Diana Petitti MD, MPH ’81 is a clinical professor and the interim chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics at The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. She is a board-certified physician in General Preventive Medicine, as well as a productive researcher in epidemiology and preventive medicine that has made seminal contributions in the fields of women’s health and evidence-based medicine. As a distinguished expert in her field, she has served on committees for the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the World Health Organization and the Institute of Medicine (National Academic of Medicine).

On public health and the challenges we face

“Public health is responsible for almost all of the increase in life-expectancy over the last 75 years not only in California but in the world. It’s achievements are the main driver of improvements in the quality of peoples lives. The future challenge for public health is to continue to keep public health separate from medical care and to assure that the practitioners of public health are valued and rewarded for what they bring to the people of California and the world.”

Berkeley moment

“I loved the fact that being a student at the Berkeley School of Public Health permitted me not only to take excellent courses in the School of Public Health but also to take a course in computer programming in the College of Letters and Sciences and to sit in on numerous lectures on a wide range of topics just because I was there.” f

A change to one U.S. policy that would transform public health

“Add a policy that assures universal health coverage.”

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