Woman of Excellence
Lisa Gittner Awarded as Expert in
Peer Support to Improve Health
Written by Glenys Young
Lisa Gittner, an associate professor in both the Texas Tech Department of Political Science and the TTU Health Sciences Center Julia Jones Matthews Department of Public Health is recipient of the 2019 Women of Excellence Award for Science from the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) of Lubbock. The presentation took place during an awards dinner March 19 at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center.
Gittner is a member of The American Society of Public Administrators and The American Public Health Association and an associate member of the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women's Health within TTUHSC. She is an expert on peer social support to improve health outcomes. Her research focuses on the management of life-course disease risk through networks. She currently is working on a collaboration with the Lubbock County Detention Center, funded by a U.S. Department of Justice grant, to analyze trends in and reduce incarceration of individuals with serious mental illness.
"I am shocked and humbled because, without my knowledge, my former students submitted me for this award," Gittner said. "I read the nomination package and was stunned; I did not realize the kind of impact I have on my students. I switched careers, mid-life, because I wanted to give back to the next generation. I was not sure if it was the right thing to do, but this re-affirms that I made the correct decision."
She also has received a National Science Foundation grant to refine risk algorithms for the prediction of population chronic disease risk and to determine the most viable intervention points. Gittner's prior research was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Garfield Foundation, Eastbay Foundation and Komen Foundation.
Gittner has published 37 peer-reviewed articles and a chapter on "Nutrition in Infancy and Childhood" in the "Encyclopedia of Nursing Research, Fourth Edition." Previously, Gittner was director of research for Kaiser Permanente and director of novel dose development for Watson Pharmaceutical Company, Inc.
Also among this year's winners is Former Maj. Gen. Dr. Annette Sobel, an associate professor in the TTUHSC Department of Medical Education and an adjunct professor in the TTUHSC School of Nursing and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, as well as the Texas Tech Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The Women of Excellence Awards are presented each year to recognize and honor women in the community who have achieved career excellence and contributed to business, industry, organizations and the community.