Who We Are

History

Founded in 1915 by Charles-Edward Amory Winslow, the Yale School of Public Health is among the oldest schools of public health in the country. During its history, the School has made many important health contributions, including environmental sanitation, polio and cancer and has trained thousands of researchers, practitioners, administrators and educators. The School continues to draw upon this rich history and tradition as it evolves to meet the health challenges of the 21st century.

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Class Size

The size of the Yale School of Public Health fosters an ideal student-to-faculty ratio and provides students with many opportunity for close teaching and mentoring relationships with leading public health experts. Formal relationships are forged through academic advising, internship planning and the thesis project. The close working relationship with faculty, as well as fellow classmates, forms the foundation of a student's career network upon graduation.

Robert A. Lisak

Internships

Each spring students fan out across the globe for their internship project which becomes a defining experience for most students, exposing them to real-world challenges and giving them a chance to directly apply what they have learned in the classroom. It is, says Dean Paul D. Cleary, a chance “to make a difference in the lives of people.” Shown here: Margo Klar adjusts a monitor in a Honduran kitchen that measures particulate matter in the air. Klar studied the health effects of traditional wood burning stoves on the respiratory system.

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Community Service

Community service is a shared value not just at the Yale School of Public health but throughout the University at large. The Office of Community Health, HealthCore, the Yale Student-Run Free Clinic and the Community Alliance for Research and Engagement (CARE) are just a few of the many organizations committed to improving lives in New Haven and beyond. Shown here: Alumnus Mikhail C.S.S. Higgins educates New Haven elementary school students about health during a community fair conducted in partnership with the Hill Health Center.

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Diversity

The School’s commitment to diversity is seen through research, teaching and community outreach. Our scientists investigate the role of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and other factors in health outcomes. One study seeks to reverse rates of chronic disease in New Haven’s most underserved neighborhoods. The School is also committed to diversifying its faculty and student body and provides research supplements and scholarships to achieve these goals. Shown here: MPH students hike to the top of East Rock Park.

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Research Labs

Today our research spans a wide range of topics including cancer, AIDS, pollution, infectious and chronic diseases, and health policy. For the 2015 fiscal year, total grant funding reached over $66 million and made up 70 percent of the school’s budget. Shown here: Yong Zhu, an associate professor in Environmental Health Sciences, uses genetic techniques to identify biomarkers that characterize an inherited predisposition toward certain diseases.

Robert A. Lisak

School Ranking

Our Ph.D. program is ranked among the very best in the country. The National Research Council weighed a variety of academic criteria to determine that Yale’s program ranked third nationwide. Ph.D. students are encouraged to engage in interdisciplinary research and to conduct dissertation research abroad. Academic Analytics, meanwhile, ranked YSPH faculty the most productive of all the schools of public health in the country.

Harold Shapiro

Global Health

Global health is public health and Yale students are exposed to a growing array of global health programs and opportunities. At the School of Public Health, a Global Health Concentration is available for any M.P.H. candidate seeking to broaden and enhance their core studies. At the University level, even more programs, seminars and lectures are available throughout the year for students seeking a global perspective. Shown here: Liberian president, Ellen Johnson Shirleaf, a partner with the Global Health Leadership Initiative, speaks at Battell Chapel.

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Interdisciplinary Studies

“Don’t Fence Me,” sang first lady of song, Ella Fitzgerald (Yale Honorary Doctorate, 1986). We recognize that public health intersects with law, environmental studies, social sciences, genomics, spirituality, economics, medical practice and more, and so many joint degrees are offered. Shown here: Public health students conduct field studies on mosquitoes and how they transmit disease on the island of Dominica.

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Mentorship

In addition to the teaching faculty, YSPH employs hundreds of research scientists and assistants in its 14 research units and associated labs. M.P.H. students are just as likely as Ph.D. candidates to work alongside these mentors in researching chronic disease epidemiology, microbial diseases and more. Shown here: Elizabeth Claus, a professor in the Department of Biostatistics and an attending neurosurgeon at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, reviews data with students.

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Speakers

Some of the world’s foremost public health authorities visit the School, offering intriguing and challenging views on today’s most pressing health issues. Recently lecturers included John Negroponte (right), former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Margaret Hamburg (center), commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, and Sir Michael Marmot (left), a renowned researcher whose Whitehall studies in England clearly established a link between social class and health.

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Labs/Surveillance

The Vector Ecology Laboratory, housed in the division of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, maintains a laboratory colony of I. scapularis (known as the deer tick), and is a leader in both field- and laboratory-based studies on tick-borne pathogens, as well as other vector-borne diseases such as dengue fever and West Nile virus. The Emerging Infections Program, meanwhile, is developing a surveillance system for tick-borne diseases (TBDs) that includes active physician and laboratory surveillance for TBDs and population-based studies.

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Women in Science

From the School’s early days, women have played a vital role in advancing public health. In the 1940s, Dorothy Horstmann broke gender barriers while demonstrating that the polio virus reached the nervous system by way of the blood, a discovery that contributed to the development of an oral vaccine. Today, women hold some of the most senior positions at the School and are engaged in research that has health implications for everyone. Shown here: Dorothy Horstmann, Elizabeth Bradley and Serap Aksoy.

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Alumni

Our 5,000-plus alumni remain an integral part of the YSPH community long after earning their degrees. Alumni share their experiences through career service events, recruitment events, mentoring job-seeking students and serving as preceptors for summer internships. Graduates take advantage of the Public Health Career Board and Yale Career Network as well as to recharge their enthusiasm at the annual alumni symposium and awards luncheon. Shown here: Alumnus John Brownstein, PhD '04, helped to create a health map to provide timely and accurate data on disease outbreaks.

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The University

School of Public Health students have the rest of a remarkable University at their disposal. With well over 10,000 students, 167,000 living alumni and close to 13 million volumes in its libraries, Yale has something to offer every academic interest. YSPH students are encouraged to take advantage of these rich opportunities through interdisciplinary studies. The campus is also renowned for its beauty with Gothic architecture enclosing quiet courtyards. University galleries, museums and forums with eminent speakers further enhance the student experience.

Michael Marsland

New Haven

Established in 1638, New Haven is known for its rich history and great food. Home to Noah Webster, Eli Whitney and Samuel Colt, the city was a hub of activity during the Revolutionary and Civil wars. Today, it is a cultural and entertainment destination. Dining options include the famous Pepe’s and Sally’s pizzerias to numerous Zagat-rated restaurants. The medical community also congregates at the New York Times-reviewed lunch carts which feature everything from Benagali burritos, falafel, pad thai, to the all-American hamburger.

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Charles A. Lindsley

Charles A. Lindsley served as dean of Yale Medical School from 1863 to 1885. In later years, he devoted himself to public health issues, including vital statistics, sanitary science and preventive medicine. Dr. Lindsley played an important role in reorganizing the city's Board of Health in 1872 and served as its health officer from 1873 to 1888. He was also secretary of the Connecticut State Board of Health and served a term as president of the American Public Health Association.

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William Henry Brewer

William Henry Brewer, professor of agriculture in the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale, lectured on sanitary science and public health at the Medical School from 1886 to 1898.

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The Bacteriological Laboratory

The bacteriological laboratory at 150 York Street in New Haven also functioned as a hygienic laboratory for the Connecticut State Board of Health. Charles A. Lindsley, former YSM dean who was then serving as secretary of the State Board of Health, carried out testing of water supplies and laboratory research on water pollution and typhoid fever. Photograph taken before 1909.

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Charles-Edward Amory Winslow (1877-1957)

C.-E.A. Winslow was Yale's first chair of public health and first holder of the Anna M.R. Lauder Professorship in 1915. The Lauder bequest had specified that the recipient should be a physician who would be an advocate for public health and who, specifically, would reform public health in Connecticut. Although Winslow was not a physician, he was an ideal choice. He had received a BA in 1898 and a MS in 1910, under William H. Sedgwick, an American pioneer in bacteriology and sanitary science. Before coming to Yale, Winslow had held teaching posts at MIT and the College of the City of New York, served as curator of public health at the American Museum of Natural History and was in charge of public affairs for the New York City Board of Health. Winslow's department at Yale served as a catalyst for health reform in Connecticut and led the drive to transform the State Board of Health into a Department of Health. A world-renowned public health authority and a proponent of social medicine, Winslow influenced health policies locally, nationally and internationally. He wrote nearly 600 books and articles on bacteriology, sanitation, public health and health care administration and served as editor of the American Journal of Bacteriology and later as editor of the American Journal of Public Health.

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Department of Public Health under Winslow (1915-1945)

Through most of this period, the department consisted of C.-E.A.Winslow, his assistant, Ira Hiscock, and support staff. The department offered a Certificate of Public Health after a one-year course and a Doctorate of Public Health for more advanced training. Community service was part of the mission of the Department. Winslow led the campaign to transform the State Board of Health into a State Department of Health. This article by Winslow, appearing in the Yale Alumni Weekly in 1923, features an illustration of Nathan Smith Hall of the department’s home from 1919 to 1928. Located at 32 Park Street, the hall had been a private hospital and was later used by the Yale School of Nursing as a dormitory.

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Ira V. Hiscock, Chairman of the Department of Public Health, 1945-1960

Ira Vaughan Hiscock's appointment as Chairman and Anna M.R. Lauder Professor of Public Health in 1945 was a victory for Winslow. Francis Blake, John Paul, and others had hoped to appoint someone more oriented toward epidemiology and laboratory work. But a committee selected by Yale President Charles Seymour favored Winslow's disciple, Hiscock, a member of the faculty since 1920. Hiscock graduated from Wesleyan University, where he came under the influence of bacteriologist Herbert W. Chonn, and received a Certificate of Public Health from Yale in 1921. Like Winslow, Hiscock became a national and international authority on public health administration and directed numerous health surveys in locally and nationally. He was commissioner of the New Haven Board of Health from 1928 to 1958.

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Brady Memorial Laboratory

In 1928 The Department of Public Health moved from Nathan Smith Hall to newly renovated quarters on the second floor of Brady Memorial Laboratory and the attached Lauder Hall.

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John B. Pierce Laboratory

Philanthropist John B. Pierce founded The John B. Pierce Laboratory to advance research and education in the areas of heating, ventilation and sanitation. The building on 230 Congress Avenue was designed for environmental testing and opened in 1933 with C.-E.A. Winslow as its first director. Although the laboratory is independent, it maintains a close affiliation with the school and has chiefly been used for environmental health research.

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John Rodman Paul (1893-1971)

Francis Blake invited Dr. John Rodman Paul to become an assistant professor of medicine at Yale in 1928. He was appointed head of the new Section of Preventive Medicine in 1940 and later head of the Section of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine. Dr. Paul made significant contributions to the study of rheumatic fever, infectious mononucleosis and hepatitis, but he is especially noted for his work on poliomyelitis. He established the Yale Poliomyelitis Study Unit in 1931 with James Trask. Dr. Paul and his colleagues made many fundamental contributions to the understanding of poliomyelitis on which the subsequent immunization programs were based. He was named to the “Polio Hall of Fame” in 1958.

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James Dowling Trask (1890-1942)

One of Yale's pioneering epidemiologists, James Trask worked at the Rockefeller Institute of Medical Research to demonstrate that measles is a viral disease. He became a member of the Department of Pediatrics and with John Rodman Paul formed the Poliomyelitis Study Unit in 1931. They began investigating poliomyelitis when epidemics broke out in Middletown, Conn., in 1930 and in New Haven the next year. They went into the homes and neighborhoods of polio patients seeking to isolate the virus and understand its transmission. The pair took histories, did physical examinations and collected throat washings, which they tested by inoculating monkeys. It was demonstrated that the virus was present in the intestinal tract, in sewage and in flies that fed on feces. In 1936, they received the first research grant given by the President's Birthday Ball, which became the National Foundation of Infantile Paralysis. Dr. Trask continued to collaborate on the project until his untimely death in 1942 at the age of 51.

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Faculty

Prominent faculty gather in this undated photograph. Ira Hiscock is in the first row (center). To his left is the school’s founder, C.-E.A. Winslow (hands clasped). John Rodman Paul is to the far left. Of note, the Department of Public Health admitted African-American students at a time when neither the School of Medicine nor the School of Nursing did. When accreditation was introduced in 1947, The Department of Public Health became a fully accredited school of public health while also functioning as a department of the Medical School. Instruction covered public health administration, industrial medicine, hospital administration, maternal and child health, mental hygiene, biostatistics, epidemiology, public health nursing, health education and environmental health.

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World Health Organization Serum Bank at Yale

The World Health Organization in 1961 established at Yale one of three reference serum banks and the only WHO serum bank in the Western hemisphere. John Rodman Paul served as its director until 1966.

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Dorothy Horstmann (1911-2001)

Dorothy Horstmann, the John Rodman Paul Professor of Epidemiology and Professor of Pediatrics, joined the Section of Preventive Medicine in 1942 as a Commonwealth Fellow and joined the Yale Poliomyelitis Unit in 1943. Among her many notable scientific achievements, Dr. Horstmann demonstrated that the poliovirus reached the nervous system via the blood, a discovery that made later polio vaccines possible. She went on to evaluate an oral vaccine program in Russia and studied the effectiveness of a rubella vaccine. In 1961, she became the first female full professor at the Yale School of Medicine and in 1961 she became the first woman at Yale to hold an endowed chair. Dr. Horstmann was a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Max Theiler

The Rockefeller Foundation arranged to move its viral laboratories from New York to the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale and funded a major part of the construction of LEPH. In 1964, the Rockefeller Foundation Viral Laboratories moved to the new building and became the Yale Arbovirus Research Unit (YARU). This brought to Yale a group of the world's leading authorities on insect-borne viral infections—including Nobel Prize winner Max Theiler, professor of epidemiology and public health at Yale from 1964 to 1967. The World Health Organization recognized YARU as the International Reference Centre for Arboviruses.

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Hospital Administration Program

John D. Thompson headed the Hospital Administration Program, first established in 1947, from 1961 to 1988. Eccentric, irreverent and inspirational, he trained some 500 students during his long tenure. Thompson began his career as a nurse. After receiving a master's degree in hospital administration at Yale in 1950, Thompson gained experience through visiting hospitals in Europe and serving as assistant director of Montefiore Hospital. He returned to Yale in 1956 and with his colleague Robert Fetter, Thompson developed the now familiar Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs) for coding medical treatments.

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Laboratory of Epidemiology and Public Health (LEPH), completed 1964, dedicated 1965

LEPH rises. The school’s status was symbolized by a building separate, but connected, to the adjacent medical school. Noted American architect Philip Johnson, whose works include the Seagram Building and Four Seasons Restaurant in NYC, the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza in Dallas, the Boston Public Library and the Das Amerikan Business Center in Berlin, designed the building. Closer to home, Johnson also designed the Klein Biology Tower at Yale and his personal residence—The Glass House in New Canaan, Conn. LEPH was built with funds from the Rockefeller Foundation and matching funds from the University, the Avalon and Johnson foundations and the Baroness von Eberfeld.

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Anthony Monck-Mason Payne

Anthony Monck-Mason Payne was the first chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health from 1960 to 1966. He was a British physician and epidemiologist and had previously served as chief medical officer of the Epidemic Diseases Division at the World Health Organization where he directed worldwide studies on viral diseases. He oversaw the merging of departments and the reorganization of the degree programs. In 1962, the MPH program became a two-year program. His tenure was also marked by the construction of the Laboratory of Epidemiology and Public Health.

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Cortland Van Rensselaer Creed, MD 1957: First African AMerican to Receive a Degree from Yale University

Cortlandt Van Rensselaer Creed, MD 1857, the first African American graduate of Yale Medical School, was the first person of African descent to receive a degree in any discipline from Yale. Only a very small number of African Americans had previously received medical degrees from U.S. institutions before Dr. Creed, and none from the Ivy schools.

His Yale MD thesis was entitled “On the Blood” – a discourse on the physiology and chemistry of blood and circulation. Despite what Dr. Creed described in one of his letters to Douglas as a prevailing national sentiment of “prejudice against color,” he reported, “I never experienced any other than the most polite treatment from my fellow class-mates.”

Dr. Creed remained in New Haven after graduation from Yale and developed a large, successful, ethnically-mixed medical practice. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he wrote to Connecticut Governor Buckingham requesting a commission to serve, but was refused because of his race. In 1863, President Lincoln authorized the recruitment of African American troops and the Connecticut governor issued a call to arms to men of color. Creed wrote, “On every side we behold colored sons rallying to the sound of Liberty and Union.” He was appointed 1st Lieutenant and Surgeon of the 31st Regiment U.S. Colored Troops 1864 (30th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Regiment) and served until the end of the Civil War.

Dr. Creed married Drucilla Wright with whom he had four sons. After her death, he married Mary Paul of Brooklyn, New York with whom he had six children. He briefly practiced in New York but returned to New Haven for the rest of his career. Cited frequently in the local news and The New York Times for his medical and forensic skills, he was consulted for a surgical opinion at the time of President Garfield’s assassination.

Dr. Creed died from “Bright’s disease” on August 8th, 1900 and was buried in the family plot in Grove Street Cemetery.

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Henry Gamble: Organized the West Virginia State Medical Association

Henry Gamble was born of slave parents in Virginia in 1862.  As a youth, he was employed as a houseboy by a professor of medicine at the University of Virginia during which time he began educating himself. In the fall of 1882, he entered Lincoln University and graduated with honors. He was the fourth African-American to matriculate in medicine at Yale. He worked nights as a janitor in order to pay his tuition, room and board.  He graduated in 1891 with honors. His thesis was entitled “The Control of Epidemics.”  Dr. Gamble quickly gained a reputation for his exceptional ability as a surgeon and published scientific articles on topics such as thoracic aneurysms and caesarean section.

Since African-Americans were not allowed in the state medical society, Dr. Gamble helped organize the West Virginia State Medical Association, an African-American organization. He joined the National Medical          Association where he served as Chairman of the Executive Board, and helped write its constitution. In 1912, Dr. Gamble was elected president of the National Medical Association.

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William Penn: Vice President, Georgia State National Medical Association

William Penn, born in Virginia in 1871, was a descendent of William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania and brother to Professor I. Garland Penn, a founder of the National Medical Association.

Upon graduation from Yale, Penn began a distinguished medical career. Two years after graduation, he married Lulu Tompkins Wright and moved to Atlanta, GA. He later became vice-president of the Georgia State National Medical Association. Around 1926 Dr. Penn moved to Tuskegee, AL, to become chief of surgery of the Veterans Administration Hospital. He died on May 31, 1934, of chronic myocarditis.

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Virginia Alexander: Founded the Aspiranto Health Home

Born in Philadelphia in 1899, Virginia Alexander was only four years old when her mother died, and at age thirteen, her father lost his once flourishing livery stable. Virginia eventually won a scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania and to pay for her living expenses, she worked as a maid, a clerk and a waitress. Alexander ranked 2nd highest among medical aptitude test examinees after her entry into the Woman's Medical College of PA. African American physicians were discriminated against in many medical institutions, and no Philadelphia hospital would accept Alexander for practical training. She moved to Kansas City for her internship and within a few years, she was back in Philadelphia, running her own community health clinic and serving on the faculty of the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania. The Aspiranto Health Home was founded in her own home to serve Philadelphia's poor.

In 1941, Dr. Alexander earned her MPH at Yale and accepted a position at Howard University, where she was appointed physician-in-charge of women students. She also ran a private health practice and worked for the US Department of Health. When World War II broke out, physicians from across the country were dispatched to military bases to care for the injured, leaving many groups at home desperate for medical care. Alexander volunteered for the government and was sent to the coal fields of Alabama to treat miners living in extreme poverty. She died at the age of 49 from Lupus.

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Ruth J. Temple: First African American  woman to practice medicine in Los Angeles

Dr. Ruth J. Temple was a  community health crusader and the first African-American female graduate of Loma Linda University. Her many accomplishments and medical interests include the foundation of a health study club to educate the community on nutrition, sex education, immunization and substance abuse. Pushing the barriers placed on African-American women of the time, Dr. Temple committed herself to community health issues in the city of Los Angeles. Dr. Temple graduated from the College of Medical Evangelists (Loma Linda University) with her MD in 1918.  When she began her career, there was not a single medical clinic in East Los Angeles. She and her husband, Otis Lawrence Banks, purchased a six room house on Central Avenue and turned it into a free health clinic, later naming it the Temple Health Institute. Overcoming the prejudices of the time, Dr. Temple was on the faculty of White Memorial Hospital teaching white medical students. In 1941, the Los Angeles City Health department gave Temple a scholarship to attend Yale University for a Master’s in public health. She went on to pioneer the city's public health program and helped to establish the Southeast District Health Center. She was appointed the first health officer of Los Angeles City in 1942 and was recognized as an authority in the field of obstetrics.

In 1983, the East Los Angeles Health Center was renamed the Dr. Ruth Temple Health Center. Dr. Temple died in 1984 at the age of 91.

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Claudewell Thomas: African-American Faculty Member at the Yale Schools of Public Health and Medicine

Claudewell Thomas is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine at UCLA and is acknowledged by that Department to be the first African-American emeritus Professor of Psychiatry appointed at UCLA (1993). He is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology (and a past examiner for the Board) and Fellow of the A.K. Rice Institute. He was Chairman and Professor of Psychiatry at Drew Medical School in Los Angeles, Vice Chairman of Psychiatry at UCLA, Professor and Chair of Psychiatry at UMDN-New Jersey Medical School, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Public Health and Sociology at Yale, and an Adjunct Professor at The Union Institute and University of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dr. Thomas served as Director of the Division of Mental Health Service Programs at the National Institute of Mental Health, and as a reserve medical officer of the 514th Tactical Wing, Mitchell Field, Mineola, New York. He was also an active duty base psychiatrist at the 6022nd USAF Hospital PACAF in Irumgawa, Japan. Somewhat unusually he was the Medical Director at Tokanui  Psychiatric Hospital in Hamilton, New Zealand in 1996. He was a member of the Los Angeles Superior Court Panel of Psychiatrists and Psychologists and a psychiatric consultant for Los Angeles County. He is the author and editor of three books and over fifty academic journal articles. His last book, co-authored with Dr. Brenda Fellows and published in 2010 is titled Your Personal Power Up and has been particularly well received by women and minorities. He is now actively engaged in helping Dr. Jeffrey Thomas construct a San Francisco based Stroke Shield Foundation and continues to work with the San Francisco based Bay Area Foundation for Human Resources.

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Cornell Scott

Cornell Scott, MPH '68, was Chief Executive Officer of the Hill Health Center, one of the nation’s first community health centers and the first community health center established in the State of Connecticut, providing services to low income and underserved individuals and families living in the greater New Haven area. During his 33 years with Hill, the center grew significantly--operating 17 sites in four cities with over 20,000 patients, among the poorest in the state and the nation. Founded in partnership with Yale University Medical School, Hill under Mr. Scott’s leadership, made great strides in reducing infant mortality and effectively dealing with chronic diseases in the areas of hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, lead based poisoning and sickle cell screening and treatment. In addition to primary care specialties and dental care, Hill provides homeless outreach, mental and behavioral health care, HIV/AIDS education and treatment, school-based health programs, a 25-bed alcohol and drug detoxification center, and a child and family guidance clinic.

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Thomas Chapman: Senior Health Advisor to the Clinton Administration on Health Care Reform

Thomas W. Chapman, MPH '71, is President and CEO of The HSC Foundation - a nonprofit integrated health care organization. He previously served as Senior Vice President for Network Development  and CEO of the George Washington University Hospital, President of the Greater Southeast Healthcare System, Senior Consultant in Health Care Planning and Management, Arthur D. Little, Inc., Assistant Executive Director, Group Health Association and President, Provident Hospital, Inc.

He serves on a variety of corporate boards, including Kaiser Permanente; Consumer Health Foundation and the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality. Dr. Chapman also serves as a consultant to varied organizations, such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Pan American Health Organization. He is a professor/lecturer at such universities as George Washington, Harvard, Howard, Georgetown, and Johns Hopkins. Dr. Chapman earned his Doctor of Education from the George Washington University and his Master of Public Health from Yale University, School of  Public Health in 1971.

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Irene Trowell-Harris: First female African-American general in the history of the National Guard

Major General Trowell-Harris, MPH '73, Ph.D., is the highest ranking African American woman in the National Guard. Dr. Trowell-Harris was the first woman in the 354 year history of the National Guard to command a medical clinic; the first African American woman in its history to become a general officer; the first person to have both a Tuskegee Airmen Chapter and Mentoring Award named in her honor. Among her numerous civilian and military honors is the Legion of Merit Award, one of the nation’s top military awards. She was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by the Medical University of South Carolina and their highest award, the Order of the Palmetto.

Dr. Trowell-Harris knew what she wanted to do from a very young age. While working on her parent’s farm with her 10 brothers and sisters in Ohio, she watched planes as they passed overhead and dreamed that someday she would fly for a living. Her mother, however, wanted her to be a nurse. She earned a nursing diploma from the Columbia Hospital School of Nursing. Her dream of flying would not die and in 1963, she was commissioned as a first lieutenant in the Air National Guard. She advanced quickly in the ranks, earning promotion to flight nurse instructor in 1966 and then to chief nurse. The Air National Guard allowed for a perfect combination of her love for airplanes and her commitment to nursing. In 1986, she was appointed commander of the 105th USAF Clinic in NY, making her the first Air National Guard nurse to command a medical clinic. She was appointed director of the Center for Women Veterans in October 2001.

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Donald Moore: 1981, First African-American to Serve as President of the Association of Yale Alumni in Medicine

Donald Moore, MD has a private practice in Brooklyn, New York. He focuses his clinical activities on diabetes, AIDS, asthma and hypertension. He is a faculty member at Cornell University and even in the age of acute-care hospitals, he provides house calls. 

Hospitals horrified Dr. Moore beginning the day he visited his dying father. His police officer father was in end-stage renal failure, the result of uncontrolled hypertension. He remembers leaving the ward crying and realizing, for the first time, that his father was dying. He thought he’d never go back into a hospital.  Later, as a student at Pace University in Manhattan, he majored in sociology. When he excelled in an obligatory math and science course, his professor suggested that he consider medicine. Despite his earlier reservations about the medical field, Dr. Moore enrolled at Yale and graduated with joint degrees in Medicine and Public Health.

When Dr. Moore assumed the presidency of the Association of Yale Alumni in Medicine (AYAM) his overarching mission was to engage younger alumni and more effectively capture the ethnically diverse alumni body. One of his goals as President was to foster discussion of how managed care has harmed the doctor-patient relationship. He said a capitated plan, which pays a doctor to take care of a group with a flat per-patient payment, militates against what a physician is supposed to do: care for sick people. Instead, he said, it encourages the doctor to seek healthy patients and see them as little as possible.

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Kevin Nelson: 1992, Organized the African-American Alumni Network at Yale

After receiving his MPH in 1992, Mr. Nelson was asked to take over the operational reins of Hudson Health Plan – a Medicaid Managed Care company in New York. As Executive VP & COO, he has played an invaluable role in enabling the plan to grow from fewer than 1,000 members when he started, to 75,000 members today. 

While a student at YSPH he organized the African-American Alumni Network at Yale, which hosted numerous networking receptions for students of color. Nelson remains active in the YSPH community. Nelson serves on the YSPH Diversity Committee, the YSPH Alumni Advisory Board, and the board of directors for the Association of Yale Alumni in Public Health (AYAPH).

In 2000, he was named chair of the Minority Affairs Committee of AYAPH. Recognizing the evolving cultural climate of the country, he renamed the group the “Emerging Majority Affairs Committee.”  From its inception, the mission EMAC has been to ensure that the interests of the emerging majority are considered in all matters concerning YSPH. In June 2007, Nelson was elected Vice President of the AYAPH Board, and in July 2007, he was elected to the Board of Governors of the Association of Yale Alumni.

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Karen Morris: 2007, First Grandmother to Graduate from Yale School of Medicine

A 44-year-old mother of five and grandmother who once thought admissions officers would simply laugh at her application to medical school, was the first grandmother ever to graduate from the Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Morris first thought about becoming a doctor when she saw doctors taking care of her ill grandmother. However, her plans for a medical career were put on hold when she became pregnant at 16. She was meant to be the first one in her family to go to college and felt as though she had let her family down. Dr. Morris managed to stay in high school and earn her diploma. By age 29, she had five children. She still wanted to go to college, but her husband at the time did not support that dream. She studied cosmetology instead, and ran a beauty shop out of their home. Each fall, she proposed starting college, and each fall she felt pressured to wait—until the children were older, until finances were less strained. After about nine years, Dr. Morris quietly enrolled at a community college. While working full time as a secretary, Dr. Morris would do homework alongside her children, surviving on four hours of sleep. She completed her Associate’s degree summa cum laude in 1996 and enrolled at nearby York College to work toward her Bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Finding jobs first at a state psychiatric hospital and then at a prison with 3,000 male inmates, Morris  enjoyed nursing, but craved more responsibility. She began taking the prerequisites for medical school. Her honors at Yale include: Medical School Banner Bearer for commencement exercises, the Community Service Award and the Cortlandt Van Rensselaer Creed Award for outstanding academic achievement, exemplary leadership and a significant commitment to the community at large.

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Curtis Patton: Professor at YSPH

Curtis Patton, PhD, Professor at YSPH retired after 36 years at Yale in 2006. Dr. Patton has been a prominent figure not only at YSPH but throughout the University. He has served in a variety of administrative capacities including Division Head, Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases and Acting Head of  Global Health. In 2004, Dr. Patton was asked by President Levin to help re-establish and Chair the University Minority Affairs Committee (MAC). He has also served as the Director of International Medical Studies and Chair of the Committee on International Health.   

Dr. Patton arrived at Yale in 1960 during a turbulent time. The Black Panthers were on trial in New Haven on the first day he arrived. There were few students of minority descent. Patton not only took a personal interest in the students, but took an interest in the Yale community. Yale's recognition of Edward A. Bouchet, Yale College's first African-American graduate, who was son of a slave, was one of Dr. Patton's most notable contributions to our community. Due in large part to Patton, Bouchet's picture now resides in Yale's bookstore. Patton will take his students there when they are going through a particularly difficult time. “I take them there,” he says, “not just black students, anyone. I point to his picture and say ‘Can you imagine what it was like for him. Don't you think there were times that he wanted to give up?'” 

A scholarship, the Creed/Patton/Steele Fund was established partly in Dr. Patton's honor. It is the first endowed fund in support of underrepresented minority students at YSPH and was established to recognize the importance of diversity in graduate and professional education and to acknowledge the contributions of underrepresented minorities to the field of public health.

Dr. Curtis Patton has been a dedicated teacher, mentor and scholar for the Yale, New Haven and world  communities. His commitment to our school, our university, and especially to our students is a standard to which everyone at YSPH should strive for. He has taught us about the importance of diversification and has been a demonstration of perseverance accomplishing dreams.

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Centennial

The Yale School of Public Health’s official centennial logo.

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Centennial

A dozen banners commemorating the school’s centennial are hung on lampposts lining College Street and the walkway to the Laboratory of Epidemiology and Public Health on an unusually warm day in mid January.

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Centennial

The centennial banners highlight many of the areas of public health that are priorities for the school.

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Centennial

Mitchell Gail delivers the school’s first Milbank lecture on February 3.

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Centennial

The Yale School of Public Health turns 100 years old in 2015, making it one of the oldest school’s of public health in the United States.

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Centennial

Deputy Dean Brian Leaderer arrives at the centennial kick-off part in late January in the historical library at the Yale School of Medicine.

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Centennial

YSM Dean Robert Alpern addresses the crowd gathered for the School of Public Health centennial kick-off party.

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Centennial

School of Public Health students get into the spirit of the centennial celebration with a YSPH-themed version of the Village People’s “Living at the YMCA.”

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Centennial

A centennial birthday cake.

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Centennial

Deputy Provost for Health Affairs and Academic Integrity, Stephanie Spangler addresses the crowd gathered for the School of Public Health centennial kick-off party.

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Centennial

The School of Public Health’s centennial kick-off party drew a capacity crowd.

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Centennial

Yale School of Public Health Professor Jeannette Ickovics addresses the Urban Nature as a Health Resource conference at Kroon Hall on February 6. The two-day conference explored the role of urbanization and climate change on human health. YSPH co-sponsored the event as part if its centennial. “Park access absolutely impacts health,” Ickovics told the gathering. “We must preserve and expand access to green space.”

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Centennial

Dean Paul Cleary presents Jennifer Clark-Staple, founder and CEO of Unite for Sight, with the YSPH Centennial Leadership Innovation Award on March 28. Cleary cited Staple-Clark’s “extraordinary contributions to global health, social entrepreneurship and education.”

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Centennial

The YSPH Centennial Leadership Innovation Award

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AYA - Health Careers Panel at YSPH

Nearly 30 alumni, representing many sectors in health care, returned to campus to share their experiences and lessons learned in their career paths on in April as part of a Health Careers Panels for students from across the university. The Association of Yale Alumni and the Yale School of Public Health sponsored the afternoon-long event. Shown here: YSPH students with Tassos Kyriakides, PhD, President of the School of Public Health Alumni Association.

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Centennial

A poster announcing the YSPH Centennial Days of Service. School faculty, staff and students were encouraged to participate in a variety of projects in and around New Haven to improve health.

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Centennial

YSPH-based Centennial Cyclists team is formed to participate in the 2015 Closer to Free ride and benefit Smilow Cancer Hospital.

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Centennial

Harold W. Jaffe, associate director for science at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, delivered the school’s second Milbank lecture on April 9. Jaffe discussed the history of HIV/AIDS and compared the initial response to that epidemic with the more recent public response to the Ebola outbreak.

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Centennial

Pia Britto, Ph.D., a senior adviser for early childhood development at UNICEF, gave a Milbank Lecture at the Yale School of Public Health on April 22. Britto discussed the UN Sustainable Development Goals and how they can impact early childhood development.

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Centennial

Dean Paul Cleary leads a panel discussion about the future of public Health as part of the 2015 Yale Healthcare Conference on April 10. The School of Public Health was a sponsor of the annual event.

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Centennial

Members of the YSPH team for the Rock to Rock Earth Day charity bike ride. Left to right: Cara Donovan, Heather Ferguson and Shaylen Foley.

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Day of Service

Dean Cleary and CIRA's Gai Doran at the Connecticut Foodbank.

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Day of Service

Students building new gardens at the New Haven Farms.

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Day of Service

At Leeway in New Haven, a skilled-nursing center that provides intensive medical, nursing and behavioral health services to people living with HIV/AIDS, some 20 YSPH volunteers spoke at length with residents to learn their stories and document the part Leeway has played in their lives.

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Day of Service

Painting hallways and apartments at the Hillside Family Shelter in New Haven.

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Stroke - History, Health Care and Humanity

A panel of experts in history, women studies, medicine and public health examined aspects of the stroke that felled President Woodrow Wilson in his second term of office in 1919. The symposium, part of the Yale School of Public Health’s centennial celebration, was held in collaboration with the Long Wharf Theatre’s premiere of The Second Mrs. Wilson, which opened May 16. (Left to right): Jeannette Ickovics, Laura Wexler and Henry Cowles.

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Stroke - History, Health Care, Humanity

Panelists discuss the current state of care and rehabilitation for stroke survivors. (Left to right): Judith Lichtman, Alyce Sicklick, David Greer

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Stroke - History, Health Care and Humanity

Eric Jordan, a bass with the Metropolitan Opera and stroke survivor, performed and spoke to an audience of 100 people about his ongoing recovery from stroke and the role music has played. (Left to right): Dr. Charles Matouk and Eric Jordan.

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C.E.-A. Winslow Award

Sir Michael Marmot received the C.-E.A. Winslow Medal, the School of Public Health's highest honor at Commencement.

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Exhibit

An exhibit of YSPH Centennial photographs was displayed at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford for the month of July.

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Flea

Invasion of the Bloodsuckers - An exhibition featuring models of six larger-than-life blood-sucking arthropods—up to 300 times their actual size—curated by Leonard Munstermann will be on display through the end of the year. Read more...

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Centennial Photo

The School of Public Health's centennial photo.

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Exhibit at New Haven's City Hall

The YSPH Centennial photographs exhibit was displayed in New Haven's City Hall during the month of September.

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Lynn Goldman

Lynn R. Goldman, a former Environmental Protection Agency assistant administrator and current Michael and Lori Milken Dean of the Milken Institute School of Public Health gave a Milbank Lecture at the Yale School of Public Health on September 9. Her talk covered a wide range of the health impact of climate change and urged action. Read more...

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Centennial Cyclists

Team Centennial Cyclists at the Yale School of Public Health raised $6,000 to benefit Smilow Cancer Hospital in its annual Closer to Free ride. Dean Paul Cleary was among the team's riders. Special congratulations to the two youngest members of Centennial Cyclists, Griffin and Lachlan Ellis (sons of YSPH Professor Melinda Irwin and her husband, Mark Ellis).

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Milbank Lecture with Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy

Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy gave a Milbank Lecture on Public Health in the 21st Century as one of several visits on the Yale Campus. Shown here: Yale President Peter Salovay, Dr. Murthy and Yale School of Public Health's Associate Dean Brian Leaderer. Read more...

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President Salovey

The school’s Founders Day activities featured a “pop-in” visit from President Peter Salovey, a centennial Dean’s Lecture by Jay Magaziner and a sustainable clothing swap organized by the Student Association of Yale Public Health. Read more...

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Milbank Lecture

Ana Diez Roux, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.,, distinguished university professor of epidemiology and dean of the Drexel University School of Public Health, spoke on the Milbank Public Health in the 21st Century Lecture Series. Roux is known for her research on the social determinants of population health and the study of how neighborhoods affect health. She said that social position is a powerful predictor of health and that researchers are now focused on determining how much variability in health social determinants explain. Read more...

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Anthony Fauci Receives Winslow Medal

Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., a leading HIV/AIDS researcher and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, received the Centennial C.-E. A. Winslow Medal Award from the Yale School of Public Health on October 23. Read more...

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C.-E.A. Winslow Bobblehead

C.-E.A. Winslow made yet another appearance at the celebration in the form of a bobblehead presented to Dean Cleary at the 2015 Alumni Day on October 24. 

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Judith Rodin Receives Winslow Medal

In a Centennial C.-E.A. Winslow Medal Award lecture, Judith Rodin, Ph.D., president of The Rockefeller Foundation, called for a new approach to public health—Public Health 2.0—that embraces planetary health in order to sustain and advance human health. Read more...

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AYA Assembly focusses on Public Health

Peter Singer, M.P.H. ’90, CEO of Grand Challenges Canada, presents keynote address for the 75th AYA Assembly. Singer advocated for innovative approaches to lingering public health problems are crucial to finding solutions and improving health for millions, especially in resource-poor settings. Read more...

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Milbank Lecture with George Howard

George Howard, Dr.PH., professor at the University of Alabama School of Public Health spoke on stroke disparities on December 2, 2015 as part of the Milbank Milbank Public Health in the 21st Century Lecture Series. Read more...

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Ursula E. Bauer, M.P.H., Ph.D. ’95

Atlanta, Ga. 
Director, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Ursula (pictured here) leads CDC’s portfolio of programs to prevent chronic disease and promote health. She recently traveled to Pine Ridge, S.D., to address health issues among Native Americans on the Pine Ridge Reservation, home to the Oglala Sioux, and stopped at this burial site that contains 146 people killed during the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890.
Photo credit: Myra Tucker

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Gregory Belok, D.D.S., M.P.H. ’74

Teaneck, N.J. 
Dentist

As a participant in Dental Volunteers for Israel, Gregory and his associates have provided dental treatment to needy children and adults and clinic management in Jerusalem and on Kibbutz Hanaton, in northern Israel near Nazareth. When not in Israel, he uses his dental administrative and clinical skills to manage a multispecialty group dental practice with sites in New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut and London.
Photo credit: Dental Volunteers for Israel

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Zinzi Nandi Segura Blell, R.N., M.P.H. ’09

Galveston, Texas 
Doctoral student, University of Texas; NASA principal investigator team member

Zinzi’s current research focuses on vaccine development for a virus recognized by the World Health Organization as a priority pathogen with potential for malicious use as a weapon. Her work with NASA sought the use of a microgravity environment as a novel platform in the study on the prevention of diseases on earth and in space flight.
Photo credit: Rolf Konig

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Patrick R. Byam, M.P.H. ’08

New Haven, Conn. 
Research associate, Yale University

Patrick works with the Yale Global Health Leadership Institute and its partners to improve the delivery of primary health care in rural areas of Ethiopia. The country, with some 80 million people, has made notable strides despite a lack of resources and widespread poverty. Here, churchgoers take a much-needed rest while hiking up Mount Entoto in Addis Ababa.

Photo credit: Patrick Byam

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Thomas W. Chapman, M.P.H. ’71, Ed.D.

Bethesda, Md. 
President and CEO, HSC Foundation

Thomas (right) leads a system of care for infants through to young adults with severe, multiple chronic illnesses, most of whom are physically and/or behaviorally impacted by their illnesses. His organization also operates a new National Youth Transitions Center and National Veterans Center for young adults who need support to achieve independence and work readiness.
Photo credit: Cecil Doggette

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Katrina Clark, M.P.H. ’71

New Haven, Conn.

Executive director, Fair Haven Community Health Center


As the executive director of the Fair Haven Community Health Center, Katrina (right) says that the reward of being a health care administrator is realizing that the grants, analyses and health care programs and services that are brought to fruition all contribute to making health care accessible to the residents of an inner city community and to reducing health care disparities. Founded in 1971, the center provides comprehensive health care—from prenatal to pediatric, adolescent to adult and geriatric—to the greater Fair Haven community. 

  Photo credit: Lisa Wilder

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Elizabeth B. Claus, Ph.D. ’88, M.D. ’94

New Haven, Connecticut

Professor of biostatistics, director of medical research, Yale School of Public Health

Attending neurosurgeon, Brigham and Women’s Hospital


An intracranial meningioma pushes against the soft tissue of the brain. Elizabeth leads a research team that is studying the environmental and genetic risk factors for meningioma, glioma and breast tumors. She is also a practicing neurosurgeon, with a focus on neuro-oncology.


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Jacob Creswell, M.P.H. ’00

Geneva, Switzerland
Technical Officer, World Health Organization

Jacob works on the TB REACH initiative that provides funding for projects that attempt to improve tuberculosis case detection and treatment across the globe. This urban slum in Karachi, Pakistan, is the site of such work. TB, Jacob notes, is largely a disease of the poor; is transmitted easily when people live in cramped, tight quarters; and develops in people who have poor immune systems and in those who are undernourished and have weakened immune systems.
Photo Credit: Aamir Khan

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Martha G. Dale, M.P.H. ’80

New Haven, Conn. 
Program director, Yale Global Health Leadership Institute

Martha (left) designs and conducts leadership, health policy and business education programs for senior health care managers and public health administrators in China. She also works with visiting delegations of health care professionals from Africa who travel to Yale each year to devise solutions to specific health care issues in their home countries.
Photo credit: Carl Kaufman

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Richard D’Aquila, M.P.H. ’79

Westbrook, Conn.
President and COO, Yale-New Haven Hospital

As president and COO of Yale-New Haven Hospital, Richard’s main responsibility is to ensure that patients in greater New Haven and beyond have access to exceptional clinical programs, cutting-edge technology and an exemplary patient experience that is grounded in dignity and respect. Here, Richard (left) visits with a patient.
Photo credit: Carl Kaufman

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Sarah J. Dash, M.P.H. ’01

Silver Spring, Md. 
Senior legislative assistant (health), Office of U.S. Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV

Sarah confers with Sen. Rockefeller, D-W.Va., as they wait for the tram to take them to the U.S. Capitol. Legislative assistants serve as subject matter and strategy experts for members of Congress. Public health has been in the forefront on Capitol Hill during much of 2012, with the Affordable Care Act being an unprecedented national investment in health care. 

Credit: Roll Call/Getty Images

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Linda C. Degutis, M.S.N. ’82, Dr.P.H. ’94

Atlanta, Ga. 
Director, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

During a recent trip to New Delhi, India, Linda helped to dedicate a new school of public health for traffic safety and visited hospitals to develop trauma and injury surveillance systems. She works to prevent injury and violence, leading causes of death and disability in the United States and throughout the world.
Photo credit: Linda Degutis

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Dana M. Faulkner, M.P.H. ’95

Chevy Chase, Md. 
CEO, Friends of the National Arboretum

Dana’s work as CEO of the Friends of the National Arboretum allows her to expand access to, and support for, a national environmental treasure—446 acres of gardens and green space in the heart of the nation’s capital. Here, a young girl learns the basics and experiences the pleasures of gardening in a plot at the Arboretum. 

Photo credit: Friends of the National Arboretum

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Mario Garcia, M.D., M.Sc., M.P.H. ’02

New Haven, Conn. 
Director of Health, New Haven Health Department

Mario gives a presentation in 2012 to the New Haven Board of Aldermen about the dangers of exposure to secondhand smoke and also to promote the notion of a nonsmoking rule for all rental units within the city. Such a policy, he notes, would reduce exposure to secondhand smoke for a large segment of the city’s population. As the director of the city’s health department, Mario oversees—and advocates—for a variety of measures to protect and promote the health of some 130,000 people.

Photo Credit: Lisa Wilder 


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Shelley D. Geballe, J.D. ’76, M.P.H. ’95

Branford, Conn. 
Distinguished Senior Fellow and co-founding president, CT Voices for Children in New Haven, and lecturer, Yale School of Public Health and Yale Law School

Throughout her 30-plus year career, Shelley has worked at the intersection of law and health—as a civil rights lawyer in health-related litigation; as founding president of CT Voices for Children, as a research and advocacy organization that promotes law and policy that foster healthy child development; and, now, as a teacher of Yale students interested in a similar path. 

Photo credit: Lisa Wilder

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Yvette A. Girard, M.P.H. ’02, Ph.D.

Sacramento, Calif.
Postdoctoral scholar, Wildlife Health Center, University of California, Davis

Working as a molecular epidemiologist, Yvette uses laboratory, statistical and phylogenetic tools to understand the ecology and evolution of emerging infectious diseases such as avian trichomonosis, Lyme borreliosis, toxoplasmosis and avian influenza in human and wildlife populations. Here, she prepares to take a sample from a bird. 

Photo credit: Krysta Rogers

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Zimra J. Gordon-Danzer, D.V.M., M.P.H. ’02,

Stamford, Conn. 
Associate veterinarian, VCA Davis Animal Hospital; Yale Human Animal Medicine Project

As a veterinarian who practices preventative medicine and manages acute and chronic disease, Zimra (left) assesses not only the pet, but also its owner, during treatment. When developing a treatment plan, she takes into consideration whether the owner has any physical, mental, environmental or social constraints and what personal, family, hospital and community resources she can use to optimize the well-being of the pet and its human family. 

Photo credit: Marilyn Shapiro-Lowell

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Maya L. Hanna, M.S., M.P.H. ’07

Cambridge, Mass. 
Statistician Manager, Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development

As a statistician supporting Pfizer’s Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases Research Unit, Maya ensures that preclinical assays produce quality results through rigorous statistical validation and offers innovative approaches to study design. The assays target metabolic pathways for type 2 diabetes and are used to select novel compounds that have the potential for further evaluation.

Credit: Jean-Luc Van Tran

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Ginger Hanrahan, M.P.H. ’91, M.F.A. ’07

Bethel, Conn. 
Visual artist with concentrations in painting and fiber art

Through art, Ginger seeks to emphasize the concerns and plight of forgotten aspects of society and the environment. She mixes personal and cultural themes into certain paintings that address social inequality, psychological issues and spirituality. Art, she says, gives her the opportunity to continuously ask the question, “What is public health?” This painting is titled We Live Among You and We Won't Let You Forget. 

Image credit: Ginger Hanrahan

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Unni K. Karunakara, M.P.H. ’95, Dr.P.H.

Geneva, Switzerland 
International president, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders)

Unni screens a child for malnutrition in a displaced persons camp in Mogadishu, Somalia, on August 20, 2011. MSF is an independent, international, medical humanitarian organization that delivers assistance to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from health care. 

Photo credit: Médecins Sans Frontières

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Joan Louise Kenney, M.P.H. ’03, Ph.D.

Fort Collins, Colo.
Postdoctoral fellow, American Society of Microbiology/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Joan’s research seeks to understand the evolutionary fitness of enzootic alphaviruses within their insect vectors in order to determine the potential of these viruses to cause human disease and to illustrate the need for vaccine development. She is currently working to identify novel vaccine strategies for various arboviruses. Here, a microscopy image shows a mosquito midgut coexposed to two types of virus particles that individually express green and red fluorescent protein. 

Photo Credit: Joan L. Kenney and Leoncio Vergara

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Ariane A. Kirtley, M.P.H. ’04

Bellgarde-en-Forez, France 
Founder and director, Amman Imman: Water Is Life

Ariane is the founder and director of the international NGO Amman Imman: Water Is Life. Amman Imman builds clean and sustainable water sources; provides food security; and supports educational, environmental and health initiatives among some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. It is currently operating in the Azawak region of Niger, where 50 percent of children die before their fifth birthday and where most people travel over 35 miles to obtain just a few gallons of mud water to drink, cook and bathe with. Here, a little girl is giving her baby brother the first potable drink of water he has ever had from Amman Imman’s “Well of Love” borehole, built in 2010 and financed by Montessori students across the world. 

Photo credit: Ariane Kirtley

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Brian P. Leaderer, M.P.H. '71, Ph.D. '75

Guilford, Conn. 
Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Epidemiology (Environmental Health) and Deputy Dean, Yale School of Public Health

Brian’s research interests focus on assessing exposures to air contaminants and the health impact resulting from those exposures in epidemiological studies conducted in at-risk populations in the United States and China. This picture was taken in Shanghai, China, during a visit to study sites. 

Photo credit: Brian Leaderer

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Kai-Lih Liu, M.P.H., Ph.D. ’96

Phnom Penh, Cambodia 
Associate director, Strategic Information Unit, FHI 360

Kai-Lih heads the Strategic Information Unit for monitoring and evaluation, surveillance and research activities in HIV, tuberculosis and malaria at FHI 360. His work entails collaborations with UNAIDS, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and various government agencies. Here, one of the employees records field data on a laptop in a rural region of the country. 

Photo credit: Kai-Lih Liu

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Lawrence V. Meagher Jr., M.P.H. ’76

Sao Paulo, Brazil 
Executive director and CEO, Hospital Santa Catarina

In September, Larry became executive director and CEO of Hospital Santa Catarina, a 327-bed general acute care hospital located on one of South America’s most recognized streets, the Avenida Paulista. The hospital has 88 ICU beds, including 15 in the neonatal unit. Its emergency room averages between 500 and 600 patients each day, about a third of whom are pediatric. 

Photo credit: Courtesy of Hospital Santa Catarina

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Susan Michaels-Strasser, M.P.H. ’95, M.S.N. ’95, Ph.D.

Lusaka, Zambia 
Country director, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation in Zambia

Susan directs a variety of programs related to HIV prevention, care and treatment, with funding from the U.S. government/PEPFAR, UNICEF and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. She also does research on a variety of related areas, including HIV service integration and pediatric counseling. Here, she is with Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s first president.

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Joanne S. Mosca, M.P.H. ’89

 Bedford, N.Y.
Recording artist, singer, songwriter, Dolce Diva Music

As a singer/songwriter as well as president of her own independent record label, Joanne (who goes by the stage name “Joanna”) says that the business skills that she acquired as a health care administration major are invaluable to her as she markets, promotes and distributes her product: music. 

Photo credit: Mark Mann

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Jewel M. Mullen, M.D., M.P.H. ’96

Middlefield, Conn. 
Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Public Health

Jewel (left) oversees the state’s leading public health agency, whose mission is to protect and promote the health and safety of Connecticut residents. Here, she prepares for a health-related interview on a Connecticut television news station. She oversees an agency that employs more than 800 people, has an annual budget of more than $250 million and addresses health issues as diverse as asthma and seafood safety. 

Photo Credit: William Gerrish

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Vandine Or, M.D., M.P.H. ’96

Phnom Penh, Cambodia 
Director, Department of International Cooperation, Ministry of Health of Cambodia

Vandine (left, top; right, bottom) has served in the Ministry of Health of Cambodia in various capacities since its founding, after the demise of the Khmer Rouge. Her work has included providing immunizations to children in still-dangerous areas of the country, pediatric and adult medical care (including for injuries from land mines), surveillance of communicable diseases and health information system reform. In 1994, she became the first Cambodian woman to be awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study at Yale. Cambodia, she notes, is becoming increasingly modern, as a new generation of young professionals learn the skills of medicine, management and public health. 

Photo credit: Tip Sophearith

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Edith M. Pestana, M.P.H. ’93

Hartford, Conn. 
Administrator, Environmental Justice Program, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Children play—and live—close to industry and pollution at site in Connecticut. As administrator of the state’s Environmental Justice Program, Edith monitors this site and others to address the environmental inequities that are often present in lower-socioeconomic and minority communities. The agency’s mission is to ensure that all residents receive equal protection under environmental and public health law and have equal access to the state’s natural resources. 

Photo credit: Lisa Wilder

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Rock G. Positano, D.P.M., M.Sc., M.P.H. ’89

New York, N.Y.
Director, Non-surgical Foot and Ankle Service and the Joe DiMaggio Sports Medicine Foot and Ankle Center

Rock consults with a patient at the Non-surgical Foot and Ankle Service. The center is dedicated to evaluating the majority of foot, ankle and musculoskeletal problems that often can be treated suc¬cessfully without surgery. Located at Hospital for Special Surgery, the service is the first of its kind in the greater New York area and is widely known for its unique approach. 

Photo Credit: Brad Hess

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Atulya K. Saxena, M.P.H. ’01, M.D.

Oxford, England 
Doctor of philosophy candidate, Department of Public Health, University of Oxford

Atulya focuses on globalization and the aging population. He has worked on projects studying aging workforces, infectious and non-communicable diseases and health promotion. His current research examines informal care, identity and the relationships between media and health. Here, in a community outside Jaisalmer, India, Atulya examines the impact of globalization on identity and its consequences for health behavior. 

Photo credit: Peter Hudston

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Elisabeth Schauer-Kaiser, Ph.D., M.A./M.P.H. ’96

Konstanz, Germany 
Director, Vivo International

At a school just outside Kabul, Afghanistan, Elisabeth provides psychodiagnostic screening to all of the resident schoolchildren. Her work at Vivo, an international nongovernmental organization, focuses on research, prevention and therapy for individuals and communities who experience violence, conflict, abuse, neglect or torture. 

Photo credit: Claudia Catani

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Karen M. Schmidt, M.P.H. ’00

Dakar, Senegal 
Earth Institute at Columbia University/Global Health and Development

The Earth Institute seeks to improve health and reduce poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. From 2003 to 2011, Karen focused on strengthening health systems in rural Rwanda, and in 2012 she began work with the Earth Institute’s Millennium Development Goals Centre in Dakar. Here, a farmer in the Millennium Village in Mayange, Rwanda, was provided with improved, fast-maturing mango tree seedlings. Two years later, the trees are bearing large, healthy fruit. Even though the tree is still very small, the mangoes are so big that he has to prop up the branches. 

Photo credit: Karen Schmidt

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Nirav R. Shah, M.D. ’98, M.P.H. ’98

Albany, N.Y.

Commissioner, Department of Health New York State

Surrounded by family, Nirav is sworn in by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as the 15th New York State Commissioner of Health on January 24, 2011. He heads one of the nation’s leading public health agencies, with a budget of more than $50 billion, and administers the state’s public health insurance programs, which cover 5 million New Yorkers. As commissioner, Nirav also oversees public health and prevention initiatives, regulation of hospitals and other health care facilities and the research program in a premier biomedical laboratory. 

Photo credit: Judy Sanders


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Duncan S.-R. Maru, Ph.D. ’09, M.D. ’09

Boston, Mass. 
Co-founder, Nyaya Health in western Nepal

A woman receiving treatment at Nyaya Health beams with joy. Founded by Duncan and several other Yale students, the clinic seeks to improve the health of poor communities in Nepal by providing a range of medical and public health services in an area of the country that had previously offered little of either. Nyaya, which in Nepali means justice, partnered with the Ministry of Health and opened a primary care center in an isolated district in 2008. 

Photo Credit: Nyaya Health

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Eric Triffin, M.P.H. ’86

Bethany, Conn. 
Health activist, adjunct public health professor, retired director of public health, West Haven, Conn.

Dressing as Snappy the Peas/Peace Pod or, alternatively, as Mr. Carrot, Eric seeks to “infect” people with good eating habits, such as carrots and peas! He is also known as TaDaah the TranscenDancer and inspires people to dance with joy. 

Photo credit: Harold Shapiro

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Irene Trowell-Harris, R.N., M.P.H. ’73, Ed.D.

Arlington, Va. 
Director, Center for Women Veterans

Irene is the primary adviser to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on programs, policies and legislation related to women veterans. She promotes public health through policy and legislation that enhance healthy lifestyles of women veterans and their eligible family members through health care services and benefits such as GI Bill education, homeless and caregiver support, home loan guaranty, employment and vocational rehabilitation. Irene joined the service as a young woman in the 1960s (inset) and, in 1998, became the first African-American woman in the history of the National Guard to be promoted to the rank of general officer. She retired in 2001 as a major general. 

Photo credit: Courtesy of Irene Trowell-Harris

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