Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, PhD, MPH
Professor of Preventive Medicine, Institute for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention
Associate Dean for Community Initiatives
Director, Center for Health Equity in the Americas
Keck School of Medicine of USC
University of Southern California
Location: SSB 302M
Telephone: (323) 442-8231
Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati is a tenured faculty professor of preventive medicine in the department of preventive medicine and the associate dean for community initiatives at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. She is a member of the directorate of the Institute for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Research at USC, focusing on community outreach, community education and community-based research. She co-directs the global health track of the USC Master of Public Health program. Baezconde-Garbanati is also a member of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, where she serves as faculty liaison and project leader of the Patient Education and Community Outreach Center. At USC she holds a joint appointment in the department of sociology and courtesy appointment at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She is the director and principal investigator of the USC Center for Health Equity in the Americas, a virtual center at the Keck School of Medicine that engages faculty and students in the Americas on research and training for the correction of health disparities.
Baezconde-Garbanati conducts research, teaches and provides technical assistance and training on cancer control with a focus on Latinos and other diverse and vulnerable populations. This includes Latino Americans in the US (Latino diaspora), Latinos and indigenous populations in the Americas (North America, Central America, South America and the Latino Caribbean). She also conducts research among African Americans, American Indians and Korean American populations. Her community based and community participatory research engages communities from inception of research conceptualization through the dissemination phases, and provides the science base for sound policy decision-making. Most of her career has been devoted to tobacco prevention and control research, cervical cancer screening and promotion of the HPV vaccine, and obesity prevention at the community level. Other areas of interest include gender and ethnic minority health, and global health. Her health communication work emphasizes finding optimal mechanisms and strategies for communicating effective health messages and developing and testing interventions to correct health disparities, including the use of narrative and entertainment education. One of the goals of her research method is to more quickly translate scientific findings into community initiatives and public health policy.
Baezconde-Garbanati has received multiple awards and recognitions for her transdisciplinary research. She has been a member of five National Institutes of Health funded centers: the USC Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center, the Transdisciplinary Research Center on Energetics and Cancer, the Prevention Center (Substance Abuse Prevention), the USC Tobacco Center for Regulatory Sciences in Vulnerable Populations, and the Center of Excellence for Minority Youth. In addition, she has a strong track record as PI or co-investigator in several NIH-funded projects from the National Cancer Institute: the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. She received formal recognition, alongside colleague Jonathan Samet, from the Los Angeles City Council; a Most Distinguished Career Award from the American Public Health Association Latino Caucus; the University of California, Irvine, Chancellor’s Award in Clinical and Translational Science; and the UC Irvine Chancellor’s Commendation for Outstanding Community Based-Participatory Research. With colleagues in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, department of preventive medicine and Annenberg School, Baezconde-Garbanati won the Best Scientific Research Paper award at the Fifth International Conference on Design and Technology for her research on the design of a culturally intelligent technology-based medical interpretation device, funded by the National Science Foundation. Along with colleagues at USC, Portland State University and San Diego State University, she won the Top Scientific Translational Research Award, awarded at George Mason University during the International Health Communication Conference for her transdisciplinary project with the USC School of Cinematic Arts, the Annenberg School and department of preventive medicine (Transforming Cancer Knowledge, Attitudes and Beliefs through Narrative). This same research project won an APHA award from the Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section, Best Multimedia Material. This project also won the NIH Commemorative 10-Year Common Fund Award for best video. Her short film, “Tamale Lesson,” was a finalist at the Reel International Short Film Festival in Melbourne, Australia. She has been recognized as a Public Health Hero by the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, Research!America, the Midwest Regional Latino Health and Human Services Conference, and the National Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco. She is an appointee of the Governor of California to the Tobacco, Education and Research Oversight Committee, a Board Member of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, and of Nuestras Voces, a national Latino network on tobacco control funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Baezconde-Garbanati has traveled widely and is well published in prestigious and high impact journals in her field, including the American Journal for Public Health, and Nicotine and Tobacco Research, among others. She is also an outstanding and innovative educator, with a focus on service learning and transforming the classroom in creative ways to better equip students to deal with real world public health issues and public health emergencies, locally, nationally and globally.
Baezconde-Garbanati holds five academic degrees from Latin America, the United States and Europe and speaks multiple languages. Her degrees include a doctorate and an MPH in community health sciences and public health from the University of California, Los Angeles; a master’s degree in medical psychology from the Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium; and dual bachelor’s degrees in clinical and industrial psychology from the Universidad Nacional Pedro H. Urena in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She has also studied at Laval University in Quebec, Canada, and at Cambridge University in England.