YSPH possesses an uncommon ability to connect the widest possible range of people, disciplines, and ideas — within our school, across Yale, and beyond academia — to create innovative public health solutions that work. We’re a new breed of adventurous collaborators. We dream. We draw on every discipline. We consider every facet. We pursue groundbreaking talent, novel technology, and new knowledge, whatever its origin.
Amazing things happen when ideas take shape together… as you can see in these examples of how our adventurous collaborations impact lives.
A team of YSPH students and associates worked with Assistant Professor Krystal Pollitt, PhD, P.Eng, to develop the FreshAir Clip, a clip-on air sampler that detects exposure to airborne SARS-CoV-2 virus, other respiratory viruses, and thousands of airborne chemicals. The project brought together people and resources from Yale’s School of Public Health, School of Medicine, and School of Engineering Applied Science, and combined disciplines as diverse as epidemiology and chemical research.
Ijeoma Opara, PhD, LMSW, MPH, leads the Substance Abuse and Sexual Health (SASH) Lab. The SASH Lab, which includes graduate and doctoral students from Yale, instills pride in and elevates the strengths of teen Black girls, in a direct effort to reduce future rates of substance abuse and HIV. This noble work is a multidisciplinary combination of psychology, social work, epidemiology, and human development.
Expect With Me is a unique technology-enabled group model for prenatal care. Pregnant women participating in the program had a 58% lower risk of preterm births, a 63% lower risk of low-birthweight infants, and a 37% lower risk of newborns entering neonatal intensive care. Created by YSPH researchers Jessica Lewis, PhD, LMFT, and Jeannette Ickovics, PhD, Expect With Me combines expertise in information technology, counseling, and medicine. It is the product of partnerships with a major health insurer and two other universities.
In separate studies, Kai Chen, PhD, and Xi Chen, PhD, demonstrated eye-opening correlations between air pollution and depression and heart disease, and between weather conditions and the spread of COVID-19. Combining expertise in epidemiology, climate, economics, and health policy can yield fascinating results.
While on internship, Sreeja Kondeti (MPH ’22, Health Policy) uncovered opportunities that resulted in a state law allowing low-income, undocumented women to access prenatal care. In all of her work — in the field, in the classroom, in her career as a software engineer for a large health insurer — she effects change by combining her knowledge of and interest in the law, policy, data science, analysis, and social justice.
Anne Wyllie, PhD, and her team of experts combined epidemiology, community engagement, marketing operations, and logistics to create SalivaDirectTM, a breakthrough innovation and a critical tool for detecting COVID-19. SalivaDirect is the first direct PCR test for saliva. The test is fully deployed in 41 states, has helped reopen schools and is used by professional sports organizations.