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Health Behavior Scientist Appointed New Director of Stony Brook’s Public Health Program

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Health Behavior Scientist Appointed New Director of Stony Brook’s Public Health Program

Dr. Lisa Benz Scott heads Long Island’s only accredited Public Health Program

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, N.Y., June 13, 2012 –Lisa Benz Scott, Ph.D., has been appointed Director of Stony Brook University’s 
Graduate Program in Public Health (GPPH),
 announced Kenneth Kaushansky, M.D., Senior Vice President, Health Sciences, and Dean, Stony Brook University School of Medicine. Dr. Benz Scott also is an Associate Professor in the School of Health Technology and Management (SHTM), and in the Departments of Preventive Medicine and Medicine, Stony Brook University School of Medicine.

The GPPH offers a Masters in Public Health (MPH) program that is among 84 programs accredited by the 
Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)
. It is the only accredited Public Health program on Long Island. The GPPH faculty are nationally recognized experts in areas of public health research. The program attracts a competitive pool of outstanding students with diverse backgrounds, unified by a shared passion to improve quality of life locally or globally. Many of the students either work as practitioners in related fields or are in training concurrently, integrating an ecological understanding of health into careers in medicine, dentistry, business, nursing, social work and beyond.

“I am certain that the Graduate Program in Public Health at Stony Brook University will thrive and become one of the foremost training and research centers for public health,” says Dr. Kaushansky. “In her role as Director of the GPPH, I fully expect Lisa to continue to drive an ambitious research agenda, along with building an enriching educational environment.”


“It is an honor to be the Director of this exceptional program,” says Dr. Benz Scott. “One of the hallmarks of our program is that we create a learning environment that emphasizes a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to address the root causes of public health problems, while instilling the skills necessary to develop innovative and practical solutions effecting positive social change.”

The School’s MPH program includes one of three concentrations: Community Health, Evaluative Sciences, and Public Health Practice. There are also combined graduate programs: a combined MBA/MPH, a combined MPH/MAPP, a combined MD/MPH and a concurrent DDS/MPH. With the exception of applicants to the combined MPH/MBA and MPH/MAPP programs, the Public Health Practice concentration is open only to persons with a clinical degree or studying for a clinical degree such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, physical therapy, or physician assistant. 

Dr. Benz Scott first joined the SHTM faculty as a Clinical Assistant Professor in 2002, then later promoted to Associate Professor. She completed her post-doctoral research fellowship in inner city Baltimore with funding by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Community Health Scholars Program at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, focusing on community based participatory research. 

She earned her Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, in the Department of Health Policy and Management. Dr. Benz Scott completed her M.S. in Health Promotion from Purdue University and a B.A. degree in Psychology from Stony Brook University. 


Throughout her career, Dr. Benz Scott has focused on the impediments to meaningful public access to care for cardiac disease and disparities that affect women and racial/ethnic minorities.

She has contributed to many scholarly publications on the topic and has spearheaded a wide range of research initiatives in the SHTM, particularly in her role as Associate Dean for Research from 2006 to 2012. She has focused on research and professional service activities that target priority issues in community health and health care, including but not limited to access to outpatient cardiac rehabilitation programs, and the training of lay health advisors (as community health workers or patient navigators) to provide basic health education and support that will improve the use of quality health services among underserved communities.

Dr. Benz Scott has received numerous honors, including the American Academy of Health Behavior’s Presidential Commendation for outstanding service (as Chair of the 2011 Conference Planning Committee) and was the inaugural recipient of the Judy K. Black Early Career Health Behavior Research Award, in recognition of innovative and rigorous research that makes an important contribution to science or practice.

Most recently, Dr. Benz Scott was selected the 2011-12 recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service.

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