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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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    Psychedelic acid trip vector in bright turquoise and black
    Fellow Lia Musumeci view Negative Impacts of Psychedelic Drugs

    Negative Impacts of Psychedelic Drugs

    While there is buzz about the potential benefits of using psychedelic drugs for mental health treatment, research shows that the risks may outweigh the rewards.

    An older woman wearing a surgical mask looks out of the window during the COVID-19 pandemic
    Fellow Jude Sleiman view Secluded In a Post-Pandemic World

    Secluded In a Post-Pandemic World

    Since the pandemic, older adults have struggled with re-entering society, raising concerns about the mental health impact of their isolation.

    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.

    Rearview shot of a young woman looking at a variety of products in a pharmacy aisle
    Fellow Dani Weissert view Menstrual and Intimate Care Product Disparities

    Menstrual and Intimate Care Product Disparities

    Women of color and women who are less educated are more likely to use hygiene products with added scents and other harmful ingredients.

    stressed health care worker sitting on the hospital floor
    Guest Author Katherine Meese view Mistreatment of Health Care Workers Is Our Problem

    Mistreatment of Health Care Workers Is Our Problem

    Health care workers in the United States are five times more likely to experience workplace violence than workers in any other profession.

    "Observing Science" title and mission on dark grey background
    Guest Author Sandro Galea view The Real Reward

    The Real Reward

    On fame, influence, and the power of recognition in science.

    Life preserver floating in water
    Fellow Abby Varker view Head Above Water

    Head Above Water

    Swimming lessons are a key protector against drowning, but unequal access leaves some children more vulnerable than others.

    A Little Free Library with books inside on a rural neighborhood street
    Fellow Dani Weissert view Improving Health Literacy One Book at a Time

    Improving Health Literacy One Book at a Time

    Little Free Libraries stocked with health-related books may be a promising way to promote health literacy in rural areas.

    "Observing Science" title and mission on dark grey background
    Guest Author Sandro Galea view Speaking Out

    Speaking Out

    On how and when scientists speak out and engage, pushing beyond peer review and into the public conversation.

    Yellow and white umbrella on a blue sky for protection from the sun on the beach
    Fellow Jude Sleiman view Burning Questions: Why U.S. Sunscreens Fall Short

    Burning Questions: Why U.S. Sunscreens Fall Short

    Only 1 in 4 sunscreens on the U.S. market offer sufficient sun protection and are free of concerning ingredients.

    Man trying to stay cool during a heat wave
    Fellow Jude Sleiman view Scorching Summers: Heat Waves Trigger Surge in ER Visits

    Scorching Summers: Heat Waves Trigger Surge in ER Visits

    Heat waves are becoming more frequent and severe, highlighting the need to prepare communities to stay cool against this looming threat.

    Fellow Heather Sherr view The Price of a Mani-Pedi

    The Price of a Mani-Pedi

    Nail salon technicians are constantly exposed to harmful chemicals, which can have a profound impact on their cognitive health and well-being.

    TitlePeople with raised hands, silhouettes of concert crowd in front of bright stage lights.
    Fellow Heather Sherr view Turning Down the Volume on Hearing Damage

    Turning Down the Volume on Hearing Damage

    Loud music at concerts and festivals can cause long-term hearing damage, and earplugs may offer a promising solution. If people wear them.

    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.

    Domestic violence and abuse concept
    Guest Author Alyssa Amendola view A Deadly Oversight: Unintended Consequences of Restricting Abortions

    A Deadly Oversight: Unintended Consequences of Restricting Abortions

    For women in violent relationships, an abortion can be the difference between finding freedom from or being tethered to an abuser.

    Hand drawn expressive abstract backgrounds in black and white. Concept for sexual health being under attack.
    Guest Author Madison Cheng view The Sexual Health of U.S. Youth Is Under Attack

    The Sexual Health of U.S. Youth Is Under Attack

    Youth voices are needed now more than ever to improve the sexual health of teens across the United States.

    Young woman sitting at table talking with doctor via telehealth appointment on her laptop
    Fellow Dani Weissert view Click to Care: Telehealth Abortion Services

    Click to Care: Telehealth Abortion Services

    Telehealth abortion services have become a pillar of reproductive care post-Dobbs, offering the unique benefit of receiving care at home.

    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.

    Shadow of a stressed, poverty-stricken man standing in alley
    Fellow Heather Sherr view The Chronic Challenges of Poverty

    The Chronic Challenges of Poverty

    People living in poverty are at an increased risk for chronic inflammation, a cause of symptoms linked to diseases like cancer and diabetes.

    woman wearing an exercise tracker tying shoe before getting some movement in
    Fellow Lia Musumeci view Movement Matters

    Movement Matters

    Incorporating just 500 steps of additional movement into each day can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease death by 7%.

    Young girl sitting on bed with continuous glucose monitor on arm checking blood sugar levels through phone
    Fellow Heather Sherr view Blood Sugar Blackouts in the Backcountry

    Blood Sugar Blackouts in the Backcountry

    Diabetic children living in rural areas have more difficulty accessing continuous glucose monitors, a convenient blood sugar management tool.

    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.

    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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