Public Health Post informs and inflects the broader conversation on health.
Every day we feature new articles about the state of the health of the population. We invite policymakers, journalists, academics, and practitioners to share their work in ways that can influence health on a local, national, and global scale. Our editors, working with graduate student Public Health Post Fellows, present health statistics, traditional journalism, research summaries, interviews with important health thinkers, and easy-to-understand data graphics to start new conversations about health. We join and drive the national dialogue on public health.
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Oluwatobi (Tobi) Alliyu is an MBA-MPH candidate at Boston University where she is also pursuing a certificate in Global Health Monitoring and Evaluation. Drawing from her background in anthropology, she is focused on exploring the intersection of business and global health—particularly health systems strengthening, private-public partnerships, and building capacity for evidence-based decision-making in low- and middle-income countries. When she’s not writing, she can be found dancing to Afrobeats, exploring new cafés, or pretending to be an interior designer on HGTV.
Jori Fortson is an MPH candidate at the Boston University School of Public Health completing certificates in Community Assessment, Program Design, Implementation, and Evaluation and Maternal and Child Health. She is broadly interested in racial and ethnic health inequities. Jori’s primary academic interests include sexual and reproductive health, mass incarceration, and adverse childhood experiences. She is drawn to conducting participatory action research, creating community-based interventions, and communicating with diverse audiences about public health matters through media and advocacy in order to influence policy. In her free moments she enjoys traveling and trying new foods.
Julia Garcia is an MPH candidate at BUSPH focusing on Health Policy and Law. Previously, Julia worked at the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority – the District of Columbia’s health insurance marketplace – assisting DC residents enrolling in both private and public health insurance. Julia also worked on an open enrollment campaign in Texas and for the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, a non-profit organization focused on advocating for quality cancer care for all people touched by cancer. Julia is a proud Texan and graduate of Texas A&M University where she studied English and sociology.
Greg Kantor is an MPH candidate at the Boston University School of Public Health, pursuing a certificate in Health Communication and Promotion. Driven by undergraduate experiences at Muhlenberg College, his primary public health passions are tobacco control and the intersection of public health and journalism. Greg also works in communications for The Health Management Academy, an organization that provides educational and advisory services to executives of the largest US health systems. A native New Yorker, Greg is an avid fan of the state’s losing sports teams — the Mets, Jets, and Islanders.
Kathleen Mitchell is an MPH candidate completing her certifications in Community Assessment, Program Design, Implementation, and Evaluation and Mental Health and Substance Use. With particular interests in art, mental health, and ethics, Kathleen is interested in studying the connection between creative arts and positive mental health outcomes. Prior to studying at Boston University, Kathleen completed her B.A. in English, and enjoys spending time analyzing the relationship between literature and medicine.
Editorial Assistant, Student Advisory Board
Rachana is an MPH candidate at Boston University of Public Health completing her certificate in Community Assessment, Program Designing, Implementation, and Evaluation. Her focus is working on a global platform for mental health destigmatization and reducing gender-based violence. She completed her undergraduate studies in dental medicine from India where she conducted health promotion and education programs in both urban and rural settings. In her leisure time, she loves to paint her moods and explore the city of Boston.
Social Media Assistant, Student Advisory Board
Ella Vanderbilt-Fried is an MPH candidate completing certificates in Health Communication and Promotion and Epidemiology and Biostatistics. She is passionate about making data and research more accessible and engaging in order to promote health equity. She is also interested in research involving reproductive health, nutrition, chronic and infectious disease, social determinants of health, and health policy. Ella is originally from New York and prior to attending Boston University completed her B.A. in Psychology at The Ohio State University. She enjoys traveling, listening to podcasts, and all things pop culture/ social media.
Student Advisory Board
Alex Woodruff is a Masters of Public Health candidate at Boston University School of Public Health with a concentration in Health Law, Policy, and Management. His primary focus is on health care policies that address substance use disorders and the opioid epidemic.
Jennifer Beard, PhD, MA, MPH, is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Global Health. She was a co-principal investigator for the multi-study Ghana Operations Research for Key Populations project. The nine qualitative studies focused on the HIV prevention and other needs of young female sex workers and their intimate partners, prisoners, men who have sex with men, post-secondary female students, women who work in bars, people who inject drugs, and people living with HIV at risk of dropping out of antiretroviral therapy.
Nicholas Diamond holds a Bachelors degree in French and Cell and Molecular Biology from Albion College and a Masters in Public Health from the Boston University School of Public Health. He speaks French and Wolof and uses storytelling as an advocacy tool for community-led movements at the intersection of HIV and LGBT rights. Nicholas has filled global health communications, research, and program implementation roles at MPact Global Action for Gay Men’s Health & Rights and Massachusetts General Hospital. Within global health, he focuses on sex, sexuality, gender, and health and testified as an expert witness at the U.S. Department of Justice to secure asylum for the Senegalese LGBT community. Follow him @NickDiamondMPH.
Michael Stein is the chair of the Department of Health Law, Policy & Management at the Boston University School of Public Health. He is a physician and health services researcher who is an international authority on the intersection of primary care, mental health and substance use disorders. He is author of nine books—six novels, two works of non-fiction, and a medical textbook. Long ago, he was a science policy reporter for NATURE magazine.
Sampada Nandyala, PHP Fellow 2018
Sampada completed her Master of Public Health degree at Boston University School of Public Health, with a certificate in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. She is particularly focused on applying research to bridge communication gaps between health care professionals and the public, especially regarding infectious disease and women’s health. In addition to exploring her several and varied public health interests, Sampada loves browsing record stores, experimenting with her personal style, and petting dogs.
Chrissy Packtor, PHP Fellow 2018
Chrissy is an MPH candidate at the Boston University School of Public Health completing certificates in Health Communication and Promotion and Sex, Sexuality, and Gender. She is interested in effective science and health policy communication, especially in the realm of reproductive and sexual health. During her undergraduate studies, she was involved with advocacy work, focusing on abortion and healthcare access in West Virginia, as well as programming with her university’s LGBTQ+ center. Outside of the classroom, Chrissy enjoys traveling, trying new coffee shops in Boston, and reading.
Erin Polka, PHP Fellow 2018
Erin is an MPH candidate at Boston University’s school of Public Health, pursuing certificates in Environmental Health and Biostatistics/Epidemiology. Drawing from her experience in agriculture and health work as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania, she’s exploring the intersections of climate change and environmental health in hopes of creating greener, healthier communities. A passionate conservationist, in her free time Erin can be found outside either cycling, climbing, or hiking for the view.
Jackie Rocheleau, PHP Reporting Fellow 2018
Jackie Rocheleau received her MS in Science Journalism from Boston University School of Communications, and her BA from Boston University in Neuroscience and Psychology. Jackie focuses on brain sciences and public health in her writing and hopes to support science literacy through her journalism. When she’s not writing, she’s probably either playing basketball, re-reading Harry Potter, or looking at pictures of dolphins.
David K. Jones, Editor-in-Chief 2016-2017
David’s research examines the politics of health reform. His book Exchange Politics: Opposing Obamacare in Battleground States examines how states made decisions about what type of health insurance exchange to establish as part of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. He has also written about Medicaid, CHIP, and health reform in Europe. His new project re-traces Robert Kennedy’s steps to examine the social determinants of health in the Mississippi Delta. He was awarded the Outstanding Dissertation Award by AcademyHealth for his Ph.D. thesis completed at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. He also has a masters of arts in political science from the University of Michigan and a masters of science in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before graduate school he worked in the Idaho Legislature, the Canadian House of Commons, and Congressman Charles Rangel’s District Office in Harlem, NY. David is originally from New York City where he worked as a pretzel vendor at Yankee Stadium.
Gilbert Benavidez, PHP Fellow 2017
Gilbert Benavidez is a graduate of the Boston University School of Public Health, where he received his MPH and concentrated in health law, bioethics and human rights. His primary interest is combining data analytics with law and policy instruments to pursue human rights. Gilbert is currently a policy analyst for BUSPH, operating out of the Partnered Evidence-based Policy Resource Center (PEPReC) at the Boston VA. When he isn’t scouring Health Affairs, Gilbert loves to practice his Olympic weightlifting, play guitar, take pictures of his cats, and find new places to eat.
Madeline Bishop, PHP Fellow 2017
Madeline received her Masters of Public Health with certifications in Health Communications & Promotion and Maternal & Child Health. She is particularly drawn to adolescent mental health and development, as well as social enterprise as a tool to address health challenges around the globe. Apart from her seemingly endless list of interests in public health, Madeline enjoys talking to strangers, road-tripping, ocean views, and mountain adventures with her trusty canine companion.
Qing Wai Wong, PHP Fellow 2017
Qing Wai received her MPH from Boston University School of Public Health with certificates in Health Policy and Epidemiology. Her interests include policies that reduce health disparities and equal access to quality education as an important social determinant of health. When not pursuing her academic interests, Qing Wai can be found on the volleyball court, running, or volunteering for various youth development programs in the community.
Jonathan Gang, PHP Fellow 2016
Jonathan is an editorial researcher at The Conversation Media Group in Boston. He is a radio producer, writer, multimedia journalist and communications specialist. He graduated from Boston University with a master’s degree in Journalism, and received his bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Colorado College in 2010. His work has appeared in print, on the air and online in publications such as the Boston Herald, Public Radio International, the Denver Post, Marquee Magazine, the Boulder Daily Camera, and the Colorado Springs Independent.
Maggie Thomas, PHP Fellow 2016
Maggie is a PhD student at the Boston University School of Social Work. Her doctoral research is concentrated on public policy, with a focus on poverty and systemic oppression. Maggie is a part of the Social Policy Analysis Working Group at the School of Social Work, working on child welfare, economic instability, and child care subsidy projects. Prior to joining BU, Maggie practiced social work with LGBTQ youth and families and in the child welfare system. Maggie is an avid Chicago Cubs fan and loved J.R.R. Tolkien before it was cool.