2015 Bernard D. Goldstein Student Award in Environmental Health Disparities and in Public Health Practice

January 12th 2015

The award was established in 2005 by Dr. Bernard Goldstein, former dean of Pitt Public Health and emeritus professor in Environmental and Occupational Health, and his wife, Russellyn Carruth, an adjunct professor in Pitt's School of Law. The Goldstein Award recognizes in alternating academic years a student associated with the Center for Public Health Practice (CPHP) or the Center for Health Equity.

CPHP is pleased to announce that it has awarded Meg Robertson, a Master of Public Health student in the Department of Health Policy and Management, the 2015 Goldstein Award for her work with Professor Maggie Potter and Pennsylvania's Advisory Committee on Public Health Laws for the Joint State Government Commission to evaluate enforcement models for mandatory youth vaccination laws. Through a literature review and a 50 state enforcement model comparison, Ms. Robertson analyzed a variety of financial variables and their impact on Pennsylvania counties' vaccination rates. Through her project, Ms. Robertson aimed to fill a gap in the literature on mandatory youth vaccination rates, and to inform policy and create more effective enforcement models.


Moving Toward Shared Responsibility
for Population Health; Incorporating
Health in All Policies

To increase opportunities for physical activity, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has partnered with the Center for Public Health Practice to create a network of community-based walking routes and walking groups.

  • Identify and promote safe walking routes;
  • Offer social support through community-based walking groups;
  • Help schools develop walk-to-school programs; and
  • Address local policies to increase safe walking routes.

Walking routes and groups can be found in the following locations:

WalkWorks Map


  1. Blair County
  2. Fayette County
  3. Indiana County
  4. McKean County
  5. Northampton County (coming soon)
  6. Schuylkill County (coming soon)
  7. Harrisburg - Capitol Complex
Policy Brief

A series of policy briefs is being developed to help promote policy change related to increasing opportunities for active transportation – pedestrian and biking. The initial brief focuses on the importance and value of institutionalizing health considerations into decision-making with specific focus on physical activity.

"If there's one thing we've learned about catalyzing changes that prevent illness in the first place, it's that passage of a single policy can be like lighting a match — illuminating the way towards strategies with greater impact and igniting the energy of leaders."
                                                                                      – Prevention Institute 2015

Connecting with the Community: Tattoo Parlors & Regulations

April 16th 2015



Sean P. McCarthy, owner of Jester's Court Tattoo on Oakland Avenue, was glad to see Graduate School of Public Health faculty member Elizabeth Bjerke's students in his shop this spring — even though they weren't paying customers.

Bjerke is one of 10 current Robert Wood Johnson Foundation public health law fellows creating new curriculum offerings designed to provide innovative teaching nationally.

The fellowship gave her the impetus for a new multidisciplinary class, "Law and Public Health Practice," which attracted students from public health, law, medicine and nursing. Consulting with the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) on areas of public health and regulatory concern, Bjerke decided the class would focus on whether tattoo parlors needed more oversight from the ACHD and, if so, what the best approach might be.

It seemed a perfect question for Bjerke’s students to tackle, since tattoo parlors are unregulated by the city, county or state, and the Jester’s Court owner welcomed the students’ attention. Read More

Older News