School: Milken Institute School of Public Health
Department: Prevention and Community Health
Mark Edberg, Ph.D., M.A. Professor, Department of Prevention and Community Health, with secondary appointments in the Department of Anthropology and Elliott School of International Affairs.
Dr. Edberg is currently principal investigator (PI) for two research grants from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD, an NIH institute): Development, implementation and evaluation of a novel youth firearms violence prevention effort in collaboration with a community in Ward 8 of the District of Columbia, and a qualitative-to-quantitative effort to develop an instrument measuring indigenous historical trauma and its potential effects on health disparities among American Indian/Alaska Native communities. The latter project is a collaboration with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Western Carolina University. He also directs the Avance Center for the Advancement of Immigrant/Refugee Health (Avance Center), an exploratory research center on health disparities that has received funding from NIMHD, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) for research efforts focusing on the co-occurrence of substance abuse, youth violence, the prevention of obesity, and most recently on community engagement approaches to address COVID-19 disparities – all in collaboration with DC metro area Latino immigrant communities. He is also founder and director of the Center on Social Well-Being and Development (CSWD), under which there is currently a contract for social/behavior change communications services with the World Food Program (WFP) and a history of projects with UNICEF in Belize, Ghana, Indonesia, South Africa, and Jamaica, as well as research on transnational social determinants of health affecting recent Latino immigrants.
Dr. Edberg is a cultural anthropologist with a focus on public health (domestic and global). He is particularly knowledgeable about how poverty and marginalization and other social/structural determinants intersect with key health issues, such as HIV/AIDS, substance use, youth violence, and health disparities in general. A researcher and consultant with strong interests in theory and in developing and evaluating prevention programs, Dr. Edberg says, "It has been my goal to contribute whatever I can to bridging the gap between the public health approach to these challenges and the ways in which affected populations understand, experience and frame their relationship to a specific issue." He has done field or project work in urban North America, Mexico, Panama, Central America, Jamaica and elsewhere in the Caribbean, and in South Africa, Ethiopia, Ghana and other countries. In his work he has also retained a strong interest in immigrant and refugee populations, collaborating closely with organizations and residents in the Hispanic/Latino and Southeast Asian communities.
Professor Edberg is trained in qualitative research methods as well as mixed methods approaches, and has experience in program design, implementation and evaluation, community participatory research methods, social marketing, mass media and public information, all essential tools to address social and cultural factors that shape public health challenges. In addition, he is a working musician and founder of The Furies, a modern rock band that played original music in the DC area, and its current offshoot, the Black Shag Sherpas (Facebook).