Patricia I Documet

  • Associate Professor, Behavioral,Community Health Sciences

From Public Health at Pitt

Education is an integral part of all that I do as a faculty member. My focus is on the influenceof social relationships on health among disempowered minorities, especially Latinos.My ultimate goals are 1) to increase health equity by using social network andparticipatory theories to train researchers and practitioners, especially thosefrom disadvantaged groups, and 2) to empower communities. The research Iconduct contributes to scientific development, and also enriches my in-classinstruction. Over time, my studies have become increasingly participatory, enablingme to involve students in data collection and analysis as well as incollaborative design.  Most of my currentwork involves peer support or community health workers (CHW). For seven years Ihave been associated with the Latino Engagement Group for Salud (LEGS), a coalition comprised of community members andorganizations working with Latinos, focused on community-based participatoryinitiatives. Together, we have completed an assessment of the health of Latinoimmigrant men and have implemented a male promotores(CHW) network in Pittsburgh. Trainedpromotores have assisted participants in building community connections andobtain health services. Our team continues working with the LEGS in newinitiatives. In the same vein, I am collaborating with faculty across campus inimplementing a CHW intervention to prevent obesity among Latino children. In anotherstudy, I have been testing an innovative method for cancer screening amongLatinas that takes advantage of established social relationships. With theViolence Prevention Initiative, I participate in reviewing all Allegheny Countyhomicides to find suitable points of intervention. We are now implementingGRIPS, a trauma unit-based intervention, where CHW offer support and conflictresolution to gunshot victims. My research interests include social relationships, cancer, breastfeeding, racial and ethnic disparities,evaluation, violence and global health.