Dr. April Joy Damian is an epidemiologist, health services researcher, and classically trained public health professional with expertise in health equity, social determinants of health, psychiatric epidemiology, and mixed methods. She currently serves as the Vice President and Director of the Weitzman Institute, a research, education, and policy center dedicated to quality improvement and primary care transformation, with a particularly focus on vulnerable populations. Dr. Damian is also the immediate Past Chair of the AcademyHealth Public Health Systems Research IG Advisory Board, and concurrently holds faculty appointments at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and UConn School of Medicine. Dr. Damian previously served as the Director of Quality Innovation at the National Quality Forum (NQF). In this role, Dr. Damian spearheaded the expansion of NQF’s portfolio on social determinants of health quality measures, and co-led the NQF Measure Incubator®, an innovative effort that facilitates efficient measure development and testing through collaboration and partnership, and addresses important aspects of care for which quality measures are underdeveloped or non-existent.

Dr. Damian completed her PhD in the Department of Mental Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Masters in Medical Sciences at Harvard Medical School. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelors of Arts in Ethnic Studies, Highest Honors. She has worked with several reputable governing bodies, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veteran Health Administration in Washington, DC, International Organization for Migration in Geneva, Switzerland, as well as local health departments, on policy and programs relating to improving healthcare access and quality for medically underserved communities. She has received numerous recognitions in honor of her role as a social change agent, including the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded Community Well-Being Warrior Award, and an honorarium from the University of Delaware.

Authored by April Joy Damian, Ph.D., M.Sc.

Blog Post

Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences in the Context of COVID-19

In its latest policy brief entitled “Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences in the Context of COVID-19,” the Weitzman Institute, an AcademyHealth organizational member, examines how the health, social, and economic impact of COVID-19 will result in an increase in adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), especially in our most vulnerable populations, and highlights potential public health responses needed to effectively address ACEs in our communities.
Blog Post

Through Their Eyes: Examining Youth Homelessness with Photovoice

The support of the Aetna Foundation for the “Addressing the Health and Health-Related Social Needs of Homeless Youth” project gave the Weitzman Institute, an AcademyHealth organizational member, the unique opportunity to collaborate with young people experiencing housing insecurity during COVID to examine the web of factors contributing to homelessness in New Britain, Connecticut, through photovoice, a community based participatory research approach that uses photography and storytelling.
Blog Post

Reinvigorating Public Health Systems Research in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Leaders of the AcademyHealth Public Health Systems Research (PHSR) Interest Group highlight opportunities for PHSR to respond to COVID-19 in the following areas: public health workforce, health equity, financing, structure, and informatics.