Dr. Bettina Beech

Chief Population Health Officer
University of Houston

Bettina Beech

Dr. Bettina Beech is the Chief Population Health Officer at the University of Houston and Clinical Professor of Population Health at the College of Medicine. Prior to joining the University of Houston in April 2020, she was the Founding Dean of the John D. Bower School of Population Health, the Founding Executive Director of the Myrlie Evers-Williams Institute for the Elimination of Disparities, and tenured Professor of Population Health Science and Pediatrics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.  She is a public and population health scientist whose primary interest is family-based chronic disease interventions among African Americans. Her work examines the intergenerational transmission of behavioral, social, and environmental risks for cardiovascular and cardiometabolic diseases among children, adolescents, parents, and grandparents. This work has been funded by multiple institutes at the National Institutes of Health and has been recognized by leading scientific organizations including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Beech is also committed to the development of the next generation of scholars and her secondary line of research focuses on the science of mentoring. She is currently a Multiple Investigator of NHLBI-funded research training and mentoring programs for early career faculty from underrepresented backgrounds and founding principal investigator and current science director for a research training and mentoring program for doctoral students. 

Dr. Beech has held several influential leadership roles at leading academic medical centers on transformational NIH initiatives such as Clinical Translational Science Awards and Precision Medicine Collaboratives. She has used her interdisciplinary training and leadership skills in the effort to combat COVID-19 by developing contact tracing courses that have trained over 15,000 students. Dr. Beech is also a Site Principal Investigator of an NIH-funded grant to examine COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and perspectives among African Americans and Latinos. This work has been featured on local and international news outlets. 

Dr. Beech is a native of Los Angeles, California, Dr. Beech holds a B.A. from Temple University, Master of Public Health from Temple University, and a Dr.P.H. in Community Health from University of Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health.  She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral science at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, was 2011-2012 Fellow in the Hedwig van Amerigen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women, and a 2016-2017 fellow in the prestigious American Council on Education (ACE) Fellows program. ✯