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Health, Behavior and Society


Health, Behavior and Society Summer Institute courses are taught by our faculty experts.

Lisa A. Cooper, MD
Dr. Cooper’s research program focuses on patient-centered strategies for improving outcomes and overcoming racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare. She has conducted several observational studies to explore and better define barriers (e.g., patient attitudes, beliefs, and preferences) to equitable care across racial and ethnic groups and mechanisms for disparities in health status and healthcare (e.g., patient-physician communication, race discordance between patients and physicians). Dr. Cooper’s research links patient and clinician attitudes and behaviors with health outcomes; her work continues to inform the training of physicians and the institutions in which they practice to deliver high quality, equitable care to increasingly diverse patient populations.

Paul Gaist, PhD
Dr. Gaist is a behavioral scientist and a public health administrator who emphasizes real world integrative thinking and solutions in his courses. His work includes/has included research, program and planning at the National Institutes of Health, the White House National AIDS Policy Office, and elsewhere. Areas of interest (U.S. and internationally) include biopsychosocial analysis and health promotion/ disease prevention across the lifespan and life contexts.

Michelle Kaufman, PhD
Dr. Kaufman is an applied social and health psychologist by training, with a specialization in gender and sexual risk behavior. During her 10 years of international research and evaluation experience, she has worked in the US, Nepal, South Africa, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Malawi, and Indonesia on topics including HIV prevention, family planning, malaria treatment and prevention, tobacco control, and child survival. 

Jill Owczarzak, PhD
Dr. Owczarzak's research applies the methods and theoretical perspectives of medical anthropology to understand public health policy and practice related to HIV risk, prevention intervention development, and program implementation. She works in both the United States and in Eastern Europe. 

Anne Palmer, MAIA
Palmer's research interests include how changes in food environments impact food choices, using regional food supply chains to serve low income areas, to bringing sustainable food production to underserved populations, the impact of food deserts on communities, and conducting community food assessments with Baltimore-based non profits and community organizations.

Katherine Clegg Smith, PhD
Dr. Smith is a sociologist with research interests around the social determinants of health behavior. Her particular area of expertise is communication of health information, and she has a general interest in identity and its relationship to health. Much of Dr. Smith's research is organized around individual and collective understanding of health issues and experiences. She teaches classes that explore the use of sociological theory and qualitative methodology in public health research, and she co-directs the MHS in Social Factors in Health program. Dr. Smith also directs the Center for Qualitative Studies in Health and Medicine. She was an author of the NIH Best Practices in Mixed Methods Research for the Health Sciences.

Douglas Storey, PhD
Dr. Storey is a behavioral scientist with nearly 40 years of work in health communication and social & behavior change communication, most of it in international settings. He has lived and worked in 36 countries on a wide range of health and environmental issues including social and behavior change related to reproductive health and family planning, maternal & child health, child survival, nutrition, malaria prevention, HIV/AIDS prevention, gender, and environmental resource management.

Tara Sullivan, PhD
Dr. Sullivan's research focuses on facilitating the use of health information in policy and programs and on improving the quality of family planning and reproductive health services. She is currently spearheading an initiative to develop an original logic model and indicators to guide health information program design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. Dr. Sullivan has worked in international health and development for over 10 years, including living and working in Botswana and Thailand.