Making a local and global impact
The Department of Social Medicine is an interdisciplinary department comprised of social scientists, humanities scholars and physicians. We study the dynamic interplay of people, culture, the environment and their impact on health care delivery and health outcomes. Our teaching, research and service inform medical students, health professionals and the public about factors affecting clinical decision making, the social responsibilities of health care providers, the social determinants of health and illness, and health policy and politics.
Chair, Nagesh Rao
Associate Chair, Joe Bianco
Administrative Specialist, Cassie Tritipo
Our department has active research and teaching expertise in the following areas:
- Clinical prevention and population health
- Cultural competence and health care
- Epidemiology of diabetes and cardiovascular disease
- Evidence-based medicine
- Gerontology and geriatrics
- Global warming, climate change and health
- Health in Appalachia
- Health policy
- International health and medicine
- Maternal and child health
- Medical decision making
- Medical ethics
- Reproductive health
- Stress, nutrition and aging
- Sustainability and urban environments
Our faculty's disciplines include:
- Biological anthropology
- Experimental psychology
- Family studies
- Health psychology
- History of medicine
- Interpersonal communication
- Social psychology
Global Health Initiative
Students, faculty and staff experience impactful research, education and outreach activities abroad and in immigrant communities in the U.S. to truly understand global health issues and increase multicultural awareness.
November 2, 2022The Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine will start work on a new facility on the Athens campus dedicated to translational research.Read More
Study: Disrupting growth hormone receptor gene in adipose tissue increases lifespan in miceNovember 2, 2022A study of mice led by Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and Edison Biotechnology Institute researchers has shown that stopping the activity of growth hormone (GH) in fat cells can improve health and increase lifespan.Read More
Board approves creation of two new centers within OMNINovember 2, 2022The Ohio University Board of Trustees approved the creation of two new centers, the Injury and Pain Research Center and the Center for Healthy Aging, both housed within the Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute (OMNI).Read More
May 2, 2022
TCC student Kevin Pan, OMS III, stepped up to the plate as a high school baseball coach before coming to the Heritage College. Now he'll be stepping across the graduation stage.
May 2, 2022
Alicia Rodgers, OMS IV, discusses the importance of holding true to faith throughout life's challenges, and coming out of the other side a stronger person, student and doctor.
April 25, 2022
Andrew Williams, OMS-IV, discusses his childhood, his upcoming role as HCOM Class of 2022 commencement speaker, and the special connection with his grandmother that led him to the career he is about to step into.
April 25, 2022
The student creators and hosts of the podcast "Impersonating Doctors," fourth year students Nicole Siliko and Ana Aguilar, discuss the inspiration for the series, their favorite topics to talk about and their academic beginnings.
April 19, 2022
On April 16, the Heritage College's first annual Public Service Day was held. The event was hosted by the SGA Student Directors of Community Outreach, who share more details about the many volunteer activities that took place on each campus.
March 17, 2022
Since she was a young child, Kiara Patton wanted to become a doctor. As she pursued her dream, she didn't think about becoming a leader. But that's just what she has done, working within and outside the college to promote resiliency and empowerment.
February 23, 2022
Keshee' Harris took a nontraditional path to medical school, and along the way she became acutely aware of the disparities in the medical field. Now, she has advice for those who may not have the confidence to pursue their dream of becoming a physician.
February 8, 2021
Members of the Heritage College chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society have created a video series as part of an anti-racism campaign. Two student leaders share more about the project.
June 19, 2020
Ryan Clopton-Zymler, assistant director of our Office of Inclusion at the Heritage College, Cleveland, shares information about Juneteenth, including the importance of the day and ideas for celebrating it.
June 3, 2020
Systemic racism and police brutality against Black people have always been public health issues. The Heritage College continues to stand against racism and commits to creating an anti-racist culture. Read a statement from Chief Inclusion Officer Tanisha King-Taylor, Ph.D.
May 11, 2020
Much media attention earned by the Heritage College comes from faculty discoveries relating to the anatomy of a range of vertebrate animals. What does this have to do with the mission of an osteopathic medical school? More than you might imagine.
April 27, 2020
With so many workplaces and classrooms going online during the coronavirus crisis, it's a good time to review some guidelines that can help ensure an engaging and inclusive culture remotely.
April 9, 2020
Podcasting is filling up more and more of the world’s listening bandwidth, with shows discussing every conceivable topic. Alert to this trend, some Heritage College faculty members are using podcasts to enlighten listeners on important health care issues.
April 3, 2020
Pon Ti Cruise, D.O., a 2019 Heritage College graduate, shares her very personal experience with COVID-19, both as a resident physician battling the pandemic and as a mom.
March 19, 2020
E. Scott Wong, Ph.D., OMS-IV, past SGA president and national representative, spoke to our fourth-year students during a videoconference with college leadership this week to discuss how clinical education will play out during the COVID-19 pandemic.
February 24, 2020
Over more than 40 years, Harold Thompson III, D.O., has earned a place in the history of both southeast Ohio and the Heritage College as an engaged community doctor, medical educator, pioneer of diversity and mentor to many future osteopathic physicians.
January 31, 2020
Faculty and staff from throughout our medical school and the Scripps College of Communication have developed the Open Book Project, a unique program grounded in narrative medicine that’s part of a larger movement to embrace diversity, cultivate inclusion and promote affiliation.
October 29, 2019
Graham Smith is neither a medical clinician nor a research scientist. But when the Heritage College hosted the third annual International Symposium on Growth Hormone and Metabolism, he attended to learn more about his daughter’s growth hormone (GH) deficiency.