Lydia is a Senior Research Associate at AcademyHealth where she explores strategies to address inequities in grantmaking and medical diagnoses. She also works on a project with the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation (RWFJ) that focuses on advancing innovation and diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) in the health systems and services research field. 

Lydia is a transdisciplinary community-based participatory action researcher with expertise in the ways in which discriminatory laws and policies affect population health and exacerbate health disparities in addition to how law and policy reform can mitigate health inequities. Prior to joining AcademyHealth, Lydia worked with a myriad of non-profits and community-based organizations conducting organizational assessments and research projects examining work culture, food landscapes, and strategies to increase DEIJ in volunteer programming. Her expertise and passion are primarily in sexual and reproductive health and justice, and she has extensive experience working with PLHIV, people in the sex industry, and trans and gender non-conforming folks (TGNC) in both community-based outreach work, conducting qualitative research, and in policy advocacy. 

Lydia holds a M.A. and M.P.H. from the University of Memphis where she studied medical anthropology and public health. For her master's practicum project, she conducted a qualitative research project analyzing laws criminalizing HIV in Florida, Tennessee, and Texas. More specifically, she critically examined how these laws targeted people in the sex industry, LGBTQIA+, and people who use drugs at the intersections of race, gender, and class. She has consulted with the ACLU and Department of Justice (DOJ) on the discriminatory nature of anti-HIV laws and her project has contributed to these laws being overturned in Tennessee. She was awarded a Community Engagement award at the University of Memphis, earned a Global Certificate in Legal Epidemiology from Temple University, and holds a Certificate in Project Management from Google. She has studied and worked in health care settings in the U.S. and internationally and is passionate about systems-level change and holistic, slow medicine. 

Authored by Lydia Babcock, M.A., M.P.H.


Research to Support Timely and Accurate Diagnosis for All

AcademyHealth, supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (GBMF), seeks to engage health services and policy researchers in building evidence to understand and address inequities in the diagnostic journey. The call for proposals is now closed