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  • NYS Writers Institute

Interview with Dr. David Holtgrave, dean of the UAlbany School of Public Health

NYS Writers Institute Director Paul Grondahl interviews Dr. David Holtgrave on COVID-19, “physical distancing,” the CDC, his three rescue dogs, his connection with actor Rosie Perez, among other topics

Dr. Holtgrave is the Dean of the School of Public Health at the University at Albany, SUNY Empire Innovation Professor and nationally recognized researcher.

Dr. Holtgrave discusses lessons applicable to COVID-19 learned from his 30 years of policy work and research on the HIV/AIDS pandemic. He is the former Vice-Chair of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS during President Obama’s Administration. He previously served as an endowed professor and chair of the Department of Health, Behavior and Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. Holtgrave also talks about his working with the film star and activist Rosie Perez on Obama’s HIV/AIDS Presidential Advisory Council, about how talking walks with his rescue dogs helps calm him in these stressful times and why he prefers the term “social spacing” over “social distancing.”

Find Dr. David Holtgrave online at


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