Global Health Professor Dr. Chinekwu Obidoa Selected as Population Health Equity Fellow at Harvard


MACON – Dr. Chinekwu Obidoa, assistant professor of global health in Mercer University's College of Liberal Arts, was recently selected as a Population Health Equity Fellow by the Population Health Equity Forum at Harvard University.

The fellowship is awarded to public health professionals who address population health equity issues based on their ongoing academic and professional achievements. Dr. Obidoa is one of five fellows selected from a competitive pool of international candidates, and is the only tenure-track professor in the U.S. selected to participate in this inaugural cohort.

Dr. Obidoa was honored at a reception dinner during the Forum on Population Health Equity held Oct. 18 at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Ichiro Kawachi, John L. Loeb and Frances Lehman Loeb Professor of Social Epidemiology at Harvard University, presented Dr. Obidoa with the award.

Dr. Obidoa also presented two posters at the forum on her current research exploring the spatial distribution and impact of neighborhood disorder and concentrated disadvantage on HIV sexual risk. One of the studies debuted a 10-item community disadvantage index that she is currently developing.

As a mixed-methods researcher, Dr. Obidoa focuses on spatial and social epidemiology of HIV/AIDS, local and global disparities in health and the health of emerging adulthoods.

“I feel honored to have been considered and selected for this award,” said Dr. Obidoa. “I look forward to continuing to develop and execute research that is transformative and redemptive.”

Dr. Obidoa joined the Mercer faculty in 2013. She earned her Ph.D. in public health from the University of Connecticut and also holds master's degrees in geography, public health, and international studies with a concentration in African studies.

Mercer's Department of International and Global Studies (IGS), led by Dr. Eimad Houry, consists of Dr. Obidoa, Dr. Amy Nichols-Belo and Dr. Lisa Vu. Having experienced significant growth since its inception in 2012, IGS is now the sixth largest department in terms of student enrollment in the College of Liberal Arts. Half of the University's applicants for 2016 Fulbright awards and seven of the 26 newly inducted Phi Beta Kappa members were IGS students.