Areas of Research

Social Medicine

Suzanne Holt Ballard, PhD

Professor of Culture, Epistemology, and Medicine

Contact Information

Email: ballards@ohio.edu  
Phone: 740.597.2946
Address: 306 Grosvenor Hall


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

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

Dr. Bianco’s general teaching and research agendas address how biomedical, clinical and psychosocial factors converge to inform patient experiences of health and healthcare. 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 healthcare systems.  He examines trauma from the complementary perspectives of  patients  (i.e., how psychological trauma affects individual health and wellness across the lifespan) and  healthcare providers  (i.e., how providers and healthcare systems identify, negotiate and cope with challenges imposed by patient with traumatic stress). His research is interdisciplinary and community-based, involving collaborations with medical clinics, social service agencies, consumers, and members of the healthcare 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 OBGYN 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.  

Academia.edu:   https://ohio.academia.edu/JosephBianco

ResearchGate:   https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Joseph_Bianco

Contact Information

Email: bianco@ohio.edu
Phone: 740.593.2130
Address: 308 Grosvenor Hall


David Descutner, PhD

Professor, Interim Chair

Contact Information

Email: descutne@ohio.edu
Phone: 740.593.2440
Address: 302 Grosvenor Hall


Berkeley Franz, PhD

Health Policy Postdoctoral Researcher

Adjunct Professor, Ohio University Department of Classics and World Religions

Adjunct Professor, Ohio University Department of Sociology

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 community-based philosophy, social theory, and health policy. In addition, she has interests in the sociology of religion and community organizing.

Dr. Franz’s research considers the relevance of theoretical perspectives for thinking about health behaviors, civic engagement, and social change in the organization of health care. She has worked both domestically and internationally on community-based research projects aimed to improve health outcomes and develop services guided by local perspectives. Additionally, she has carried out qualitative work on the political and religious interpretations of the ACA. Dr. Franz has published peer-reviewed articles on the theoretical principles of community-based projects and the philosophy of health care organization and evaluation. This work has been published in scholarly outlets such as  Action Research, Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, and Social Work and Public Health.  She is currently co-authoring a book on narrative medicine in the context of community health. Her future plans include researching the historical relationship between health care institutions and the communities they inhabit and developing training initiatives for forming collaborative health partnerships.

Dr. Franz has teaching interests in medical sociology, the social construction of illness, health disparities, community-based philosophy, social theory, and the sociology of religion. At Ohio University, Franz teaches the “Development of Social Theory” in the Sociology Department and a course called “What is Evil? In the Department of Classics and World Religions. She also has served as a discussion leader and guest lecturer in the Difficult Dialogues Course Series. These Courses include “Difficult Dialogues: Religious Beliefs” and “Difficult Dialogues: Religion, Gender, and Sexuality.”

Contact Information

Email: franzb@ohio.edu  
Phone: 740.593.9169
Address: 409 Irvine Hall


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

Dr. 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 healthcare in rural settings across the United States. Graham has been involved in multiple studies involving the impact of compassion fatigue for healthcare professionals working with underserved, patients and practices part-time at Ohio University’s Hudson Health Center.

Dr. Graham’s current research spans across global, nationwide, and local initiatives in various projects. A current university sponsored research project includes a qualitative exploration of the impact of how working on interdisciplinary teams impact 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, 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 healthcare 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, her love of the complexities of human behavior is exemplified through in 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 OU-HCOM. 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 as well as working on the healthcare clerkship component across campuses for third and fourth year students. She serves on the OU-HCOM admissions committee appointed by the Dean. Within the community, Dr. Graham volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, the OU Woman’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, Clinical experience includes work 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.

Contact Information

Email: grahamd@ohio.edu  
Phone: 740.593.2212
Address: 309 Grosvenor Hall


Zelalem T. Haile, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology

Affiliate Member, 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

Dr. 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 (IFPS II), Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), Ohio Medicaid Assessment Survey (OMAS) and WHO Study on global Aging (SAGE). 

In 2015 Dr. Haile received two internal inter-disciplinary 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.

Academia.edu:   https://ohio.academia.edu/ZelalemHaile

Research Gate:   https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Zalalem_Haile

Contact Information

Email: haile@ohio.edu  
Phone: 614.793.5591
Address: MEB1-450 (Dublin)


Gillian H. Ice, PhD, MPH                        

Professor, 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

Dr. 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 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 HCOM from 2002-2012, she directed all study abroad programs for medical students. In 2013, she founded the Global Health Initiative (GHI), a collaboration between HCOM 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 US. Dr. Ice worked with GHI faculty and staff to develop courses,  undgraduate and graduate certificate program and a Masters 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 (HIS).  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.

Research Gate:   https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Gillian_Ice

Contact Information 

Email: iceg@ohio.edu
Phone: 740.593.2128 
Address 301 Grosvenor Hall and Grover E118
Website: www.ohio.edu/globalhealth


Sarah Rubin, PhD

Assistant Professor of Social Medicine

Contact Information

Email: rubins@ohio.edu  
Phone: 216.295.7540
Address: 338B (Cleveland)


John Schriner, PhD

Assistant Professor of Social Medicine

Contact Information

Email: schriner@ohio.edu  
Phone: 740.593.2173
Address: 102B Grosvenor Hall


Daniel Skinner, PhD

Assistant Professor of Health Policy

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (Since 2015)

Associate Editor of the Americas,  Critical Public Health  (Since 2015)

Affiliate Faculty, American Osteopathic Association Health Policy Fellowship (Since 2014)

Affiliate Faculty, Department of Political Science, Ohio University (Since 2014)

Affiliate Faculty, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, Ohio University (Since 2014)

2009  Ph.D., Political Science, City University of New York, The Graduate Center

2005  M.A., Political Science, City University of New York, The Graduate Center

2000  B.A., Philosophy, State University of New York at Stony Brook

Dr. Skinner’s scholarly interests include health care politics and policy; the politics of medicine and disease; hospital-community relations; the health of marginalized peoples; and feminist theory. He is currently working on two book-length manuscripts. The first,  The Politics of Medical Necessity, examines how the concept of medical necessity is defined in health care utilization debates, particularly at the margins of contentious political issues such as marijuana, sexuality and reproduction, and mental health. A second, co-authored book project explores how hospitals impact the urban settings in which they are located, with a particular eye toward how they relate with community members and organizations. Beginning in June 2015, Skinner began a three year term as Associate Editor for the Americas for the journal  Critical Public Health. Skinner’s research has appeared in journals including  The Journal of Health, Politics, Policy, and LawPublic Administration ReviewThe Review of PoliticsPolityNew Political Science ; and  Law, Culture, and the Humanities.

Academia.edu:   https://ohio.academia.edu/DanielSkinner

Contact Information

Email: skinnerd@ohio.edu  
Phone: 614.793.5590
Address: MEB1-425 (Dublin)


Jacqueline H. Wolf, PhD

Professor of the History of Medicine

Adjunct Professor, Ohio University Department of Women and Gender Studies

Adjunct Professor, Ohio University Department of History

Professor, Ohio University Contemporary History Institute

Adjunct Professor, Department of Health Communications

1998  PhD in History, University of Illinois at Chicago

1991  MA in History, University of Illinois at Chicago

1973  BS in Journalism, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Jacqueline H. Wolf is a historian of medicine. She specializes in the history of women’s reproductive health, the history of children’s health, and the history of public health in the United States.

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, most recently,  The Milbank Quarterly, which ran as a featured article in the December 2013 issue the article she co-authored with her brother about end-of-life care in the United States using their mother’s death from lung cancer in 2010 as a case study. She is the author of two 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 formula-feeding in the United States, and  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. She is currently writing a social history of cesarean section in the United States, to be published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2017. A three-year grant from the National Institutes of Health supports her research on the history of cesarean section.

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.

Contact Information

Email: wolfj1@ohio.edu
Phone: 740.597.2777; 740.597.1966 (Contemporary History Institute office)
Address: 313 Grosvenor Hall and 2 Brown House

http://woub.org/2014/06/23/american-way-end-life-care /

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XAlGZt8Hmg

http://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/health-vision/episodes/431537/2 /