ScD, Harvard School of Public Health, 2010
BA, University of Pennsylvania, 2003
As a social epidemiologist, I research how individual- and neighborhood-level social and economic factors contribute to health disparities and health outcomes for those managing chronic disease. Methodologically my focus is on using multi-level modeling, GIS, and propensity scores to explore how healthcare system distrust, residential segregation, social capital, and other macro-level contextual factors influence health disparities and individual survivorship outcomes for those with chronic disease. I have been PI on a Ruth Kirchstein National Research Service Award (NIH F31) to explore the relative contribution of contextual- and individual-level determinants of breast, prostate, and cervical cancer screening for African-Americans, PI on a Fulbright Grant to explore women’s perceptions of self-breast exams in Venezuela, and am currently PI on a K01 observational study exploring social and economic disparities in breast cancer survivorship outcomes for over 300 breast cancer survivors.
Prior to my time in academia, I led a $13 million tobacco policy and control initiative in Philadelphia, PA. This policy role has had lasting impact on the City of Philadelphia, resulting in 40,000 fewer smokers and permanent legislative changes affecting 1.5 million Philadelphians. Through that policy work, my efforts have had impact by moving the needle toward better health for populations and I am returned to academia to be part of building the evidence base for chronic disease policies and programs. Because of this background, I bring a multi-disciplinary research approach, setting forth a new path to explore how social factors shape life for survivors of chronic disease.
Honors and Awards
2005 Grantee, William J. Fulbright Program
2009 John Piersol McCaskey Distinguished Alumni Award
2015 Invited Fellow, Professional Development and Mock Review Workshop, NCI/Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities
2015 Outstanding Investigator Award, Susan G. Komen Society
2015 Community Impact Award, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc Lancaster Alumni Chapter
2016 NCI National Minority Health Month Spotlight: Career Development