The Next Giant Leap in Public Health

Faculty members are bringing diverse perspectives to public health at Purdue 

With a commitment to sustained advancement of diversity in research, thought and representation at Purdue, the Equity Task Force hired new faculty members in public health, health policy and health equity. In the fall 2022, 11 of them started their Boilermaker academic careers.  

Meet those part of a larger, multiyear hiring initiative that will expand our research, diversify faculty perspectives and promote a supportive community. 

Carlos Mahaffey

Examining the role culture plays in medical distrust

Carlos Mahaffey grew up knowing about the Tuskegee syphilis study, in which researchers did not obtain informed consent from the 600 Black male participants who were denied penicillin even after it became widely available. For many Black Americans, the serious ethical issues that arose from the experiment created a legacy of mistrust in the medical community.

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Afsan Bhadelia

‘Health care is a fundamental human right’

By the time she reached middle school, Afsan Bhadelia had lived in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America. With two parents trained in the medical field — her father is a neuroradiologist and her mother studied biomedicine — she gained early exposure to differences among health systems around the world.

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Andrea Hayes

Improving public health information literacy

Misinformation is rampant, and sometimes it’s difficult to separate fact from fiction. When it comes to public health, information literacy is critical to enable understanding and affirm credibility. “Information literacy is fundamental to public health,” says Andrea Hayes, an assistant professor and health and critical information literacy librarian in the Department of Libraries and School of Information Studies.

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