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Health, Behavior and Society Summer Institute


The Health, Behavior and Society Summer Institute attracts faculty members who are leaders in their fields.

Piers J.W. Bocock, MBA, Faculty Associate
Mr. Bocock works for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs (JHU∙CCP), as the Project Director for USAID’s Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project. As such, he leads a dynamic team of more than 40 knowledge management, eLearning, ICT, and public health experts in their mission to increase the use and dissemination of evidence-based, accurate, and up-to-date information to improve health service delivery and health outcomes worldwide. Mr. Bocock is a recognized leader in the fields of international development, knowledge management, communications, and technology development with nearly two decades of experience as an innovator and a communicator. He has worked in more than 20 countries, helping a variety of organizations to develop solutions to information management, public health, business, policy, trade, operational, leadership and technology challenges. He has taught, presented and published on knowledge management, mobile technologies, public health, supply chains, alternative energy, software, and NGO management.

Lisa A. Cooper, MD, MPH, Professor
Dr. Cooper’s research program focuses on patient-centered strategies for improving outcomes and overcoming racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare. She has conducted several observational studies to explore and better define barriers (e.g., patient attitudes, beliefs, and preferences) to equitable care across racial and ethnic groups and mechanisms for disparities in health status and healthcare (e.g., patient-physician communication, race discordance between patients and physicians). Dr. Cooper’s research links patient and clinician attitudes and behaviors with health outcomes; her work continues to inform the training of physicians and the institutions in which they practice to deliver high quality, equitable care to increasingly diverse patient populations.

Paul Gaist, PhD, MPH, Adjunct Associate Professor
Dr. Gaist is a behavioral scientist and a public health administrator who emphasizes real world integrative thinking and solutions in his courses. His work includes/has included research, program and planning at the National Institutes of Health, the White House National AIDS Policy Office, and elsewhere. Areas of interest (U.S. and internationally) include biopsychosocial analysis and health promotion/ disease prevention across the lifespan and life contexts.

Michelle Kaufman, PhD, Assistant Professor
Dr. Kaufman is an applied social and health psychologist by training, with a specialization in gender and sexual risk behavior. During her 10 years of international research and evaluation experience, she has worked in the US, Nepal, South Africa, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Malawi, and Indonesia on topics including HIV prevention, family planning, malaria treatment and prevention, tobacco control, and child survival. She is currently a researcher at the Center for Communication Programs working on projects primarily in Malawi and Tanzania.

Jill Owczarzak, PhD, Assistant Professor
Dr. Owczarzak's research applies the methods and theoretical perspectives of medical anthropology to understand public health policy and practice related to HIV risk, prevention intervention development, and program implementation. She works in both the United States and in Eastern Europe.

Tanjala S. Purnell, PhD, MPH Assistant Professor
Dr. Purnell is an Assistant Professor of Transplant Surgery and Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Her research focuses on identifying patient-centered and community-engaged solutions to address disparities in access to and quality of care for patients with kidney disease and related risk factors, including diabetes and hypertension.

Katherine Clegg Smith, PhD, Professor
Dr. Smith is a sociologist with research interests around the social determinants of health behavior. Her particular area of expertise is communication of health information, and she has a general interest in identity and its relationship to health. Much of Dr. Smith's research is organized around individual and collective understanding of health issues and experiences. She teaches classes that explore the use of sociological theory and qualitative methodology in public health research, and she co-directs the MHS in Social Factors in Health program. Dr. Smith also directs the Center for Qualitative Studies in Health and Medicine. She was an author of the NIH Best Practices in Mixed Methods Research for the Health Sciences.

Tara Sullivan, PhD, Assistant Scientist
Dr. Sullivan's research focuses on facilitating the use of health information in policy and programs and on improving the quality of family planning and reproductive health services. She is currently spearheading an initiative to develop an original logic model and indicators to guide health information program design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. Dr. Sullivan has worked in international health and development for over 10 years, including living and working in Botswana and Thailand.