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Dr. Megan Ranney named dean of Yale’s school of public health

Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency room physician at Rhode Island Hospital, will be the new dean of the Yale School of Public Health.DAVID DEGNER/NYT

One of Rhode Island’s best-known health experts, Dr. Megan Ranney, will be the new dean of the Yale School of Public Health, Yale University President Peter Salovey announced Tuesday. She’ll begin her new job on July 1.

Ranney, an emergency room doctor who is the founding director of the Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health, became a household name during the COVID-19 pandemic. She’s also serves as the deputy dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, and is a professor of behavioral and social science and the Warren Alpert Endowed Professor of Emergency Medicine at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School.


“Professor Ranney is an internationally recognized public health leader, investigator, advocate, and clinician-scientist,” Salovey wrote in a message introducing her to the Yale community. “She brings to Yale a remarkable track record of driving innovations in public health teaching, research, and practice. Her career is distinguished by a deep commitment to working with communities to identify and address complex public health challenges, especially those that burden historically underserved or marginalized populations.”

In addition to her work promoting population-health — she is the co-founder of GetUsPPE.org, a start-up nonprofit that delivers donated personal protective equipment — Ranney has urged leaders to consider gun violence a public health issue, and is the co-founder and senior strategic adviser for the American Foundation for Firearm Injury Reduction in Medicine at the Aspen Institute.

“When I call it a public health crisis, it’s talking about all of those people who are physically hurt,” Ranney said on an episode of The Rhode Island Report podcast. “It’s also talking about the ripple effect. Every one of those gunshot wounds hurts not just the victim but also their family, their friends, their larger community.”

Ranney has written more than 150 peer-reviewed research publications, scientific papers, and book chapters. Her funded research has focused on developing “technology-augmented” interventions to prevent violence and related behavioral health problems, Yale University noted in their press release.


“I am beyond honored to join Yale as dean of the School of Public Health, and I am looking forward to working with the faculty, students, staff, alumni, and larger New Haven community,” Ranney said in a statement. “Together, we will both build off YSPH’s extraordinary history and define a transformative vision of what public health education, scholarship, and practice can be in the 21st century.”

Ranney has a bachelor’s in the history of science from Harvard College and earned her M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She completed her residency and chief residency in emergency medicine at Brown University, where she also earned her M.P.H. She’s served on the faculty at Brown since 2008.

“Megan has been a tireless advocate for patients, students, fellow faculty and medical practitioners — and for advancing creative ideas and approaches to public health,” Ronald Aubert, interim dean of Brown’s School of Public Health, told WPRI.

Ranney will succeed Interim Dean Melinda Pettigrew, who led the school after outgoing dean Dr. Sten Vermund returned to full-time teaching and research in July 2022.

Lylah Alphonse can be reached at lylah.alphonse@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @WriteEditRepeat.