Faculty Highlight – Dr. Denise H. Britigan received her PhD in Health Education from the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio. She also holds an MA in Library and Information Science and a BS in Medical Technology. She was a member of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists for over 20 years, and has been a nationally certified health education specialist since 2008. Dr. Britigan also completed a two-year, inter-professional Certificate of Preparing Future Faculty program during her doctoral studies. She joined the College of Public Health (COPH) faculty in July 2011.
Dr. Britigan and Lea Pounds, PhD(c), developed the Social Marketing and Health Communication concentration in the UNMC COPH Master of Public Health program. They teach Introduction to Social Marketing and Health Communication, Applied Social Marketing, and Advanced Health Communication. Dr. Britigan enjoys teaching and has taught the following courses in the Health Promotion concentration as well: Interventions in Health Promotion, and Public Health Leadership and Advocacy.
Additionally, Dr. Britigan has developed guest lectures and workshops on Health Literacy and Health Communication. She has been a repeat guest lecturer in the College of Medicine’s Physician Assistant Studies program and in the School of Allied Health’s Physical Therapy program. She has also delivered her interactive, informative sessions on health literacy at over a dozen various public forums in Omaha and across Nebraska.
Dr. Britigan has served as the academic advisor, research mentor, and dissertation or capstone committee member/chair for 10 students in four departments. She is a co-founder of the statewide partnership Health Literacy Nebraska, which began in 2011. Dr. Britigan serves as a representative of Nebraska to the DHHS Region VII Health Literacy initiative, which includes Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas.
Dr. Britigan’s interests include working with the Nebraska Association of Local Health Directors on a Health Resources and Services Administration Rural Outreach grant to study and improve the health literacy skills and health communication skills of rural health department personnel. She is also collaborating on various NIH-funded research projects that include health communication, and on a local study on hand-off communication between emergency department and admitting service personnel.
Dr. Britigan is a member of the American Public Health Association and the Society of Public Health Educators. She currently serves on the following UNMC committees: Education Development Initiative, Associate Member in the Eppley Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Faculty Senate Library Advisory Committee, Science Literacy Think Tank, Science Café Workgroup, and Search Committee for the new director of the McGoogan Library of Medicine. Within the COPH, Dr. Britigan serves as a leader for Strategic Plan Goal 8: Communication Council, a member of the COPH Graduate Committee, a member of the Faculty Advisory Board for the Center for Reducing Health Disparities, and editor-in-chief of The GroundBreaker, the electronic newsletter for the COPH.
Outside of her professional duties, Denise is a member of International P.E.O. and UNMC’s Faculty Women’s Club. At a state and national level, Dr. Britigan serves as the American Association of University Women Nebraska Membership vice president, and as one of two delegates from Nebraska to Drexel University’s national initiative Vision 2020: Equality in Sight.
Denise H Britigan, MA, PhD, CHES, is an assistant professor in the UNMC COPH Department of Health Promotion, Social and Behavioral Health.