Responses to Experimentally-Induced Minority Stress

Associate Professor David Huebner and colleagues publish in Health Psychology on cardiovascular and cortisol responses to experimentally-induced minority stress. As...