Yohansa Fernandez, LMSW
M.S. W. City University of New York, Hunter College
B.S. State University of New York at Binghamton
Yohansa Fernández, LMSW is the recipient of a Bachelor of Science in Human Development from Binghamton University where she was named a McNair Scholar and holds a Master of Social Work from Hunter College- Silberman School of Social Work with specialized courses in Public Health. Yohansa’s research interests include the mechanisms through which syndemic factors including drug use are associated with HIV/STI risk among marginalized populations. Currently, Yohansa is a 3rd year PhD student at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work. Prior to beginning her doctoral program, she was employed as a research coordinator at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and a clinical social work supervisor at the YMCA of Greater New York. Yohansa also worked as an assistant research scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute’s HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies (now known as the division of Gender, Sexuality and Health) on one of the largest cohort studies of perinatally HIV infected and/or exposed youth in the country.
The long-term goal of my program of research is to develop an efficacious, and sustainable intervention designed to increase the utilization of preventative sexual health services (i.e., HIV/STI screenings, PrEP, condom use) particularly among transgender and injection drug using (IDU) populations. My research agenda seeks to explore and develop novel delivery mechanisms as an outreach strategy for engaging individuals in preventative care. Furthermore, my proposed approach will move beyond traditional “static efforts” of focusing exclusively on whether an individual has “ever” been engaged to a focus on “routine and regular” STI/HIV preventative service engagement in relation to drug use including injecting and/or other high-risk behaviors.