Brenda L. Cassidy

Associate Professor
Health Promotion & Development


Dr. Cassidy has spent her nursing career working with the pediatric population as she advocates for improving pediatric health outcomes through local, regional, and national initiatives. Dr. Cassidy has received several awards for advocacy and clinical expertise: American Academy of Nurse Practitioners State Advocacy Award, Pennsylvania Nightingale Award and Pittsburgh Magazine’s Excellence in Nursing. 

Clinical Emphasis

Pediatric nurse practitioner, specializing in adolescent medicine, specifically adolescent sexual health care.

Scholarly Emphasis

Dr. Cassidy received the Distinguished Clinical Scholar Award for two consecutive years (2013-2015) and was able to develop a unique clinical experience in adolescent medicine by establishing an academic-service partnership for interdisciplinary education where she implemented an innovative faculty preceptor model. Dr. Cassidy assisted adolescent medicine providers with curricular content for a fellowship for advanced practice providers in adolescent medicine. Dr. Cassidy’s research areas include Diversity and Inclusion, LGBTQIA+ health curriculum development and improving HPV vaccine rates. Dr Cassidy serves on School of Nursing, University and National Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committees and is an active advocate for LGBTQIA+ youth. She is also recognized locally, nationally, and regionally for promoting HPV vaccine rates, has conducted and published quality improvement projects and been an invited speaker in this area. Dr. Cassidy is recognized within and outside of the University of Pittsburgh for her mentorship on projects aimed at improving HPV vaccine rates and for her growing expertise on LGBTQIA+ health. Dr. Cassidy is currently the PI of a collaborative educational research project integrating LGBTQIA+ health in the undergraduate and graduate curriculum at the University of Pittsburgh and Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans schools of nursing. 


Dr. Cassidy’s experience in teaching and program development is extensive as she has taught nursing students of all levels for more than 30 years and has been full time at the University of Pittsburgh since 2008. As previous Director of the Pediatric and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner programs and Associate Professor, Dr. Cassidy has been instrumental in NP program development and has utilized funding to build an online course for healthcare providers on LGBTQIA+ health to improve nursing student changes in knowledge, attitudes and clinical preparedness. This module has been copyrighted by the University of Pittsburgh Innovative Institute to share with other faculty and healthcare providers outside of the University. She continues to teach pediatric courses onsite and online and is requested as a guest speaker within and outside the school of nursing. Dr. Cassidy is very active in clinical practice and precepts students in two sites including primary care and the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Dr. Cassidy has been recognized for her excellence in teaching and received the Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2016.


Dr. Cassidy has been involved actively in the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) through the local chapter, the national Health Policy Committee and served on the executive board as member-at-large. She currently serves as a Chair for NAPNAP’s initiative on Human Trafficking, the Alliance for Children in Trafficking (ACT) and serves on their inaugural DEI committee to make recommendations integrating DEI into the organization's infrastructure. Dr. Cassidy has assisted in development of a national speaker's bureau and conducts workshops to train other healthcare workers as ACT Advocates to increase awareness of human trafficking in children. She is nationally recognized as a specialist in adolescent sexual health and has been an invited national speaker in this area.