Contact Information

Research Scientist
District of Columbia Department of Health
HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Administrationy
899 N. Capitol Street NE 4th Floor
Washington DC, 20002

202-727-5682

leah.varga@dc.gov

Membership Information

Membership Category:
Research Scientist

Member Since: 2015

 

Leah Varga, Ph.D.

Leah Varga

Education

Ph.D.   University of Miami
MA       University of Miami
B.A.      University of Miami

About Me

I am a Public Health Analyst and the HIV Services Planner at the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and Tuberculosis Administration at the District of Columbia Department of Health. Drawing upon 20 years of experiences in health research with minority populations, I participate in developing and implementing plans to increase HIV services in underserved areas and conduct needs assessments to identify gaps and determine funding priorities for services.  I have had the opportunity to be involved in HIV prevention and testing initiatives with at-risk adolescents, gang members, injection drug users, men who have sex with men, migrant workers, Latinas, club drug users, and most recently, street-based sex workers. Additionally, I worked on longitudinal projects examining coping behaviors of low-income breast cancer patients and access to care and treatment among Caribbeans living with HIV/AIDS. Having served as a recruiter, field coordinator, assessor, interventionist, and project director on these various projects solidified my capability and commitment to all aspects of the research process. This exposure also has influenced my interest in the role race/ethnicity, discrimination, socioeconomic status, and structural issues have on health and the experience of health.

Research Interests

I prefer qualitative and mixed method approaches to understanding the health needs, barriers, definitions, and experiences of disadvantaged communities and the ideologies that maintain inequitable systems. More specifically, my current research interests include: exploring informal health care networks; social-spatial influences on health; and examining links between health and the natural and built environment.

Curriculum Vitae