Public Health Leader in Residence

A Resource for MPH Students Professional and Career Development

The public health leader-in-residence (PHLIR) enhances MPH students’ contact with and knowledge about the world of practice.

Anticipated Activities

  • One or two career development group meetings (e.g. with mock interviews) with students
  • One or two lunch and learn lectures by the PHLIR regarding leadership, professional development and public health practice
  • Individual career counseling meetings as requested
  • The PHLIR is an ex officio member of the National Advisory Committee (NAC) and will participate in the NAC annual meeting
  • Meetings with the faculty and the PHLIR will be scheduled in order to bring the curriculum and research closer to the needs of the practice world

"John Lovelace"2023–2024: John Lovelace

President, UPMC for You
President, Government Programs and Individual Advantage Products

John Lovelace is president of UPMC for You, providing leadership, direction and administration for a managed care organization that serves Medical Assistance and Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan recipients across Pennsylvania.

The organization offers coverage to eligible Medical Assistance recipients through its contracts with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services as well as coverage options for Medicare beneficiaries who are also enrolled in the Pennsylvania Medical Assistance program.

Lovelace is president of government programs and individual Advantage for the UPMC Insurance Services Division, where he oversees Medicare products, Medicaid including the Managed Long Term Services and Supports program launched in 2018, and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) of UPMC Health Plan, known as UPMC for Kids. He also oversees a group of Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans for people who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, and for individuals who are eligible for long-term care services, and is responsible for operations for individual products on and off the Healthcare Exchange.

Lovelace is a member of the Board of Community Care Behavioral Health Organization, a behavioral health managed care organization that is part of the UPMC Insurance Services Division. Community Care provides behavioral health coverage for more than 1,000,000 Medicaid beneficiaries in 42 Pennsylvania counties as well as care coordination services in New York.

He recently completed two terms as Board Chair for the Association of Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP), a trade association comprised of 70 provider-affiliated non-profit health plans enrolling Medicaid and other low-income beneficiaries.


  • Graduate degree in rehabilitation counseling from the State University of New York at Buffalo
  • Graduate degree in information services from the University of Pittsburgh

Past LIRs

2022–2023: Carolyn Byrnes

Carolyn ByrnesCarolyn Byrnes, MPH, CPH is a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Health and Physician General for Pennsylvania. She has served as a Senior Advisor since 2018, and previously as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Health. Since joining the Pennsylvania Department of Health in 2015 Ms. Byrnes has worked on a myriad of public health issues, including improving maternal and child health, addressing health equity issues, and responding to the opioid epidemic and COVID-19 pandemic. Her efforts to improve maternal health include Act 24 of 2018 establishing the Pennsylvania Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MMRC), securing millions in federal funding to support the MMRC, and establishing Pennsylvania as a member of the Alliance for Innovation in Maternal Health.

Prior to her time at the department, Ms. Byrnes worked as a Clinical Research Associate at Roswell Park Cancer Institute’s Department of Cancer Prevention and Control in Buffalo, NY, managing the daily operations of a clinical trial from 2012 to 2015.

She currently serves as a member of Pennsylvania MMRC, the Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative Advisory Board and Policy Group, the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine, the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Board of Medicine, the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Advisory Board, and the Pennsylvania Lyme and Other Tickborne Diseases Interagency Workgroup.

Ms. Byrnes received her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh, and her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Loyola University Chicago. She is certified in Public Health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners. 

2020–2022: Jason Orcena

Jason OrcenaJason E. Orcena is the health commissioner of the Union County Health Department in Marysville, Ohio—a position he has held since 2008.  Prior to assuming this position, Dr. Orcena served as the division director for the Department’s Division of Health Education and Community Partnerships. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, the Local Public Health Services Collaborative, LLC, and the Association of Ohio Health Commissioners, where he has also served as president. Dr. Orcena is an active member of the National Association of City/County Health Officials, serving on their Public Health Transformation Workgroup. He is a lecturer at The Ohio State University and his research interests include the governance and funding of public health. Most recently, he worked on Ohio’s new Public Health Alert Advisory System, a COVID-19 risk communication system.  Dr. Orcena received his Doctor of Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago (2015) and also holds a Masters of Arts in sociology (1999) and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology (1995). He is supported by Alycia, his partner of 25 years, and their two sons—Ben and Nicholas.

2019–2020: Patricia Sweeney

Patricia SweeneyPatricia Sweeney, JD, MPH, RN has served as the Health Commissioner for the Mahoning County District Board of Health since 2012. In this role Ms. Sweeney and a staff of 68 public health nurses, sanitarians, health educators, dieticians and professional support staff endeavor to improve the health and well-being of Mahoning County’s 230,000 residents by monitoring community health status; diagnosing and investigating health hazards; informing, educating, and empowering residents about health issues; and mobilizing community partnerships to identify and solve health problems.

Prior to joining the Health Department Ms. Sweeney was an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health where she taught public health law and ethics courses, directed the school’s JD/MPH program and secured grant funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Science Foundation, Pfizer, Inc., the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation and more, to conduct public health law research analyzing the impact of law and ethics upon public health outcomes. At Pitt Ms. Sweeney also served as the Associate Director for Law and Policy at the Center for Public Health Practice. In that role she worked extensively with state and national organizations to enhance legal preparedness for public health emergencies. Ms. Sweeney earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Youngstown State University, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and a Master of Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.  In addition, she holds a certificate in the Advanced Study of Health Law from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Ms. Sweeney has served as a community health nurse and a local, state and national population health advocate for 40 years. 

During her career she has received numerous awards including being designated a Bitonti College of Health and Human Services Nursing Alumna of the year, a University of Pittsburgh Faculty Scholar, a National Public Health Leadership Balderson Award, a Pfizer Foundation Public Health Scholar, an Ohio State University Champion of Public Health and most recently receiving a national Kresge Foundation Emerging Leaders in Public Health Award.