Department of Health Studies

Department of Health Studies

The Department of Health Studies is a vibrant and growing department that equips students with theoretical and empirical frameworks for understanding the social, cultural, environmental, biological, psychological, ethical, economic, legal, and policy contexts that shape individual and population health. Department alumni work in medicine and other clinical professions, public heath, healthcare policy and management, and many other health-related fields.

Major & MinorCourses
Nigel new Health Studies professor

Health Studies Welcomes New Faculty Member

Dr. Nigel James earned a dual title PhD in Health Policy and Administration and Demography from The Penn State University and an MPH from Thammesat University (Thailand). He previously worked for the UN Joint Program on HIV/AIDS, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the Department of Health in Zimbabwe. He will be teaching HS 101 Global Health in the fall and a new course HS 341 Comparative Health Systems in the spring. His research utilizes econometric and spatial analytical models to evaluate and address global health issues.
Fauci with students and Rick Mayes

Health Studies Students and Faculty attend Richmond Forum

Several students and professors from UR’s Department of Health Studies attended the Richmond Forum presentation by Dr. Anthony Fauci in March 2024. Fauci, the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), spoke about his desire from a young age to serve the greater good; his infectious disease research; and his decades-long career in government service.

The students were thrilled to be able to spend an evening with one of the most recognizable figures in public health. Matthew Karen ’24 was pleased that Fauci’s speech “affirmed the knowledge and values [he’d] gained from Health Studies courses.” Ella Karcewski ’26 appreciated Fauci’s emphasis on inequalities in health care both within the U.S. and internationally, explaining that “people are suffering disproportionately, and that is a dominant public health issue we need to address as future leaders in public health.” Ariana Sosa ’24 was encouraged by the audience’s expressions of support for public health action.

In addition to meeting Fauci, the students enjoyed sharing this experience with their professors. Evan Wolff ’24 thought this was a wonderful opportunity to take learning beyond the classroom and engage in powerful discussion after listening to a leader in the field noting that his favorite part of the evening was “debriefing after the talk with my professors and gaining new context for Dr. Fauci’s talking points.”


Dr. Kathryn H. Jacobsen
Jacobsen Published

Kathryn Jacobsen, William E. Cooper Distinguished University Chair and professor of health studies, published five Global Burden of Disease capstone papers on life expectancy, causes of death, nonfatal illnesses, risk factors, and interventions in The Lancet.

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Dr. Courtney Blondino
Blondino Published

Courtney Blondino, assistant professor of health studies, published "The use and potential impact of digital health tools at the community level: results from a multi-country survey of community health workers" in BMC Public Health.

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Dr. Kathryn H. Jacobsen
Jacobsen and Undergraduate Student Published

Kathryn Jacobsen, William E. Cooper Distinguished University Chair and professor of health studies, along with undergraduate student Katie Marchione, '25, published “Planetary Health Education in the United States: Four Curricular Models, One Goal” in International Journal of Environmental Health Research.

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Dr. Margaret Tait
Tait Published

Margaret Tait, assistant professor of health studies, published "Federal Student Loan Debt in Public Health and the Opportunities for Loan Repayment Programs" in Public Health Reports.

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Health Studies Events

Contact Us

Mailing address:
Department of Health Studies
Richmond Hall, Suite G21
114 UR Drive
Richmond, VA 23173

Phone: (804) 662-3034

Department Chair:  Dr. Rick Mayes

Academic Administrative Coordinator: Stephanie Fillman