New Faculty Members Join The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

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The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health Department of Health Policy & Management (GSPH-HPM) recently introduced two new faculty members who joined the department in September 2011.

Jagpreet Chhatwal, Ph.D.

Jagpreet Chhatwal, Ph.D. holds a joint appointment at GSPH-HPM and the Swanson School of Engineering in the Industrial Engineering Department. Chhatwal received his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His thesis focused on improving the practice of breast cancer diagnosis by reducing unnecessary biopsies. He developed advanced mathematical models to help radiologists determine the risk of breast cancer and the optimal time to recommend a biopsy. This research won him several awards from the medical, as well as the operations research community. After completing his PhD, he worked for Merck Research Laboratories as a health economist focusing in the area of infectious diseases and vaccines.  Dr. Chhatwal joined the University of Pittsburgh in order to pursue his goal of integrating medicine with operations research to form better clinical and public health policies. He also plans to collaborate with the VA Pittsburgh Health Systems to make healthcare operations more efficient. Additionally, Dr. Chhatwal expects to develop two new graduate courses on cost-effectiveness analysis and operations research methods in healthcare for the next academic year.

Julia Driessen, Ph.D.

Julia Driessen, Ph.D. did her undergraduate work at The University of Michigan, where she majored in math and economics. She then completed her Ph.D. in Economics at Johns Hopkins University. Her thesis, titled “The Impact of Health Interventions on Fertility and Education: New Evidence”, was a study of secondary data to evaluate the socioeconomic effects of vaccination and family planning programs in Bangladesh. Dr. Driessen’s position at Pitt will allow her continue her research on Bangladesh, in addition to collaborating on work with other faculty members to examine the long-term socioeconomic effects of health interventions. Her future goals include the application of her econometric analysis of health programs to other regions of the world. Dr. Driessen also expects to begin teaching at the Graduate School of Public Health in the next academic year.