COVID Questions: Gatherings (12/22/20)

The first virtual gathering in a series! In partnership with the Tribune-Democrat and Pitt-Johnstown, editor of the Tribune-Democrat Chip Minemyer will moderate COVID Questions: Gatherings, a virtual public town hall to discuss the sacrifices many families are making to limit gatherings during this holiday season.

The town hall features Jill D. Henning, PhD and Associate Professor of Biology at Pitt-Johnstown, and Susan M. Wieczorek, PhD an Associate Professor of Communication at Pitt-Johnstown.

The meeting will be held over Zoom (Meeting ID: 929 5256 2170) , or you can access it on the phone toll free at 1-877-853-5247.

This ongoing series, “COVID Questions”, will host various experts in the area to answer questions, dispel myths, and demonstrate the ways in which many community members are doing their share to curb the pandemic.

The series is part of a larger effort in partnership with In This Together Cambria, an all-volunteer organization of local residents partnering to make Cambria County a better place to live; Tribune-Democrat; and Pitt-Johnstown.

Your questions about COVID related questions are being accepted now at

“With the COVID-19 pandemic being as severe as it is here in Cambria County, it is important, now more than ever, that we understand what we are hearing in the news, what it means, and how to respond,” said Dr. Henning. “Many of our neighbors are already working together to keep each other safe. This series will help us make more informed choices.”

COVID Questions: Gatherings presents:

Susan M. Wieczorek, PhD is an Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown where she teaches Medical, Nonverbal, Small Group, and Senior Capstone Communication courses. She likewise is a preceptor for the University of Pittsburgh Medical School where she facilitates Medical Interviewing classes for first- and second-year medical students. In her book, eMessaging and the Physician/Patient Dynamic: Practices in Transition (2020), her research explores the transition from paper to electronic health records (EHRs) throughout Western Pennsylvania. A recipient of the Pitt Provost Innovations in Teaching Grant, two Extended Diversity in Teaching Fellowships, multiple conference presentation/research awards, and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation Grant, Dr. Wieczorek regularly coordinates health-related projects that blend public scholarship and community outreach.

Jill D. Henning, PhD is an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown Campus. She has a broad background in immunology, infectious diseases, and cancer biology. In general, her research examines how infectious disease affect humans and animals—a concept referred to as “One Health.” She has divided her research into two specific categories: viral influences on immune function associated with cancer and zoonotic infectious diseases and their vectors. She completed her Ph.D. in Infectious Diseases Microbiology from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health in 2008. She was a post-doctoral fellow in biobehavioral medicine for a year and joined the faculty here at Pitt-Johnstown in 2009.