Dr. Patricia I. Documet

Associate Professor

LocationPittsburgh, PA

Preferred pronounshe/ella

Email address

Telephone number4127284146


Headshot of Patricia I. Documet

Biographical information

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, at the University of Pittsburgh. I was trained as a pediatrician in Peru. I hold a Master’s of Public Health, a Certificate in Latin American Studies, and a Doctor of Public Health degree. I have been doing research with Latinos in Western Pennsylvania since 1998. My research on access to care showed the powerful role social relationships have in obtaining care and making health care decisions among Latinos. Building on these results and my interest in the nexus of cancer and culture I obtained funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Health to study the perspectives of low-income African American, Appalachian, Amish and Latino women on breast and cervical cancer screening. One of my key findings was that Latinas welcome opportunities to attend screening appointments with their friends. Interventions based on natural social networks make sense within the collectivist Latino culture, where the influence of social networks has been shown to determine health care utilization. Later, I have continued working in applying the power of social connection using interventions with community health workers (promotores) with men, and with families. Recently I have been piloting a series of support group sessions to promote mental health among Latino youth. I am President of the Board of Casa San Jose, a resource center for Latinos in Pittsburgh. As an educator, I strive to promote inclusivity in educational policies and in the classroom. Finally, as the director of the HRSA-funded Mid-Atlantic Regional Public Health Training (MAR-PHTC), it is my goal to improve community health by having a soundly trained public health workforce.