Harlem Gunness
Harlem Gunness

Urban Health


Work Position
Public Health Advisor

UMDNJ-School of Health Related Professions

Date passed dissertation defense
Data unavailable


Harlem’s career started off in the field of HIV/AIDS as a Health Educator intern at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center. At that time, it was the only healthcare center targeting the gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual community in New York City and the largest one in the country. That experience afforded him the opportunity as an HIV Coordinator at a substance abuse long-term residential alternative-to-incarceration treatment program, providing health education, facilitating HIV positive support groups and HIV counseling and testing to ‘at-risk’ clients. While coordinating healthcare services at the program, Harlem went back to school to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Health at Hunter College, City University of New York. His concentration was in Community Health Education. 

Following his MPH, Harlem worked as an HIV/AIDS Research Project Manager at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, Center for Comprehensive Care assessing HIV positive patients’ adherence to highly active anti-retroviral treatment. In 2003, when SARS surfaced, the CDC afforded him the privilege to work as a Public Health Specialist at JFK Quarantine Station in New York, assessing hospitals’ capacity to manage a communicable disease of public health significance. He then proceeded to New York State Department of Health as a Public Health Emergency Preparedness Representative working with hospitals to enhance their preparedness initiatives for a bioterrorism incident. Three years later, he returned to CDC as a Public Health Advisor at the Newark Quarantine Station, New Jersey doing disease surveillance, partnership collaboration and health screening of immigrants and refugees. A year later, Harlem joined the US Public Health Service and later enrolled as a doctoral student at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey focusing on Urban Health Systems. His passion lies with eradicating health disparities in marginalized, hard-to–reach urban populations that are often overlooked in the public health system.


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