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BU Online Health Communications Masters program

Master of Science in Health Communication Boston University College of Communication and Metropolitan College

Leigh Curtin-Wilding

Leigh Curtin-Wilding

Lecturer; Director of the Online Master of Science in Health Communication

MS, Health Communication, Boston University; BA, Journalism/Mass Communications and Public Relations, University of Oklahoma

Courses: MET HC 761 Advanced Writing for Health Communicators

Ms. Curtin-Wilding is a proud graduate of Boston University’s Master of Science Health Communications program, and has served as a teaching facilitator for numerous MSHC courses since 2012. She’s also served the program in the capacities of liaison to BU’s Office of Disability Services and editorial consultant.

In 2015, Ms. Curtin-Wilding was appointed Director of Boston University’s MSHC program.

Ms. Curtin-Wilding leads a successful media and communications practice with more than two decades of varied project work in publishing, television, radio and consumer product industries. An accomplished writer, journalist, publicist and marketing communications specialist, she’s contributed work to Reader’s Digest, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Healthline Networks, GlaxoSmithKline, Avon, Save the Children and Pepsi-Cola International. Her recent work as digital content strategist and author for a retail health insurance website received an Award of Distinction from the Center for Plain Language in 2014.

Prior to establishing her consulting practice, Ms. Curtin-Wilding was a national public relations manager with Pepsi-Cola and also spent five years working in television, including as media representative for NBC’s TODAY show.

She’s a member of Boston Women Communicators and is listed in Who’s Who in American Women.

Advice for new students:

Don’t hesitate to reach out to your facilitator or instructor when you have questions. Try not to fall behind. Even a couple of days can be a tough setback when you’re facing numerous deliverables. The program’s pace is rigorous, but you’ll be surprised how quickly it flies by.

As a graduate of the program I would add that our faculty bring a vast amount of knowledge to students. Tap into this, and know you have the full resources of BU at your fingertips. We’re here to support you.

I started the program with little health industry knowledge. The MSHC has been a career-changer for me, and I believe it will be for you, too! Welcome!

Paul Buta

Paul Buta

Paul Buta is president of Choiceplex, delivering comprehensive marketing solutions for financial services, health care and retail companies. Prior to Choiceplex, he was Vice President of business development at Dendrite International, a provider of sales and marketing solutions to the pharmaceutical industry. Previously, he was co-founder of Optas, a software services company supporting relationship marketing in the pharmaceutical industry. He has also held management positions at IMS Health, AC Nielsen, Cognitive Systems and Dun & Bradstreet.
Currently focused on the intersection of social networks and privacy, Paul recently published the book Privacy Panic, helping consumers take charge of their personal privacy. Choiceplex clients seek to reach customers in this new environment, balancing privacy with personal service in a trusted relationship.

Cara M. Cheyette

Cara Cheyette

Cara’s interest in the areas of health law, bioethics and human rights began almost 30 years ago when she found herself questioning medical orthodoxy for her clients and her own family. As a law student, she delved into topics at the intersection of law, ethics and medicine from the very public question of the use of epidemiological evidence as a litigation tool, to the very private issue of harvesting organs from legally incompetent individuals.

As an attorney in private practice in Boston, Cara worked with minors in proceedings that determined whether they were sufficiently mature to give their informed consent to medical procedures. Later, as the Health Law, Bioethics and Human Rights Fellow at Boston University’s School of Public Health, Cara continued to focus her research in the areas of medical ethics, governmental intrusion into health care decision-making, and the proper balance of public and private rights in the health arena. Cara draws on all of her experience as a student, teacher, parent, lawyer, advocate, mediator, researcher, avid reader and writer to make HC754 a lively and challenging course for MET’s Health Communication students.


“Communitarianism and the Ethics of Communicable Disease: Some Preliminary Thoughts,” JOURNAL OF LAW, MEDICINE AND ETHICS, Vol. 39(4), Winter 2011: 678-689.

“Punishment Before Justice: Indefinite Detention in the U.S.”, PHYSICIANS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, June 2011 (lead author).

“The Public Trust Doctrine in New England: An Underused Judicial Tool,” NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT, Vol. 17, No. 2, Fall 2002 (with W. Lahey).

“Organ Harvests from the Legally Incompetent: An Argument Against Compelled Altruism,” BOSTON COLL. L. REV. 2000; 41: 465-515.

Pauline C. Hamel

Pauline C. Hamel

Pauline C. Hamel, Ed.D, PT has been teaching in the Master of Science in Health Communication program at Boston University since its inaugural semester in the Fall of 2008. Prior to this, she was a Clinical Professor and Director of Clinical Education in the Physical Therapy Department at Northeastern University's Bouve´ College of Health Sciences, in Boston, MA., where she was responsible for doctoral level clinical education internship placements, student mentoring, advisement, contract negotiations, and recruitment/development of physical therapy clinical sites across the country. She continues to teach as adjunct faculty in Northeastern's Health Sciences Department. For over 25 years, Dr. Hamel's professional career has included numerous roles as professor, clinician (physical therapist and rehabilitation/geriatric specialist), administrator, public speaker and consultant in both academia and the health care industry.

Dr. Hamel was named to the Board of Directors of Easter Seals Massachusetts in Fall 2009. Easter Seals provides disability services, advocacy, youth empowerment, employment, and assistive technologies across the lifespan to ensure that children and adults with disabilities have equal opportunities to "live, learn, work and play."

In partnership with the Department of Public Health, the New Bedford Health Department and leading health-funding foundations, Dr. Hamel was named the Project Coordinator for the New Bedford Mass in Motion Municipal Wellness and Leadership grant which includes community assessment schools, worksites, healthcare sites, community institutions/organizations, and the community-at-large to address childhood obesity and related chronic diseases through policy, systems and environmental change strategies.

More recently, she was hired as a Special Project Consultant to the Greater New Bedford Health Equity Initiatives Integration Project, acting as Liaison between the Greater New Bedford Health and Human Services Coalition, Mass in Motion, ACHIEVE, and Healthy People 2020 grants. Her work will include conducting area-wide town hall forums on the social determinants of health and their effects on health outcomes.

Dr. Hamel has also worked and consulted with patients/clients of all ages (with a specialization in older adults) in acute and subacute rehabilitation, community health, and home care settings in Boston, Cape Cod, and the New England area. She is currently a member of the American Public Health Association and the American Medical Writer's Association. While a member of the Education, Geriatric, and Health Policy/Administration Sections of the American Physical Therapy Association, she presented her work on health communication, health literacy, and geriatric rehabilitation at national and regional conferences, including the American Physical Therapy Association's national conferences, expositions and combined sections meetings in San Francisco, Denver, San Antonio, and Boston; as well as the Institute of Healthcare Advancement (IHA)'s National Health Literacy Conference in Irvine, CA, and the Medical Education for the 21st Century/Teaching for Health Equity conference in Havana, Cuba. Additionally, she has provided interviews on various areas of expertise, including a recent podcast on intergenerational health communication.

Wayne LaMorte

Wayne LaMorte

Dr. LaMorte received his MD from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and received a PhD in biochemistry and an MPH from Boston University. He has been a faculty member at Boston University for more than 20 years and currently teaches three courses in the School of Public Health: "Introduction to Epidemiology," "The Biology of Public Health," and "Introduction to Public Health". He is currently the Assistant Dean for Education at Boston University School of Public Health, and he is also the director of the MD-MPH dual degree program, the BS-MPH dual degree program, and the undergraduate public health minor at Boston University. Dr. LaMorte also teaches Evidence-based Medicine in the Boston University School of Medicine.

He has been actively involved in public health practice. He has worked actively with the New England Alliance for Public Health Workforce development to create and provide both online training and face to face training to public health practitioners in Massachusetts. Dr. LaMorte has also worked with high school students to develop videos promoting healthy choices by teens. These include videos on personal decisions on smoking, physical activity and healthy eating, and alcohol use.

Kristen Pufahl-Schreck

Kristen Pufahl-Schreck

Kristen Pufahl-Schreck works as a Registered Dietitian in the Nutrition Services program at Jewish Family & Children's Service in Waltham, Massachusetts. She develops nutrition programs, provides individual nutrition counseling, and educates staff, clients, and the community about healthy eating practices. She has also worked as a teaching fellow at Boston University, a high school nutrition teacher, an inpatient dietitian at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, an outpatient dietitian at Children's Hospital, and a private practice nutrition consultant.

Professor Pufahl-Schreck received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Georgetown University, after which she worked in the information technology consulting field. She received her Master of Science in Nutrition degree from Boston University's Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, and completed her dietetic internship at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. She was recently awarded the Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) Nutrition Fellowship in the Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine at Children's Hospital Boston.
Professor Pufahl-Schreck is a member of the American Dietetic Association and the Massachusetts Dietetic Association.

Stephen Quigley

Stephen Quigley

Professor Quigley just completed his tenth year teaching public relations at Boston University and his fourth year as faculty coordinator of the University's public relations program. Steve serves as co-coordinator of the Master of Science in Health Communication program along with Dr. Domenic Screnci.

In addition to teaching, Steve is a public relations consultant whose work is concentrated in the areas of media relations, public affairs, community relations, and crisis communication. Prior to launching a public relations consulting business, he was a partner with the Boston public relations firm of Schneider & Associates. He has provided strategic counsel and created public relations campaigns for a broad range of national and international clients.

Steve serves as faculty advisor to the Boston University chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America and was honored in 2009 with the establishment of the Stephen Quigley Public Relations Scholarship Fund in recognition of his "encouragement, guidance and inspiration to students aspiring to pursue a career in public relations." He is the recipient of the 2009 Boston University Student Activities Faculty Advisor of the Year Award, the Publicity Club of New England's 2006 John J. Malloy Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2004 Lyndon Baines Johnson Student Advisor of the Year Award, the 2004 COMSA Faculty Advisor of the Year Award, and is an Honorary Member of the Golden Key International National Honour Society.

Professor Quigley is an APR, a member of the National Commission on Public Relations Education and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Communication in Healthcare. Steve is past president of the Boston Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and a former delegate to the National PRSA Assembly. He is a frequent speaker at professional and industry conferences and seminars where his recent presentations have focused on the impact of social media on the practice of public relations. His writing and opinions have appeared in various business, trade and legal publications.

Jean van Seventer

Jean van Seventer

After finishing veterinary school, Dr. van Seventer worked as a small animal practitioner on Cape Cod, while assisting in research studies at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and the Marine Biological Laboratories in Woods Hole. Subsequently, she received research training as a Research Fellow in Comparative and Veterinary Pathology at Harvard Medical School, during which time she served as an Intern in Pathology at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital, and then as a Research Fellow in Pathology in the Immunopathology Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. van Seventer received further research training focused on immunology as a Fellow at the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute,in the Experimental Immunology Branch and the Laboratory of Pathology. After completing her training, she spent six years as an independent researcher at the University of Chicago, studying human T cell and dendritic cell biology. In 2000, Dr. van Seventer moved to the Boston University School of Public Health, where she now teaches and does immunology research.

Her ongoing research focuses on the role of type I interferons in regulating T cell and dendritic cell responses in human autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Tim Sullivan

Tim Sullivan

Professor Sullivan is a new faculty addition but well known to the Boston University Master’s in Health Communication Program serving as a lead facilitator and facilitator since the program was launched, working on over two dozen courses. He brings over 15 years experience in Distance Education working on multi-media content design and development for both online and satellite broadcast courses.

He has worked in television production on children’s programming, news and freelance production in a variety of roles from director to stage manager and crew member. He combined his television production background with a Master’s in Advertising from Boston University which led to his current career as Director of Communications for the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network and Partners Continuing Care based in Boston. Tim oversees external and internal communications and public relations for 6 inpatient facilities, 23 outpatient centers and a Harvard Medical teaching affiliate.

In his eight years in healthcare he has led major marketing and public relation campaigns in a variety of disease areas such as stroke, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury. Tim has worked with regional, national and international media outlets of all media channel types from the Boston Globe to CNN and Al Jazeera on a wide variety of stories such as launching treatment programs for returning soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan to the humanitarian efforts to treat Libyan war wounded. Tim has also spear-headed media efforts for major multi-site research publications and the opening of the first new hospital in Boston in over 40 years.

Tim has also led major community public health events from a lead role for 6 years for the Partners HealthCare/7News Free Health and Fitness Expo which averaged 70,000 attendees to smaller community events with a variety of partners such as the Boston Pops, American Heart Association, Partners with Youth for Disabilities, Massachusetts Health and Human Services, US State Department, New England Patriots and Revolution, Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox. Tim has a passion for advocacy for the community with disabilities and works on several events and publications per year to promote awareness especially for youth with disabilities.