Areas of Research
Suzanne Holt Ballard, PhD
Professor of Culture, Epistemology and Medicine
Joseph A. Bianco, PhD
Assistant Professor of Social and Behavioral Medicine
Adjunct Professor, School of Communication Studies, Ohio University
Affiliate Member, Diabetes Institute, Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
Director, Medical Student Assistance Program, Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
2009 Postdoctoral Fellowship in Primary Care Psychology, Ohio University, Athens
2007 Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Columbia University, Teachers College, NY
2004 Masters in Philosophy (M. Phil), Columbia University, Teachers College, NY
2003 Masters of Science, Clinical Psychology, Columbia University, Teachers College, NY
1995 Bachelor of Arts, Columbia University, New York, NY. Major: English Literature
Joseph Bianco’s general teaching and research agendas address how biomedical, clinical and psychosocial factors converge to inform patient experiences of health and health care. His research and teaching follow a narrative approach, focusing on identifying and conveying the complex “story” of the social determinants of health.
Dr. Bianco’s primary research agenda focuses on the effects of psychological trauma on health and health care systems. He examines trauma from the complementary perspectives of patients (i.e., how psychological trauma affects individual health and wellness across the lifespan) and health care providers (i.e., how providers and health care systems identify, negotiate and cope with challenges imposed by patients with traumatic stress). His research is interdisciplinary and community-based, involving collaborations with medical clinics, social service agencies, consumers and members of the health care workforce. Since 2012, Dr. Bianco has secured continuous funding from the Department of Medicaid’s MEDTAPP Healthcare Access Initiative to create, implement and evaluate training programs in trauma-informed care for primary care clinics. Related research interests and activities include empathy and burnout in the health professions; cross-cultural comparisons of trauma (effects, perceptions and coping strategies); analyzing trauma narratives; and using narrative-based psychotherapies for trauma and stress disorders. He serves on the advisory boards for the Barbara Geralds Institute for Storytelling and Social Impact at Ohio University and The Front Porch Project, a PCORI-funded consumer-led comparative effective research collaborative.
Dr. Bianco teaches addiction medicine, child psychiatry, a clinical skills lab in LGBT patient health and problem-based learning groups. He is the instructor of record for addiction, pain & palliative care (OMS-II) and has served as the past instructor of record for the psychiatry block (2011) and Geriatric Medicine (2013-2015). In addition to teaching undergraduate medical students, Dr. Bianco has created and taught a year-long behavioral health didactic series for family medicine and OB/GYN residents and currently teaches a residency-level class in trauma-informed primary care. He has taught an undergraduate honors tutorial class (narrative, psychology and health) and has served on thesis and doctoral dissertation committees in the English Department, Psychology Department and School of Communication Studies.
Berkeley Franz, PhD
Assistant Professor of Community-based Health
Heritage Career Development Faculty Endowed Fellowship in Population Health Science,
Osteopathic Heritage Foundation Ralph S. Licklider, DO, Research Endowment
Adjunct Professor, Ohio University Department of Classics and World Religions
Affiliate Faculty, Ohio University Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
2014 PhD in Sociology, University of Miami
2009 MA in Religious Studies, University of Chicago
2006 BA in Psychology, Taylor University
Berkeley Franz is a medical sociologist whose research and teaching focus on health disparities, population health initiatives, community-based engagement and narrative medicine. She also has interests in the intersection of religious beliefs, health care utilization and health policy preferences. Dr. Franz is assistant professor of community-based health at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine in Athens, Ohio, and Heritage Career Development Faculty Endowed Fellow in Population Health Science, Osteopathic Heritage Foundation Ralph S. Licklider, D.O., Research Endowment She holds adjunct appointments in the Departments of Classics and World Religions and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Ohio University. She received an M.A. in religious studies from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Miami. Dr. Franz has worked both domestically and internationally on community-based research projects and has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and books on the theory and development of community-based partnerships to address critical health needs such as opioid abuse. Her co-authored book, "Narrative Medicine and Community-based Health Care and Planning," was published by Springer in 2017. She co-edited "Not Far from Me: Stories of Opioids and Ohio," which compiles first-person experiences of the opioid epidemic in Ohio. Currently, she is working on a co-authored book on hospital-community relations in three urban communities for the University of Chicago Press.
In the Heritage College, Dr. Franz teaches social inequality, the social construction of illness, health disparities, population health and the sociology of religion. Within the broader university, Franz co-teaches a course called “What is Evil? in the Department of Classics and World Religions.
Dawn Graham, PhD
Assistant Professor of Social Medicine
2010 Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology, Purdue University
1999 Master of Arts in Applied Behavioral Science: Counseling, Valparaiso University
1997 Bachelor of Science: Psychology with Honors, University of Evansville
Dawn Graham’s areas of teaching and research interest include creativity and mental health, community psychology, rural health and policy change. Current projects include qualitative research on integrated health care in rural settings across the United States. Dr. Graham has been involved in multiple studies involving the impact of compassion fatigue for health care professionals working with underserved patients and practices part time at Ohio University’s Hudson Health Center.
Dr. Graham’s current research spans across global, national and local initiatives in various projects. A current university-sponsored research project includes a qualitative exploration of how working on interdisciplinary teams impacts provider-to-patient care in rural settings across the United States. In addition, Dr. Graham is working with colleagues from the College of Health Science Professions and Global Studies to measure the impact of study abroad experiences in southern Africa. She is continuing research with colleagues from the Department of Family Medicine to determine basic knowledge of diabetes with college faculty. In addition, Dr. Graham is working with colleagues within the Department of Social Medicine on a developing curriculum to provide trauma-informed care education to local primary care providers.
It is imperative that coursework in human behavior and health care practice prepare the learner for situations that will be applicable in the workplace. As the new generation of physicians enters practice, it is important for them to learn the profession with competence, confidence, humility and a sense of humor. It is the responsibility of an educator to instill the importance of continuous learning and research to help enhance skills and techniques used in therapy and practice. Though underlying philosophies of education are useful, the ability for a student to think quickly and critically in the workplace is a valuable and generalizable skill. As a seasoned educator and clinician, Dr. Graham's love of the complexities of human behavior is exemplified through teaching the next generation of health professionals.
Through Ohio University, Dr. Graham is involved in facilitating small student groups as well as serving on interprofessional education projects within the Heritage College. She is a critical reflection group facilitator for the Office of Rural and Underserved Programs, as well as a Johnson and Johnson Diabetes Educator. In addition, she helps facilitate the LGBT clinical skills laboratory and works on the health care clerkship component across campuses for third- and fourth-year students. She serves on the Heritage College admissions committee, appointed by the dean. Within the community, Dr. Graham volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, the OHIO Women’s Mentoring Program and Athens Girls Rock Camp. She is a current board member for The Gathering Place and is on the leadership team for the annual Paw Paw Festival. On a national level, her clinical experience includes work with the University of Chicago Hospitals in neuropsychology, Michigan City Area Schools, Purdue University, Porter Starke Community Mental Health and Logansport State Psychiatric Hospital. In addition, she has experience running a multi-million dollar federal grant to promote children’s health in southeastern Ohio, with university and community partnerships in coordination with the Ohio Department of Health. She is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Ohio Psychological Association in the public sector issues committee. In addition, she has participated in national webinars and speaking engagements for SAMHSA’s Rural Behavioral Health, the March of Dimes and the American Institutes for Research.
Zelalem T. Haile, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Epidemiology
Affiliate Member, Infectious and Tropical Disease Institute, Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
Affiliate Member, Center for International Studies, Ohio University
2014 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Epidemiology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
2009 Master of Public Health (MPH), Ohio University, Athens, OH
2002 Master of Arts (MA), Anthropology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
2001 Bachelor of Arts (BA), University of Asmara, Eritrea. Major: Anthropology and Archaeology
Zelalem Haile’s teaching covers various areas of the clinical prevention and population health curriculum, including epidemiology, biostatistics, preventive medicine and evidence-based medicine. Dr. Haile’s research focus includes maternal, infant and child health; sexual and reproductive health; and global health. Currently, he is involved in various collaborative projects examining the influence of gestational diabetes on initiation, duration and frequency of breastfeeding among women in the United States. Other studies that he is currently involved in include a study examining sociodemographic and behavioral determinants of HIV testing and HIV infection; disease progression among HIV patients; HIV/AIDS stigma and HIV risk perception; health outcomes associated with hormonal contraceptive use; and other collaborative projects involving epidemiological data analysis of large secondary databases, including Infant Feeding Practices Study II, Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, Demographic and Health Survey, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Ohio Medicaid Assessment Survey and WHO Study on Global Aging.
In 2015, Dr. Haile received two internal interdisciplinary grants from Ohio University Global Health Initiative and from the Department of Social and Public Health to study patterns of utilization of modern contraceptives among married men in Uganda and cervical cancer screening among Somali immigrants in central Ohio, respectively. Dr. Haile is actively involved with the Global Health Initiative research training program in Botswana.
Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Zalalem_Haile
Gillian H. Ice, PhD, MPH
Professor of Social Medicine and Director of Global Health
Adjunct Professor, African Studies, Ohio University
Adjunct Professor, Biomedical Sciences, Ohio University
Adjunct Professor, Social and Public Health, Ohio University
Adjunct Professor, Anthropology, Ohio State University
2002 University of Minnesota, M.P.H. program in Epidemiology
1998 The Ohio State University, Ph.D., Anthropology, specialization in Gerontology
1992 City University of New York, M.A., Anthropology
1990 Washington University, A.B., Magna Cum Laude, Anthropology
Gillian Ice’s research explores stress and aging with a focus on grandparents caring for orphaned children in Kenya and elsewhere. She previously ran a study abroad program in Kenya and now takes health professions students to Botswana. She teaches in a number of areas including research methods and evidence-based medicine, epidemiology, geriatrics, cultural competence and global health.
Dr. Ice’s research focuses on the relationship between environment, stress and wellbeing of older adults. Her early work examined biomarkers of stress, with a focus on older adults living in institutional settings. She conducted a four-year longitudinal study, which measured the impact of caregiving on older adult well-being. This groundbreaking study was one of the first to demonstrate a positive health effect of caregiving. Currently, she is working with collaborators on the WHO study on global AGEing and adult health to examine the impact of caregiving on older adults' health in six countries. She edited (with Gary James) “Measuring Stress in Humans: A Practical Guide for the Field.” She is author (with Darna Dufour and Nancy Stevens) of “Disasters in Field Research,” published by Rowman and Littlefield.
Dr. Ice designed and coordinated the Clinical Prevention and Population Health curriculum for the last 12 years. This includes the topics of preventive medicine, epidemiology, statistics and evidence-based medicine. As the director of Global Health for the Heritage College from 2002 to 2012, she directed all study abroad programs for medical students. In 2013, she founded the Global Health Initiative, a collaboration between the Heritage College and the College of Health Sciences and Professions. GHI offers a number of study abroad programs that promote an understanding of global health issues, increase multicultural awareness and involve students, faculty and staff in research, education and outreach activities abroad and in immigrant communities in the U.S. Dr. Ice worked with GHI faculty and staff to develop courses, undergraduate and graduate certificate program and a master's of global health. She teaches Introduction to Global Health (IHS 2210) and Foundations of Global Health (IHS 5210).
Dr. Ice works with several governmental agencies in Botswana to assist in health systems strengthening. In this capacity, she is program coordinator for a twinning partnership with the Institutes of Health Sciences. This partnership is designed to assist curriculum development for the general nursing program and HIV/AIDS curriculum upgrade for all IHS programs. These programs are funded by CDC-PEPFAR, via the American International Health Alliance. She coordinates a research training program for the Ministry of Health of Botswana, University of Botswana, Institutes for Health Sciences and the National AIDS Coordinating Agency.
Nagesh Rao, PhD
Chair, Professor of Social Medicine
Sarah Rubin, PhD
Assistant Professor of Social Medicine
John Schriner, PhD
Assistant Professor of Social Medicine
Daniel Skinner, PhD
Associate Professor of Health Policy, Department of Social Medicine, Ohio University, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dublin, OH (Since 2019)
Editor-in-Chief, World Medical & Health Policy (Since 2021)
Co-Director, Osteopathic Health Policy Fellowship, American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, Washington, DC (Since 2018)
Director, Comparative Health Systems Program—Cuba, Ohio University (Since 2016)
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University College of Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (Since 2015)
Adjunct Faculty, Department of Political Science, Ohio University (Since 2014)
Adjunct Faculty, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, Ohio University (Since 2014)
Ph.D., Political Science, City University of New York, The Graduate Center
M.A., Political Science, City University of New York, The Graduate Center
B.A., Philosophy, State University of New York at Stony Brook
Daniel Skinner teaches a range of subjects, from the nuts and bolts of Medicaid to the politics of the Affordable Care Act to more recent questions about cost, access and quality in American health care, including in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. His teaching often emphasizes the challenges of navigating a political culture that is often at odds with what we know about best practices for delivering high quality health care to more and more Americans, as well as the complexity of the American health care system itself, which has a long history that is difficult to simply rework.
Dr. Skinner oversees a rotation that teaches fourth-year medical and other health professions students about the foundations of health care policy and politics and co-directs the osteopathic profession’s national health policy fellowship, which trains mid-career osteopathic medical professionals about policy formulation, development and advocacy.
He also provides a level-headed, balanced approach to policy in the political arena and can speak expertly on many topics, including the successes of--but also challenges presented by--the Affordable Care Act; the prospect of establishing a national health care system; the politics of American hospitals; and the opioid crisis.
Dr. Skinner has significant professional experience in political communication, both as a consultant on political campaigns and as a scholar, which has led him to emphasize the importance of effective messaging and rhetorical strategy in health politics and policy.
Prior to joining Ohio University, Dr. Skinner taught at Capital University in Ohio, Ramapo College of New Jersey and City University of New York-Hunter College. He speaks regularly about health care and politics throughout North America.
Dr. Skinner is editor-in-chief of World Medical & Health Policy, a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal; co-director of the Osteopathic Health Policy Fellowship, a national policy training program for osteopathic professionals; and director of Ohio University’s Comparative Health Systems--Cuba program, in which Ohio University students travel to Cuba to learn about the Latin American country’s health care system. Dr. Skinner also hosts "Prognosis Ohio," a weekly podcast about health and health care in Ohio, affiliated with the Central Ohio NPR radio station, WCBE.
In addition to many peer-reviewed articles published in journals such as The Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law; The Journal of Rural Health; The Journal of Medical Humanities; The Review of Politics; and Public Administration Review, Dr. Skinner is author of Medical Necessity: Health Care Access and the Politics of Decision Making (University of Minnesota Press, 2019) and co-editor (with Heritage College assistant professor Berkeley Franz) of Not Far From Me: Stories of Opioids and Ohio (Ohio State University Press, 2019). He is in the process of completing his third book (with Franz and UMASS sociologist Jonathan Wynn) entitled The City and the Hospital: A Sociology of Hospital and Community Development (University of Chicago Press). See Updated CV
Jacqueline H. Wolf, PhD
1998 Ph.D. in History, University of Illinois at Chicago
1991 M.A. in History, University of Illinois at Chicago
1973 B.S. in Journalism, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Jacqueline H. Wolf is a historian of medicine. She specializes in the history of women’s health and medicine, the history of children’s health and medicine, the history of public health and the history of biomedical ethics.
Dr. Wolf's research focuses on the history of birth and breastfeeding practices in the United States. Her articles have appeared in many venues including the American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Social History, Journal of Women’s History, Breastfeeding Medicine, Signs, Journal of Human Lactation, Health, Women and Health and The Milbank Quarterly. She is the author of three books, Don’t Kill Your Baby: Public Health and the Decline of Breastfeeding in the 19th and 20th Centuries (Ohio State University Press, 2001), an examination of the cultural shift from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding in the United States; Deliver Me from Pain: Anesthesia and Birth in America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009), a social history of the changing views of labor pain and the corresponding use of obstetric anesthesia in the 19th- and 20th-century United States; and Cesarean Section: An American History of Risk, Technology, and Consequence (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018), an examination of the factors leading to the 455% increase in cesarean surgeries between 1969 and 1987. Grants from the National Institutes of Health supported her research for her last two books.
Professor Wolf’s teaching interests include the history of women’s and children’s health and medicine, the history of public health and the history of medical ethics. At the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, she teaches medical ethics to first- and second-year medical students. She offers two classes in the Ohio University Department of History: Women’s Health and Medicine in U.S. History and History of Public Health Disasters. She is the executive producer and host of the podcast Lifespan: Stories of Illness, Accident, and Recovery, produced by WOUB Public Media.