Jessica LaRose, a woman with blond hair wearing a suit, stands on a staircase

A Message from the Chair

Our department strives to advance health as a human right for all. We pursue our mission through educational programs, collaborative and community-engaged research, and our efforts to translate academic research into policy and sustainable programming.

Our faculty are a highly successful research powerhouse using their talents to promote systemic changes and improve the health and wellbeing of all individuals, particularly those who are marginalized or disadvantaged here in the U.S. and globally. In addition to a robust portfolio of extramurally funded research, our dedicated faculty and students are leading the way with respect to real world impact—in neighborhoods, hospitals, schools, and via policy evaluation. Training the next generation of thought leaders who will shape our world for the better is a central part of our mission, which we do primarily through our doctoral programs in Healthcare Policy and Research and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Our HBP alumni are at the forefront of academia, government and public policy, as well as the private sector.

The university as a whole, and HBP in particular, is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion—VCU was recently awarded the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award. My personal mission is that as a department, HBP will live this out each day by providing a warm, inclusive, and welcoming environment for trainees and all team members where they can thrive and reach their full potential.

What inspired me to take on the role of Interim Department Chair is our people—across the board our faculty, staff, and students are committed to making the world a better place through cutting edge research, education, and service. I encourage you to explore our website and learn more about our ongoing research and graduate programs. We hope you’ll consider joining us in our mission to improve health for all. 

Jessica LaRose, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Health Behavior and Policy