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Urban — Global Public Health

Faculty Profile

  • Rafael E. Pérez-Figueroa, MD, MPH

  • Associate Professor
    Associate Dean of Community Engagement and Public Health Practice

  • Department of Urban-Global Public Health

  • CV


Community Engagement; Public Health Practice; Health Equity; Global Health; HIV/AIDS; Drug Use; Harm Reduction; Mental Health.

Dr. Rafael E. Pérez-Figueroa studies the mechanisms through which historically and contemporary under resourced populations experience health inequities. He does this by engaging in theoretically driven research that seeks to disentangle the effects of different social determinants of health on the outcomes of these populations. Most of his scholarly work focuses on public health issues related to HIV/AIDS prevention and care, substance use and abuse, harm reduction, mental health, and healthcare utilization. He uses different community-engaged approaches to study these issues, focusing on the interplay between behavioral, social, structural, and environmental factors that influence health systems in which inequities are embedded. He emphasizes on conducting community-engaged research work and public health practice that directly aligns to the translation, diffusion, and implementation of evidence-based health strategies into community practice and policies. He is a fellow of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Research Leaders Program, the Columbia University Community-Based Participatory Research Program, the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse, and the New York University Postdoctoral and Transition Program for Academic Diversity.

Research Interests
Dr. Pérez-Figueroa is examining the role of fatherhood on the health outcomes of men of color exposed to the criminal justice system as part of a community-academic partnership. This study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, aims to change policies, procedures, and practices that disproportionately impact men of color in the commonwealth of Kentucky and promote a culture of health nationally. In addition, he has studied the implementation of state-wide approaches to address inequities in mental health outcomes and the provision of mental health services to youth and families; evaluated and sharpen the implementation of different technology-based strategies to engage sexual and gender minority youths of color into HIV prevention and sexual health services; examined the disproportionate access to healthcare services of people of color who use drugs; and evaluated the burden of sexually transmitted infections among key under resourced populations globally. His work has been funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, among other national agencies and foundations.

Social Media & Websites
NCBI Bibliography: