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Dr. Russ McIntire is Assistant Professor at the Thomas Jefferson University College of Population Health. He received his doctorate in Health Behavior and Master of Public Health at Indiana University School of Public Health, Bloomington. His major research interests include identifying and analyzing the social, behavioral and geographic risk factors of chronic diseases among vulnerable populations. Dr. McIntire has performed community health assessments and descriptive epidemiological studies to identify the population-based distribution of behavioral risk factors, such as smoking and secondhand smoke exposure, and health outcomes such as cancer. His recent studies identified and compared disparities in exposure to secondhand smoke among U.S. adolescent race/ethnicity groups and explored the association of neighborhood-based risk factors with prostate cancer in Philadelphia.

Tiara is a LPHT MPH student at the Jefferson College of Population Health. She will graduate in spring of 2021, and looks forward to starting her career in public health. She completed her undergraduate studies in 2019 at Franklin and Marshall College, where she received a BA in Public Health with a minor in Sociology. Her public health interests include health equity, environmental health, lung cancer, and GIS mapping.

Tiara currently works as a Graduate Research Assistance for JCPH under mentor Russell McIntire. She has assisted with Philadelphia-based research projects on tobacco retail density, tobacco retail proximity, lung cancer, and healthy parks. Her C-ILE project is on the predictors of access to parks in Philadelphia to identify disparities in access.


Physical distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of access to safe and healthy public spaces such as parks. This presentation will highlight two research projects to identify characteristics of safe and healthy parks in Philadelphia.

First, Dr. Russell McIntire presents the results of research that measured smoking behavior among patrons of Philadelphia parks during 2015-2019. Second, Tiara Halstead describes a study that identified demographic and behavioral factors that predict having access to safe public parks in Philadelphia. These studies provide important information necessary to improve access to safe and healthy communities for Philadelphia residents.

Presentation: 51:21