Turning great ideas into healthier communities


75 for 75

April 24, 2018

This year, the UC Berkeley School of Public Health celebrates its 75th anniversary. Over that span, UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health (SPH) has contributed important research that has shaped the field and practice of public health, stewarded some of our most influential public health scholars through its health programs, and created better health here in the Bay Area and around the world. 


As part of its celebration of this milestone anniversary, Berkeley is honoring 75 of its most influential public health alumni over its history, all of whom have made enormous contributions to public health. Many of PHI’s partners, allies and collaborators were honored in this group of 75, and we send deeply deserved congratulations to each of them for their recognition.  


Seven of PHI’s current and former staff and board members were also among this group, including PHI’s CEO and President, Mary A. Pittman. We'd like to share some of their contributions with you, and thank UC Berkeley SPH for shepherding them through their doors and launching them on their path to making the world a better, healthier and more equitable place for all of us.


Congratulations to UC Berkeley School of Public Health, all of its alumni, and each of the 75 honorees! 



Dr. Pittman is a nationally recognized leader in improving community health, addressing health inequities and promoting prevention and quality of care. Her significant experience in both public health and health care settings has made her an expert and adviser in the field of population health, and a leader in efforts to re-vision how diverse stakeholders can work together to build healthier people, stronger hospitals and more strategic investments.

Mary Pittman, President and CEO, Public Health Institute

Mary A. Pittman, DrPH, is chief executive officer and president of the Oakland-based Public Health Institute (PHI), one of the country’s largest and oldest non-profit public health organizations. Under her leadership, PHI has expanded their global portfolio, increased their policy and advocacy work, expanded their research portfolio and launched a Population Health Innovation Lab. During her tenure, PHI was twice recognized as one of the 50 best nonprofit places to work in the nation. She is a member of the HHS Secretary’s Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030 and the National Academy of Sciences Roundtable on Population Health Improvement. She chairs the National Network of Public Health Institutes, and serves on the board of groups including the UC Berkeley School of Public Health Dean’s Advisory, Loma Linda University, Institute for Health Policy and Leadership Advisory Council and Charles Drew University, College of Medicine, Dean’s Advisory Council. Before joining PHI, Pittman headed the Health Research and Educational Trust, an affiliate of the American Hospital Association, from 1993 to 2007. Previously, she was president and CEO of the California Association of Public Hospitals and a director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Pittman has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals and two books. She is chair of the board for the National Network of Public Health Institutes. Pittman also serves on boards and committees including the University of California (UC) Center for Collaborative Research for an Equitable California, Advancing the Movement Advisory Council, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize Advisory Group and the Build Healthy Places Network National Advisory Council. She received her doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, and master’s degrees from UC Berkeley in public health and city and regional planning



For 25 years, Dr. Dorfman has led an amazing team that has studied the news on public health and trained thousands of advocates who are changing public health policy all over the country.


Lori Dorfman, DrPH, was BMSG's first associate director in 1993 and became director in 1998. She earned her doctorate in 1994 from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health, where she studied how television news frames health issues. Dorfman oversees BMSG's research, media advocacy training, strategic consultation, and education for journalists and consults with programs across the U.S. on a variety of public health issues, helping them apply the principles of media advocacy. Her research examines media portrayals of public health issues, including children's health, food and beverage marketing, nutrition, breastfeeding, violence, and alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. She co-authored the major texts on media advocacy: Media Advocacy and Public Health: Power for Prevention and News for a Change: An Advocate's Guide to Working with the Media; she edited Reporting on Violence: A Handbook for Journalists, which encourages journalists to include a public health perspective in violence reporting and led an interdisciplinary team that conducted workshops on violence reporting for newspapers and local TV news stations. She teaches a course on mass communication at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health. Dorfman co-chairs the Food Marketing Workgroup, a national coalition dedicated to eliminating harmful food marketing.



In 2014, Paul and his team at Tracking CA released a report revealing that over a half million schoolchildren in CA go to school where agricultural pesticides of public health concern are applied within a quarter mile of the school boundary.  Subsequent to the report’s release, the CA Dept of Pesticide Regulation released new regulations restricting the use of certain agricultural pesticides near schools and day care centers. The Tracking CA team, along with community partners and the University of Washington, created the largest community air monitoring network in the U.S. in Imperial County, CA, which was influential in the 2017 passage of AB 617, which requires local air quality districts to work with communities to conduct local air monitoring.


Dr. English is currently Senior Branch Science Advisor for the Environmental Health Investigations Branch of the California Department of Public Health. He has had over 20 years’ experience working in environmental public health for the CDPH, focusing on health effects of pesticides, public health impacts of climate change, environmental health issues at the U.S./Mexico border, and environmental health surveillance. He has been dedicated to responding to community needs and concerns regarding environmentally-related disease by integrating environmental epidemiology, health education, community participation, geographic information systems and spatial methodologies. Dr. English is principal investigator of Tracking California, which takes a community-based approach to develop surveillance systems for environmental hazards, exposures, and environmentally-related chronic disease. Dr. English and his team focus on research which will have impacts on environmental health policy. They have worked on citizen science projects, in particular assisting community members in developing the capacity to monitor the air quality in their neighborhoods. Dr. English has conducted climate change population vulnerability assessments, in particular the effects of heat waves. He also served as principal investigator of a Health Impact Assessment of California’s cap and trade regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He has served as an advisor to the World Health Organization in developing climate-sensitive health indicators and was an invited expert for the Indian Institute of Public Health training South Asian nations on developing heat alert action plans. Dr. English received his Master’s in Public Health and Doctorate in Epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley and has published extensively in the peer-reviewed literature.



Dr. Rudolph designed and implemented the groundbreaking California Health in All Policies (HiAP) Task Force, a model for HiAP implementation around the world. She co-founded the US Climate and Health Alliance and initiated the California Occupational Health Program. 


Linda Rudolph, MD, MPH, is the Director of the Center for Climate Change and Health at the Public Health Institute. The Center promotes healthy and equitable climate solutions, builds climate and health capacity in local health departments, trains health professionals, and hosts the US Climate and Health Alliance. Dr. Rudolph previously served as Deputy Director for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the California Department of Public Health, Health Officer/Public Health Director for the City of Berkeley, Chief Medical Officer for MediCal Managed Care, and Medical Director for the California Workers' Compensation program. She received her MD from UC San Francisco, and an MPH and BA from UC Berkeley. 

Dr. Rudolph served as founding chair of the California Health in All Policies Task Force, and is the lead author of Health in All Policies: A Guide for State and Local Health Departments. The Task Force and the Guide have served as catalysts for the spread of Health in All Policies approaches in local and state governments across the U.S. Linda also convened the Climate Action Team Public Health Workgroup. She was a 2013 White House Champion of Change for climate change and health. 



Dr. Brindis’ research has been instrumental in: establishing requirements to provide evidence-based, comprehensive sex education to students throughout California; the delivery of high quality, culturally responsive family planning services to low income women and adolescents throughout the state; and creating health care coverage for undocumented children and adolescents in California. Recommendations from the Institute of Medicine's Clinical Preventive Services for Women Committee, on which Dr. Brindis served, were incorporated into the Affordable Care Act. As a result, in 2016, over 55 million women were able to access birth control without co-payment across the U.S. 

Claire Brindis, UCSF
PHI Board Member, 2012-2018

Claire Brindis, DrPH, MPH, is a Professor of Pediatrics and Health Policy, Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Health Sciences Policy and Director of the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). As a bilingual, bi-cultural researcher, Dr. Brindis’ research and personal commitment focuses on ameliorating the impact of social, health, and economic disparities among ethnic/racial populations, with a particular focus on women, young adults, and adolescents and reproductive health. Her policy research focuses on how disparities impact health outcomes, including access to quality care and health insurance coverage, as well as examining the impact of migration and acculturation on Latino/as’ health, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. Research interests also include consumer engagement in health care system re-design, tracking the implementation of the Affordable Care Act on adolescents and young adults, effective substance abuse treatment strategies, with a special lens on women’s health, and strategies for closing the gap between evidence-based innovation and its application to policy and programs. In the interface between research and public policy, Dr. Brindis is often called upon to help a variety of community groups, local, state, and the federal government, and international entities in helping to translate research findings for purposes of policy planning and development of new program interventions. Dr. Brindis co-authored Advocacy and Policy Change Evaluation: Theory and Practice (Stanford Press, 2017).  Dr. Brindis is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) of the National Academies of Science and was recently elected to the NAM Council. Among other honors, she received UCSF’s Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award in 2016.



Dr. Iton’s primary focus includes health of disadvantaged populations and the contributions of race, class, wealth, education, geography, and employment to health status. As both the director and County Health Officer for the Alameda County Public Health Department, Dr. Iton oversaw the creation of an innovative public health practice designed to eliminate health disparities by tackling the root causes of poor health that limit quality of life and lifespan in many of California’s low-income communities.

Anthony Iton, Senior Vice President for Healthy Communities at The California Endowment

Anthony Iton, M.D., J.D., MPH, is Senior Vice President for Healthy Communities at The California Endowment. In the fall of 2009, Dr. Iton began to oversee the organization’s 10-year, multimillion-dollar statewide commitment to advance policies and forge partnerships to build healthy communities and a healthy California. Dr. Iton served for seven years as the Alameda County Public Health Department Director and Health Officer where he oversaw a budget of $112 million with a focus on preventing communicable disease outbreaks and reducing the burden of chronic disease and obesity. He has worked as an HIV disability rights attorney at the Berkeley Community Law Center, a health care policy analyst with Consumers Union West Coast Regional Office, and as a physician and advocate for the homeless at the San Francisco Public Health Department.

Dr. Iton’s primary focus includes health of disadvantaged populations and the contributions of race, class, wealth, education, geography, and employment to health status. His awards include the Champion of Children Award from the United Way and the National Association of City and County Health Officials Award of Excellence for the use of information technology in public health. In February 2010, Dr. Iton was recognized by the California Legislative Black Caucus with the Black History Month Legends Award and presented on the floor of the California State Assembly with a resolution memorializing his life’s work and achievements. Dr. Iton received his medical degree at Johns Hopkins Medical School and subsequently trained in internal medicine and preventive medicine at New York Hospital, Yale, and Berkeley and is board certified in both specialties. Dr. Iton also holds a law degree and a Master’s of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley and is a member of the California Bar.



During Ms. Jordan's tenure at the Dallas Medical Resource, she has addressed the Ebola crisis by coordinating the dissemination of accurate information to employers, assisted in the formulation of two major programs for increasing supplemental Medicaid funding of $25 Billion over five years, and addressed financial, governance and leadership issues at Parkland Health and Hospital System (the major public hospital system) resulting in its stabilization.

Margaret H. Jordan, President & CEO, Dallas Medical Resource

Ms. Jordan is President & CEO of Dallas Medical Resource, a consortium of leaders from the business and health care community organized to develop the region as a major center for health care and to address issues affecting the viability of the health care delivery system.  Formerly, she was Executive Vice President for Corporate Affairs at Texas Health Resources, Arlington, TX, a not-for-profit multi hospital healthcare system. She has been President & CEO of the Margaret Jordan Group, Vice President of Healthcare and Employee Services of Southern California Edison, Vice President and Regional Manager of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Texas, and Associate Regional Manager of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Oakland, CA. Ms. Jordan currently serves as a director of the James Madison, Montpelier Foundation, and the AT&T Performing Arts Center. She is a former director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. She is also a former director of several public companies, and national organizations including Mentor Corporation, VITAS Corporation, Eckerd Corporation, Reliant Pharmaceuticals, the American Hospital Association, the American Public Health Association and the Public Health Institute. She is founding director of the National Black Nurses Association. In Texas, she has been a director of many state and community organizations including the Dallas Museum of Art, the Texas Hospital Association, the Metropolitan United Way, the Women’s Museum and the YWCA. She has received numerous prestigious awards during her professional career including 2017 DFW Hospital Council, Distinguished Health Service Award, Distinguished Alumnus, Georgetown University, School of Nursing and Alumni of the Year, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley. In 2012, she was presented the Dallas Historical Society’s Community Service Award in Health Services/Science. She received the Urban League of Greater Dallas’ Whitney M. Young Jr. Humanitarian Award, the 2004 Maura Award recipient, the 2007 Texas Trailblazer Award by The Family Place of Dallas, and the 2008 Dallas County Medical Society, Millard J. and Robert L. Heath Award. Ms. Jordan earned an MPH from the University of California Berkeley and a BSN from Georgetown University and is a graduate of the Advance Management Program, Harvard University, School of Business.