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Elli Leontsini, MD

  • Associate Scientist

Departmental Affiliations

Center & Institute Affiliations

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street
Room E5533
Baltimore, Maryland 21205

410 502 6733

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MPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 1988
MD, National and Capodistrian University School of Medicine, 1983


I am a public health professor and researcher with over 20 years of experience in formative and qualitative research for the development and implementation of evidence-based acceptable, feasible and sustainable behavioral community-centered public health strategies; and in process and impact evaluation of resulting social and behavioral interventions. I have worked on various areas such as community-based Aedes aegypti control in Central America and the Caribbean (DR and PR), domestic animal corralling for diarrheal disease and cysticercosis control in Peru, careseeking for febrile illnesses and malaria in West Africa (Liberia and Equatorial Guinea), and water and hygiene behaviors in Bangladesh. Most recently I have provided technical support to the Democratic Republic of Congo Ministry of Health on their preparedness and community engagement for Ebola prevention and control, and to Honduras and Dominican Republic on their health communication in response to Zika prevention and control. My research objectives are

• to understand social, cultural and behavioral factors in community-based disease prevention and control in resource-poor settings

• how to utilize social, cultural and behavioral information in the design of community-based public health interventions, and

• to develop and test community-based health behavior change strategies, involving local communities, private voluntary organizations, national level institutions and other social actors in all aspects of public health programs

Honors and Awards

2015 Teaching Excellence mention by JHSPH Deans for Program Seminar 224.861 based on students’ course evaluations, February 2016 2

2013 Excellence in Global Health Advising Award. Presented on behalf of JHU President Ronald J. Daniels, Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health, April 2013

2013 Teaching Excellence mention by JHSPH Deans for Formative Research Course 224.692 based on students’ course evaluations, June 2013

2009 Teaching Excellence mention by JHSPH Deans for Program Seminar 224.861 based on students’ course evaluations, February 2010

2003 The James H. Nakano Citation of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, for an outstanding scientific paper: by Winch PJ, Leontsini E, Rigau-Perez JG, Ruiz-Perez M, Clark GG and Gubler DJ. Community-based dengue prevention programs in Puerto Rico: Impact on knowledge, behavior and residential mosquito infestation. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 67(4):363-370, 2002.

  • formative research
  • operations research
  • implementation research
  • survey methods, ethnographic research methods
  • qualitative research methods
  • behavioral trials
  • trials of improved practices
  • social entomology
  • program evaluation methods
  • community-based interventions
  • community participation
  • health education
  • health communication
  • health-seeking behavior
  • health behavior change
  • evaluation of school-based programs
  • evaluation of children's museum exhibits
  • process evaluation vector-borne disease
  • mosquito-borne disease
  • tropical disease
  • Aedes aegypti
  • dengue fever
  • Zika Virus Disease
  • malaria
  • cysticercosis
  • Lyme disease
  • diarrheal disease
  • Ebola Virus Disease
  • child survival
  • IMCI
  • water, sanitation, and hygiene
  • Central America
  • Honduras
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Nicaragua
  • Puerto Rico
  • Dominican Republic
  • Peru
  • Brazil
  • Cambodia
  • Tanzania
  • Zimbabwe
  • Uganda
  • Liberia
  • Bangladesh
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Democratic Republic of Congo

Selected publications illustrating some of my contributions to public health:

  • Kalbarczyk A, Leontsini E, Combs E, Yang F, Ahmadi A, Charron K. Evaluation and Support Mechanisms of an Emerging University-wide Global Health Training Program. Annals of Global Health 2016, 81(5): 602 – 610.
  • Hulland KRS, Leontsini E, Dreibelbis R, Unicomb L, Afroz A, Dutta NC, Nizame FA, Luby SP, Ram PK, Winch PJ. Designing a handwashing station for infrastructure-restricted communities in Bangladesh using the integrated behavioural model for water, sanitation and hygiene interventions (IBM-WASH). BMC Public Health 2013, 13:877
  • Dreibelbis R, Winch PJ, Leontsini E, Hulland KRS, Ram PK, Unicomb L, Luby SP. The Integrated Behavioural Model for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene: a systematic review of behavioural models and a framework for designing and evaluating behaviour change interventions in infrastructure-restricted settings. BMC Public Health 2013, 13:1015
  • Leontsini E, Rosenbaum J, Báez C, Solís A, Valera C, Gonzálvez G. NEgociación de PRÁcticas Mejoradas - NEPRÁM (Negotiation of Improved Practices): The development of a national behaviour change strategy for community-based prevention of dengue fever in the Dominican Republic. Dengue Bulletin 28(Suppl.): 22-25, 2004
  • Fernández EA, Leontsini E, Sherman C, Chan AST, Reyes CE, Lozano RC, Fuentes BA, Nichter M and Winch PJ. Trial of a community based behavioural intervention to decrease infestation of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in cement washbasins in El Progreso, Honduras. Acta Tropica 70:171-183, 1998