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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

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 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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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

PCH Faculty Member Donaldson Conserve is quoted by The Wall Street Journal on the cost of COVID-19 testing as Omicron variant cases surge across the country

PCH Associate Professor Donaldson Conserve spoke with The Wall Street Journal about implications of COVID-19 testing costs. The article notes that as a result of long...

PCH Professor Lorien Abroms and PCH doctoral students Nandita Krishnan and Jiayan Gu publish their research examining how various social media platforms have responded to COVID-19 misinformation

PCH Professor Lorien Abroms and PCH doctoral students Nandita Krishnan and Jiayan Gu published in the Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review on the response of...

Researchers Take Aim at HIV Risk Among Latinos

The George Washington University Partners with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a project to reduce that risk and help end the HIV epidemic WASHINGTON (...