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Health Disparities and Mental Health Outcomes Among Underserved Populations Living in Air-Polluted Neighborhoods

March 17, 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Rutgers Global Health Institute is hosting a guest faculty seminar at 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 17, 2022, as part of its Viewpoints in Global Health Research: Guest Faculty Seminar Series.

This online seminar will be presented by:photo of Shir Ginzburg

Shir Lerman Ginzburg 
Department of Public Health Sciences, UConn Health

Health Disparities and Mental Health Outcomes Among Underserved Populations Living in Air-Polluted Neighborhoods
In this research seminar, Ginzburg will give an overview of the health disparities that socioeconomically and politically underserved communities in New England face, such as underemployment and limited health insurance coverage. In particular, she focuses on the mental health outcomes that these neighborhood residents face as they struggle with the air pollution issues, such as vehicle exhaust from nearby interstates, that are common in underserved communities. She outlines the ways in which community-based participatory research between academic institutions and community organizations can raise awareness of the mental health and environmental health factors that these communities face and discusses possibilities for mitigating health disparities.

About the Presenter
Shir Lerman Ginzburg is a senior research fellow in the Department of Public Health Sciences at UConn Health. Her research interests currently focus on environmental health and justice among underserved communities near busy roadways, particularly the impacts of air pollution
on stress and depression. She is trained as a medical anthropologist and public health professional, and she has conducted research in syndemics, stigma, chronic illness, mental health, environmental health, obesity, food insecurity, diabetes, mindfulness, COVID-19, and health inequities in Puerto Rico. She also conducts community-based participatory research and is dedicated to incorporating community engagement at all stages of the research process.

A mixed-methods researcher, she received a Ph.D. degree in medical anthropology from the University of Connecticut, where she identified a new syndemic in Puerto Rico: the OVIDD syndemic (OVIDD refers to obesity, structural violence, political instability, diabetes, and depression). She completed her NIH-funded fellowship in implementation science at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, where she studied the correlation between mindfulness and mental health outcomes among underserved communities in the greater Boston area. She has coedited three books: Foundations of BioSocial Health: Stigma and Illness Interactions; Stigma Syndemics: New Directions in BioSocial Health; and Gender, Health, and Society in Contemporary Latin America and the Caribbean. She also has published research articles in journals such as Contemporary Clinical Trials, Medical Anthropology, Journal of Public Health, Transcultural Psychiatry, BMC Psychology, and PLOS One.

Online via Zoom

Free and open to the public. For more information, email For more events, visit the seminar series page on the Rutgers Global Health Institute website or explore the institute’s full online calendar.

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March 17, 2022
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Online via Zoom


Rutgers Global Health Institute
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