Rutgers School of Nursing
Urban Health Coordinator:

Sabrina Chase, PhD
Director, Urban Health Track

Urban Health Research Teams

Our growing Urban Health, Women’s Health and Global Research Groups bring together scholars from the Joint Urban Systems program at both Rutgers and NJIT. These thought-leaders seek to use their expertise to improve the health and wellbeing of the urban communities in which we live, work, and play.

The Women’s Health Research Group

The Women’s Health Research Group is a dynamic, interprofessional association of scholars focused on improving the health of urban women and children, particularly African Americans and Latinas impacted by disparities in health and health care. The work of this productive group has been widely published.  Their most recent article on HPV vaccine initiation has been accepted for publication in the American Journal of Public Health, the flagship journal of the American Association of Public Health.  You can explore it more here. These Urban Health scholars work closely with the program’s graduate students on both their own faculty pilot projects and the design of student dissertation research.”.

Carmody, Btoush
Global Health Research Group
(L-R) Dennis Carmody, Rula Btoush, Diane Brown

Patricia Hindin

Buccalo, Btoush
Jennifer Bucalo, Rula Btoush

Signature Areas for Women’s Health Research Group (Joint Urban System Program) Scholars

Dr. Rula Btoush
  • Addressing health care disparities and reduced access to health services among minority urban women
  • HPV vaccine acceptance in ethnically diverse, urban populations
  • Health issues associated with intimate partner violence among minority women
Dr. Dennis Carmody
  • Long-term impacts of prenatal exposure to cocaine and tobacco among children
  • Health disparities affecting the development of pre-adolescent and adolescent children
  • Brain behavior relations accompanying developmental change
Dr. Patricia Hindin
  • Addressing racial and ethnic inequalities in health across the lifespan in underserved minority women
  • Empowerment approaches to maternal health: centering models of care
  • Associations between risky health behaviors and poor health outcomes among women exposed to intimate partner violence

Current Women’s Health Research Group Projects

"I have studied under the leadership of distinguished scholars in the Joint Urban Systems Program.  As a student specializing in Urban Education Policy, I feel truly grateful for the opportunity to work collaboratively with professors in the School of Nursing. My focus is to continue to conduct research to improve urban health and education, especially in Newark, New Jersey." 

Jennifer Bucalo

The Urban Health Research Group

Patricia Hindin
Patricia Hindin

Phoebe Del Boccio
Phoebe Del Boccio

Rubab Qureshi
Rubab Qureshi

The Urban Health Research Group brings together six scholar-advocates dedicated to improving the health and well-being of underserved urban populations. Each member supports the work of the others and mentors one or more Urban Health PhD students.  Urban Health graduate students apprentice themselves to faculty pilot projects in order to learn the basics of research design as well as data collection and analysis.  Students are strongly encouraged to participate in every stage of these projects, including collaborative writing, submission and publication of journal articles reporting study results.

Cindy Sickora, Jennifer bucalo, Patti Hoff, Sabrina Chase, Peijia Zha
Urban Health Research Group
(L-R) Cindy Sickora, Jennifer Bucalo, Patti O'Brien-Richardson, Sabrina Chase, Peijia Zha

Signature Areas for Urban Health Group Researchers

Dr. Sabrina Marie Chase
  • Transforming primary care in urban settings
  • Innovative models of healthcare delivery targeting racial and ethnic inequalities in health care
  • Facilitation in health care delivery and scholarship settings
  • Resilience in HIV+ urban Latinas
  • Coaching for faculty and graduate student productivity
Dr. Patricia Hindin
  • Addressing racial and ethnic inequalities in health across the lifespan in underserved minority women
  • Empowerment approaches to maternal health: centering models of care
  • Associations between risky health behaviors and poor health outcomes among women exposed to intimate partner violence
Dr. Rubab Qureshi
  • Health, social and cultural adaptation in immigrant populations
  • Social determinants of health among gender and sexual minority populations
  • Technological innovations targeting LGBT health care needs
  • Cultural competence in health care education
Dr. Cindy Sickora
  • The role of nursing in the transformation of health care
  • Innovative models of community-based healthcare targeting racial and ethnic inequalities in health
  • Nurse-managed community-based care
  • The leadership role of nursing in interprofessional education
Dr. Peijia Zha
  • Development and evaluation of an instrument to measure trust
  • Utilizing statistical modeling to understand the role of social determinants in shaping health outcomes among underserved populations
  • Exploring the use of technology in self-management of chronic diseases
  • Social epidemiology

Current Urban Health Group Research Projects

"My Joint Urban Systems research mentors have taught me many powerful lessons for becoming a better researcher – For example, although they  understand my propensity to want to “paint the sky” in my research by starting with a big picture conceptualization for each project,  they help me control my tendency for overreach by teaching me how to “drill down” and redirect my focus on a single shining star as the endpoint, making my health impacts research more targeted, precise and effective"

Phoebe Del Boccio 

"To me, mentoring means embracing with one hand the ability to achieve what you have always set out to do while reaching back with the other hand to shape another's future with your experience and expertise. 

Mentoring is a lifelong process. Lessons learned in four short years can impact someone for a lifetime.  Successful mentoring is not solely dependent on the mentor, but also on the mentee. For the student, it means remaining open, shapeable, and moldable. It's a personal commitment to never stop growing and to continue viewing each session with your mentor as a learning opportunity. 

Graduate programs far and wide may offer top-notch academic courses taught by experts in their field, but mentoring, to me, is the most valuable characteristic of a successful graduate program. Although this quality is rare and hard to come by, it exists here, in the Urban Health program. As a scholar activist and social entrepreneur, I am among the few to be enriched by the mentorship of Dr. Sabrina Chase, the Director of the Urban Health program. "

Patti O'Brien-Richardson M.S. Ed.

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