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    Our Team

    Abby Varker headshot

    Abby Varker is an MPH candidate at Boston University School of Public Health, studying health policy and law, and sex, sexuality, and gender. Her passions include establishing policy to promote sexual and reproductive health and low-cost health care. Her background is in psychology, ethics, and the natural sciences, which informs her public health practice. Outside of her public health work, Abby is in an a cappella group and has been singing since she was 4 years old.

    Abby Varker

    Multimedia Fellow

    View Abby Varker’s Collection

    Abby Varker is an MPH candidate at Boston University School of Public Health, studying health policy and law, and sex, sexuality, and gender. Her passions include establishing policy to promote sexual and reproductive health and low-cost health care. Her background is in psychology, ethics, and the natural sciences, which informs her public health practice. Outside of her public health work, Abby is in an a cappella group and has been singing since she was 4 years old.

    Lia Musumeci headshot

    Lia Musumeci is an MPH candidate at Boston University School of Public Health, studying community assessment, program design, implementation and evaluation with a focus on substance use and mental health. She has worked in a non-profit community mental health clinic and behavioral health research. She is passionate about drawing on her past experiences to explore mental health and substance use-related diversion programs, as well as to enhance interventions for smoking cessation. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and exploring different types of tea.

    Lia Musumeci

    Writing Fellow

    View Lia Musumeci’s Collection

    Lia Musumeci is an MPH candidate at Boston University School of Public Health, studying community assessment, program design, implementation and evaluation with a focus on substance use and mental health. She has worked in a non-profit community mental health clinic and behavioral health research. She is passionate about drawing on her past experiences to explore mental health and substance use-related diversion programs, as well as to enhance interventions for smoking cessation. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and exploring different types of tea.

    Heather Sherr headshot

    Heather Sherr is an MPH candidate at Boston University School of Public Health, studying epidemiology and biostatistics with a concentration in chronic and non-communicable diseases. Her public health interests are informed by her background in developmental biology, genetics, and biological anthropology. In her free time, Heather enjoys listening to live music, visiting science museums, and playing video games.

    Heather Sherr

    Writing Fellow

    View Heather Sherr’s Collection

    Heather Sherr is an MPH candidate at Boston University School of Public Health, studying epidemiology and biostatistics with a concentration in chronic and non-communicable diseases. Her public health interests are informed by her background in developmental biology, genetics, and biological anthropology. In her free time, Heather enjoys listening to live music, visiting science museums, and playing video games.

    Jude Sleiman headshot

    Jude Sleiman is an MPH candidate at Boston University School of Public Health, studying epidemiology, biostatistics, and global health programs. Informed by her extensive travel and experiences living in four diverse countries, Jude is dedicated to understanding how health is perceived and addressed across different cultures. She is passionate about leveraging data-informed health policy to enhance health outcomes worldwide. In her free time, she enjoys exploring new destinations, delving into the latest romance and mystery books, and binging her favorite TV shows.

    Jude Sleiman

    Writing Fellow

    View Jude Sleiman’s Collection

    Jude Sleiman is an MPH candidate at Boston University School of Public Health, studying epidemiology, biostatistics, and global health programs. Informed by her extensive travel and experiences living in four diverse countries, Jude is dedicated to understanding how health is perceived and addressed across different cultures. She is passionate about leveraging data-informed health policy to enhance health outcomes worldwide. In her free time, she enjoys exploring new destinations, delving into the latest romance and mystery books, and binging her favorite TV shows.

    Dani Weissert headshot

    Dani Weissert is an MPH candidate at Boston University School of Public Health, focusing on global health and maternal and child health. She cares deeply about sexual and reproductive health justice, rural health, the ethics of program delivery, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) issues. In her free time, she enjoys reading, rock climbing, and being outdoors.

    Dani Weissert

    Writing Fellow

    View Dani Weissert’s Collection

    Dani Weissert is an MPH candidate at Boston University School of Public Health, focusing on global health and maternal and child health. She cares deeply about sexual and reproductive health justice, rural health, the ethics of program delivery, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) issues. In her free time, she enjoys reading, rock climbing, and being outdoors.

    Jen Beard headshot

    Jennifer Beard, PhD, MA, MPH, is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Global Health and the Associate Editor of Public Health Post. She was a co-principal investigator for the multi-study Ghana Operations Research for Key Populations project, which focused on 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.

    Jennifer Beard

    Associate Editor

    View Jennifer Beard’s Collection

    Jennifer Beard, PhD, MA, MPH, is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Global Health and the Associate Editor of Public Health Post. She was a co-principal investigator for the multi-study Ghana Operations Research for Key Populations project, which focused on 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.

    Portrait of Michael Stein

    Michael Stein is the chair of the Department of Health Law, Policy & Management at Boston University School of Public Health, executive editor of Public Health Post, and author, most recently of the books Me vs Us: A Health Divided, Accidental Kindness: A Doctor’s Notes on Empathy, and The Turning Point: Reflections on a Pandemic with Sandro Galea. 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.

    Michael Stein

    Executive Editor

    View Michael Stein’s Collection

    Michael Stein is the chair of the Department of Health Law, Policy & Management at Boston University School of Public Health, executive editor of Public Health Post, and author, most recently of the books Me vs Us: A Health Divided, Accidental Kindness: A Doctor’s Notes on Empathy, and The Turning Point: Reflections on a Pandemic with Sandro Galea. 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.

    a woman smiling at camera

    Mallory Bersi joined Public Health Post after several years of working as a writer in public health communications. She received her MPH from Boston University School of Public Health with a focus in health communication and promotion and maternal and child health. When she is not getting lost in a good book or (overly) invested in TV characters, she enjoys experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen.

    Mallory Bersi

    Managing Editor

    View Mallory Bersi’s Collection

    Mallory Bersi joined Public Health Post after several years of working as a writer in public health communications. She received her MPH from Boston University School of Public Health with a focus in health communication and promotion and maternal and child health. When she is not getting lost in a good book or (overly) invested in TV characters, she enjoys experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen.

    Since 2016, we’ve featured over 800 stories written by guest authors.

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    Latest News

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    person holding an animal collar, grieving. pet loss concept
    Fellow Dani Weissert view Whispers of Wagging Tails: Silent Shadows of Grief

    Whispers of Wagging Tails: Silent Shadows of Grief

    Grief after pet loss is not widely understood or respected. Allowing space for this grief can help others feel less alone.

    Despairing older man on a dark background
    Fellow Heather Sherr view Questioning Your Faith? Humility May Help

    Questioning Your Faith? Humility May Help

    As we age, we begin to question a lot, including our religion. Recent research points to humility as a tool to healthily navigate the process.

    Solitary defocused man in background with soft waving grass in an abstract, contemplative nature background - mental health concept
    Guest Author Caroline Efird view Understanding Mental Health Among Rural Populations

    Understanding Mental Health Among Rural Populations

    Cultural variations among Black and White rural populations deeply and uniquely impact their perceptions of mental health.

    Fellow Heather Sherr view A Toast to Health: Celebrating the Decline in Teenage Drinking

    A Toast to Health: Celebrating the Decline in Teenage Drinking

    Teenagers may be delaying drinking, with recent research showing a decline in adolescent alcohol use across all ages.

    Fellow Lia Musumeci view The Cost of Counting Sheep: Rethinking the Role of Medication

    The Cost of Counting Sheep: Rethinking the Role of Medication

    The sleep aid industry is booming, reflecting a troubling reliance on medication to get a good night's sleep.

    Guest Author Brandon Marshall view Rhode Island’s Dashboard Tools for Overdose Response

    Rhode Island’s Dashboard Tools for Overdose Response

    A three-step approach for building community-focused dashboards to increase accessibility of local health data and lead a data-driven response.

    Close-up image of a woman in sportswear mixing creatine powder into a protein shake after a workout
    Fellow Lia Musumeci view Creatine: A Multifaceted Supplement?

    Creatine: A Multifaceted Supplement?

    Creatine is a fitness supplement, made popular by social media. But is there enough evidence to support the claimed benefits?

    young man sitting on steps on street with head in hands
    Fellow Jude Sleiman view Lost Time

    Lost Time

    People of color who died by violence had 11-12 more potential years of life lost than their White counterparts.

    Rural hospital facility with a 'Closed' sign out front
    Fellow Dani Weissert view The Toll of Rural Hospital Closures

    The Toll of Rural Hospital Closures

    From economic decline and unemployment to worsening health outcomes, rural hospital closures harm the health of the surrounding community.

    "Observing Science" title and mission on dark grey background
    Guest Author Sandro Galea view What To Do When Science Gets It Wrong

    What To Do When Science Gets It Wrong

    On good faith science and the importance of understanding the context in which scientific work is accomplished.

    Lines of desks in an empty public school classroom
    Guest Author Micah Baum view How COVID-19 Affected U.S. Public School Enrollments

    How COVID-19 Affected U.S. Public School Enrollments

    The pandemic resulted in the largest decline in public school enrollment in history, with virtual learning districts facing the biggest drop.

    Young female shopper reading the label of a food product in a grocery store
    Guest Author Seth Berkowitz view Understanding Food Insecurity Risk in the U.S.

    Understanding Food Insecurity Risk in the U.S.

    Roughly 75% of food insecurity in the U.S. occurs in households with role-related risk factors, such as age, disability, or job loss.

    Distressed white grainy texture over black background
    Fellow Jude Sleiman view Flickering Flames, Lingering Threats

    Flickering Flames, Lingering Threats

    While use of flame retardants has steadily declined, products of the past and present may pose lasting concerns for the health of the public.

    Fellow Lia Musumeci view Do More, Worry Less: Climate Change Anxiety

    Do More, Worry Less: Climate Change Anxiety

    Among students surveyed about climate anxiety, those actively participating in climate activism reported fewer symptoms of major depression.

    Fellow Lia Musumeci view Automobility: The High Cost of Convenience

    Automobility: The High Cost of Convenience

    Despite the problems associated with cars and driving, including increased air pollution and traffic accidents, both individuals and cities continue to prioritize cars over public health.

    Pouring hot tea into white ceramic tea cup sitting on a saucer
    Fellow Lia Musumeci view Tea Time

    Tea Time

    For many, drinking tea is a sworn-by wellness method, but the realities of tea may have a darker side, with little transparency about sourcing and a shortage of reliable information about what is actually in your cup.

    Large number of packed bottled drinking water with blue caps
    Fellow Jude Sleiman view Thirsty for Change: Unveiling the Microscopic Threat in Our Drinking Water

    Thirsty for Change: Unveiling the Microscopic Threat in Our Drinking Water

    Compared to tap water, bottled water in both plastic and glass bottles contains consistently higher levels of microplastic particles.

    Low angle of sidewalk in city in sunny day
    Guest Author Emily D'Agostino view Youth Fitness Disparities: Why Neighborhoods Matter

    Youth Fitness Disparities: Why Neighborhoods Matter

    Youth who live in neighborhoods with more resources, including high walkability and ample green space, tend to be the most physically fit.

    high angle image of a new mother breastfeeding her infant
    Guest Author Laura Diaz view Understanding the Challenges of Breastfeeding

    Understanding the Challenges of Breastfeeding

    There are many benefits to breastfeeding, but racial, economic, and educational disparities make doing so difficult for some new parents.

    Fellow Dani Weissert view Unlocking Understanding: Sex Ed for Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

    Unlocking Understanding: Sex Ed for Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

    Young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities receive less sexual education than their neurotypical peers. Many believe parents should play a bigger role in filling in the education gaps.

    Fellow Heather Sherr view The Weight of Women’s Health Insurance

    The Weight of Women’s Health Insurance

    Insurance status is deeply connected to birth weight, with uninsured pregnant women more likely to have a low-birth-weight birth.

    Fellow Dani Weissert view Charting Change: OBGYN Residency Post-Roe

    Charting Change: OBGYN Residency Post-Roe

    Following the Dobbs decision, OBGYN residency applications in states with abortion bans and gestational limits decreased.

    Fellow Dani Weissert view Confronting the Challenges of Breastfeeding with a Disability

    Confronting the Challenges of Breastfeeding with a Disability

    Mothers with disabilities were less likely to receive information about breastfeeding from their providers and were less likely to breastfeed their infants in the first few months postpartum than mothers without disabilities.

    Whitney S. Rice headshot
    Fellow Dani Weissert view Whitney S. Rice

    Whitney S. Rice

    Whitney S. Rice, assistant professor at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and director of the Center for Reproductive Health Research in the Southeast (RISE), speaks about her work to advance reproductive health.

    Fellow Heather Sherr view Kimberly Bertrand

    Kimberly Bertrand

    Kimberly Bertrand, a cancer epidemiologist in the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University and co-investigator with the Black Women’s Health Study, shares about her work and some of the key findings from the study to date.

    Fellow Jude Sleiman view The Lesser-Known Killer

    The Lesser-Known Killer

    Nearly 83% of alcohol-related cancer deaths could be averted if adults who drink reduced their alcohol consumption to align with dietary recommendations.

    Fellow Jude Sleiman view Channeling Health

    Channeling Health

    Television viewing in young adulthood, as well as increasing TV time with age, are associated with a higher risk of heart disease and related health concerns.

    Fellow Heather Sherr view Brick by Brick: Vaccine Clinics in Schools

    Brick by Brick: Vaccine Clinics in Schools

    School-hosted clinics improved access to the COVID-19 vaccine, but vaccine hesitancy may have prevented families in disadvantaged neighborhoods from getting vaccinated.

    Doctor conducting cancer screening on patient
    Fellow Heather Sherr view The Missing Case of Cancer Screening Data

    The Missing Case of Cancer Screening Data

    The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many routine health care visits, including cancer screenings, resulting in an undercounting of cancer diagnoses.

    Woman with cancer sitting in a natural space
    Guest Author Mary C. White view It's Time to Update Our Approach to Cancer Prevention

    It’s Time to Update Our Approach to Cancer Prevention

    Cancer is a disease that affects communities, not just individuals, so efforts to prevent cancer should be community-based.

    About Us.

    Public Health Post is a daily population health publication written by Boston University School of Public Health students and leading public health experts. Every day, we spotlight critical intersections in public health and social justice to advance conversations about health in the United States.

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