Published June 21, 2023
Kristina Young, a retired clinical faculty member in the School of Public Health and Health Professions who was instrumental in helping the school develop its master’s degree program in public health, died May 6 in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital after a brief illness. She was 72.
Young also was co-author, with the late Harry Sultz, professor of social and preventive medicine, of “Health Care USA, Understanding its Organization and Delivery,” an important introductory textbook regarding health care organizations in the United States. It was released in its 10th edition in 2023.
Clinical assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, Young was co‐director of the Health Services Administration (HSA) MPH concentration, teaching key courses, mentoring students, coordinating field placements and working with students on their integrative projects.
She taught graduate courses in health care systems and health policy for public health, law and management students, including one of the first courses students take as part of the MPH program.
She retired from UB in 2016.
“Kristina was a devoted teacher and mentor,” says SPHHP Dean Jean Wactawski-Wende. “She loved working with students and students sought her and her courses out. Her classes were so popular that we often needed to offer two sections to meet the student demand.
“She was generous with her time and talent, at UB and more broadly,” Wactawski-Wende says. “Kristina was a bright light who will be missed by all who had the privilege to know her, work with her or be mentored by her.”
Jo Freudenheim, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, called Young “a masterful teacher” who provided “an understanding of the rapidly changing field of health care organizations to her students in a way that made complex material clear and engaged them in that understanding.”
In addition to her work at UB, Young served in numerous leadership roles in government, at teaching hospitals, and in health plan and outpatient health services. She was executive director of the Western New York Public Health Alliance from 2006-12, and president of the Center for Professional Advancement at Bryant & Stratton Business Institute, now Bryant & Stratton College, from 1996-98.
She also ran Kristina M. Young & Associates Inc., a management training and consulting firm that has provided more than 100 not‐for‐profit and proprietary businesses with employee training and strategic planning services.
A Buffalo native, Young earned a bachelor's degree from Canisius College with a 4.0 average but was unable to gain acceptance to medical school. She received an MS in epidemiology — with a concentration in clinical epidemiology, health services research, planning and administration — from UB’s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in 1985.