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Joe Bianco, Ph.D., to chair Social Medicine

June 20, 2023

Nagesh Rao, Ph.D., has decided to step down as chair of the Department of Social Medicine and return to full-time professorship within the department. In light of this development, I am pleased to announce that Joe Bianco, Ph.D., will assume the role of chair of the Department of Social Medicine, effective July 1, 2023.

Joe has been a part of the Heritage College since 2008, when he entered the Department of Family Medicine as a research assistant professor. He served as a research scientist in the former Department of Geriatrics/Gerontology from 2009 to 2011 and joined the Department of Social Medicine in 2011, where he was tenured and promoted to associate professor in 2018. He was appointed associate chair of the department in 2021. He is also affiliated with the Diabetes Institute and the Appalachian Institute to Advance Health Equity Science (ADVANCE).  

Joe’s prolific scholarship and teaching focus on understanding and raising awareness of the effects of psychological trauma on health, and he infuses this work with his passion for narrative, storytelling and the arts. He co-created and teaches a narrative medicine elective class, the Open Book Project, for first- and second-year medical students, in addition to serving as associate director of the Barbara Geralds Institute for Storytelling and Social Impact at Ohio University and co-host of the podcast Defining Moments.

I hope you will join me in thanking Nagesh for his truly outstanding and dedicated leadership of our Department of Social Medicine and congratulating Joe on this exciting new leadership role.