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Health

Akemi Nishida Heading link

Assistant Professor, Disability and Human Development

Akemi Nishida uses research, education, and activism to investigate the ways in which ableism are exercised in relation to other forms of social injustices. She also uses such methods to work towards cross-community solidarity. Currently, she is working on her book project which examines care through the prism of disability, race, gender justice works. Dr. Nishida examines US public healthcare programs as well as activism around creating community-based, alternative care support structure, and visioning for just society from beds.

Faculty Profile

Bharati Prasad Heading link

Associate Professor of Medicine & Director, UI Health Sleep Sciences Center

Dr. Prasad’s research has focused on health outcomes of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Her ongoing projects include an assessment of the polysomnographic and clinical predictors of sleepiness and hypertension in OSA, funded by VA Office of Research and Development. She is a collaborator on several NIH funded projects examining novel pharmacologic treatments of OSA and the role of OSA in populations with chronic kidney disease, diabetic retinopathy, and gestational diabetes and insomnia.

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Christina R. Welter Heading link

Clinical Assistant Professor, Health Policy and Administration

Dr. Welter has 20 years of experience working with government, non-profit and academic health-related sectors, helping organizations and their partners make strategic decisions to create collaborative, impactful and sustainable change building on evidence that identifies root causes of complex problems and promotes learning and leadership development. Her current work includes an action research project to increase policy and systems strategies that address precarious work and leading a process to understand how governmental public health agencies increase readiness for policy and systems change.

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Claire Laurier Decoteau Heading link

Associate Professor, Sociology

Dr. Decoteau’s research focuses on the social construction of knowledge about health and disease, peoples’ grounded experiences of illness and health inequality, and the effects of economic, welfare and health policy on marginalized populations. Her work is international in focus and analyzes health and mental health in Africa and the African diaspora. Dr. Decoteau’s first book drew on global health research on HIV/AIDS conducted in South Africa from 2002-2012, and her newest book analyzes the health-seeking behavior and beliefs of Somali parents of children with autism in the US and Canada.

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Elizabeth Jarpe-Ratner Heading link

Clinical Assistant Professor, Health Policy and Administration

Dr. Jarpe-Ratner’s qualitative and mixed methods applied research focuses on evaluating policy and systems changes that address social and structural determinants of health in order to promote health equity. She takes an intentional approach to collaboration with agency partners within governmental public health, early childhood and K-12 education, child welfare, health care, and community-based organizations. Current evaluation projects include: school-based policy implementation to promote child and adolescent health; policy, systems and environmental change initiatives to address precarious work; and community health planning and improvement.

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Federico Waitoller Heading link

Associate Professor, Special Education

Dr. Waitoller’s research focuses on urban inclusive education. His research agenda has two strands: teacher learning for inclusive education and market-driven educational policies. He is currently researching how Black and Latinx parents of students with disabilities engage with and experience school choice policies.

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Henrika McCoy Heading link

Associate Professor, Jane Addams College of Social Work

Dr. Henrika McCoy largely focuses her research on African American males. She examines how mental health issues precipitate their involvement into the juvenile justice system. Most recently her National Institute of Justice-funded nationwide study, SURVIVE, focused on creating and pilot testing an instrument that could increase our knowledge about the violent victimization experiences, and related impact, of young Black males, ages 18 to 24.

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Jeni Hebert-Beirne Heading link

Associate Professor, Community Health Sciences

Dr. Hebert-Beirne is a community-based participatory researcher with a strong public health practice and non profit management background. She partners with community residents and representatives of community-based organizations in community driven research to explore social processes related to structural drivers of health inequities. She leads the sole research study of NIOSH-funded UIC’s Center for Healthy Work exploring how work operates as a social determinant of health in North Lawndale and Little Village and identifying community driven solutions. Dr. Hebert-Beirne is a member of the Partnership for Healthy Chicago, which oversees Healthy Chicago 3.0, the community health assessment for the city of Chicago.

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Mansha Mirza Heading link

Associate Professor, Occupational Therapy

Dr. Mirza’s research seeks to enhance health and social services for low-income, underserved communities, with a special focus on immigrant and refugee newcomers. In her work, Dr. Mirza collaborates with various community organizations. Her current projects focus on policy and programmatic innovations such as organizational capacity-building, language access trainings, and collaborating with community health workers and peer mentors.

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Marisha L. Humphries Heading link

Associate Professor, Educational Psychology

Dr. Humphries’ research seeks to develop an integrated approach to studying African American children’s normative and prosocial development. Specifically, Dr. Humphries examines African American children’s emotional and social competence, and the ways in which schools can support this development. This work also includes the development of a social emotional learning training curriculum centered on racial identity for preservice elementary and school social work interns to prepare them to better serve their racially and ethnically diverse students.

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Otima Doyle Heading link

Associate Professor, Jane Addams College of Social Work

Dr. Doyle’s program of research is dedicated to understanding familial risk and protective factors related to emotional and behavioral problems among culturally diverse, underserved youth. In particular, she focuses on the role of fathers and co-parenting in the prevention/reduction of youth aggression, depression and suicide, and the development of preventive interventions with this population.

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Phoenix A. Matthews Heading link

Professor, Health Systems Science

Dr. Matthews is a Professor and clinical psychologist with more than 25 years of experience in examining determinants of cancer-related health disparities with a focus on racial/ethnic minorities and other underserved populations. Their recent research focuses on the use of community-based and culturally targeted health promotion interventions to reduce risk factors associated with cancer disparities including smoking cessation treatments.

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Rohan D. Jeremiah Heading link

Associate Professor, Community Health Sciences

Dr. Jeremiah is a global public health scholarly practitioner working at the intersection of substance use, violence, and HIV/AIDS. He integrates social science theories into public health and social service research by examining trauma through the lens of intersectionality to explain domestic and global health men’s health disparities. Dr. Jeremiah’s research activities include harm-reduction services for sexual, gender minority young adults in Chicago and the Eastern Caribbean and trauma-informed assessments and care for resettled ethnic-minority refugee men in the United States.

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Sarah Abboud Heading link

Assistant Professor, Human Development Nursing Science

Dr. Abboud’s research centers on the intersections of ethnicity, sexuality, gender, health, and immigration among immigrants, ethnic minorities, sexual and gender minorities in the United States, in particular Arabs and Arab Americans, and in Lebanon. Her work is informed by social justice, intersectionality, and health equity frameworks and aims at decreasing the significant health disparities faced by marginalized populations. Along with her research work, she has extensive experience in sexual health, qualitative research methods, mixed methods, and community-based participatory research approaches.

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Sarah E. Ullman Heading link

Professor, Criminology, Law, and Justice

Dr. Ullman’s research concerns women’s recovery from rape and rape avoidance in ethnically diverse women. Her studies have been funded by NIH to examine the role of risk and protective factors in relation to risk of rape revictimization, mental health, substance abuse, and posttraumatic growth outcomes. She created a measure of social reactions to rape disclosures (SRQ) and is currently evaluating an intervention to reduce negative social reactions to rape victims funded by NIH.

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Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar Heading link

Professor, Occupational Therapy & Disability and Human Development

Dr. Suarez-Balcazar’s research expands across several interrelated areas that concentrate on developing, implementing and evaluating culturally relevant community-based interventions to address health disparities, in particular obesity, among Latinos with disabilities. She is currently studying obesity prevention among children with developmental disabilities and their families through engaged-research and is also at work on a training grant on community living and participation for people with disabilities. She embraces a Community-Based Participatory Research and a Social Ecological approach to addressing concerns facing minority communities.

Faculty Profile