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The Health Equity Access Lab of Dr. Nancy Gauvin (HEAL) was established in 2024 under the leadership of Associate Dean of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement and Assistant Professor Nancy Gauvin. HEAL aims to investigate health equity and access to the health sciences education and clinical therapy services for all. The lab does this by identifying barriers to access in all three of these areas. The HEAL team is dedicated to developing equitable practices to successfully increase continuity of care and to improve access to health care for systematically marginalized populations.  


HEAL is committed to providing evidenced-based research to advance health equity access across the health sciences by fostering a research-based understanding of equal access to health care for systematically marginalized populations as it pertains to access to the health sciences within the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS) in Pittsburgh, the United States and globally.  


HEAL leads the way in generating evidence that addresses access to equitable health and rehabilitation sciences and clinical services for systematically marginalized populations and that can improve the health and wellness, quality of life and overall health care for all people in society.  

HEAL aims to train future clinicians and researchers by providing an enriching research experience in health equity and access as it relates to all within our world. Members of the lab should expect to learn about the current systems of access to health care, barriers to therapy and clinical services and developing equitable practices to improve access to health care for systematically marginalized populations within our society.  

HEAL has been funded since December 2023 by the National Institute of Health (NIH) National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) Diversity Supplement, R01DE030657-02S1 (Katie Suda, PI; Nancy Gauvin, Scholar), 2023-2025. 

Current Projects: 

  • Health equity and access outcomes for children with repaired cleft palates and their access to speech therapy for resonance disorders -Velopharyngeal Port Insufficiency/Incompetency (VPI).  
  • Contact Information 



HEAL recognizes that the University of Pittsburgh occupies, resides and works on the ancestral land of the Adena and Hopewell cultures and Monongahela peoples. The HEAL Lab honors, respects and appreciates the traditional Indigenous inhabitants of this land.