Kathleen Egan, PhD

T32 Postdoctoral Fellow

Bachelor of Science, Biology, Stetson University, Deland, FL, 2007
Master of Science, Clinical and Population Translational Science, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, 2011
Doctor of Philosophy, Community Health Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, 2017

Hometown: Dunnellon, FL
Research interests: My research focuses on the prevention of prescription drug, alcohol, tobacco, and other illicit drug use among youth and young adults. I am especially interested in the evaluating the implementation and effectiveness of environmental strategies and policy to prevent substance use problems in communities. I am passionate about working with local organizations to translate practice into research and, subsequently, translating research back to practice.
Long-term career goals: I aim to further examine contributing factors of prescription drug misuse to inform the development of community-based interventions and policies to address misuse and associated consequences. Additionally, I plan to work with community organizations to assess the effectiveness of strategies that have been implemented in practice to address prescription drug misuse and associated consequences. Through this work, I intend to expand my training in evaluation, community-based participatory research, and dissemination and implementation research.
What philosophy guides your education? The philosophical underpinnings of participatory action research and community-based participatory research guide my work. In order to implement and sustain effective interventions, I believe that it is instrumental to have community support and engagement throughout the entire research process – generation of research questions, intervention development, implementation, and evaluation.
What do you see as the most pressing public health problems facing the world today? Poverty, economic uncertainty, and unequal access to affordable healthcare are some of the most pressing root causes of the public health problems facing the world and United States today. The opioid epidemic in the United States exemplifies this with the epicenter of the problem largely occurring in regions devastated by economic decline, decreased job security, and deindustrialization, along with minimal access to treatment and care.