I received my Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Sciences from the City University of New York. My Ph.D. training was in health and medical geography at Hunter College where I conducted my dissertation research and I worked on various health-related projects. I also have a M.P.H. degree in International Health from Tulane University and a M.A. degree in medical anthropology from Hunter College. My B.A. degree is in medical geography from the University of Minnesota and I began my career as a registered nurse in Minneapolis. My training enables me to conceptualize health and disease from a human ecological perspective to study place-based clinical (individual) and public health (population) outcomes. I teach “Geography of Health and Disease” (GEO435); “Spatial Analysis of Populations” (GEO436); and “Medical Geography and Spatial Epidemiology” (EPI/GEO819).
My research in health and medical geography focuses on women’s health, specifically maternal and infant health. I am interested in understanding how local environments in which women live impact their health (i.e., increase the opportunity for infectious disease transmission and/or contribute to chronic diseases), which in turn, impair their pregnancies, leading to adverse maternal and infant outcomes. Most of my current research focuses on reducing maternal and infant mortality. I am studying perinatal regionalization in Michigan to improve our understanding of inpatient hospital referral patterns of high-risk African American mothers and infants. I utilize geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial epidemiological methods, including multilevel modeling to disentangle these complexities. The students who I mentor are interested in a variety of health and medical geography topics.