Sharon D. Morrison, MSPH, MHSE, Ph.D.

Promoting Health, Engaging Communities, Changing Lives

Sharon D. Morrison, MSPH, MHSE, Ph.D.


Education and Training

PhD in Health Behavior, minor in Medical Anthropology
Graduate Certificate in Latin American Studies
Masters in Health Science Education, University of Florida
MSPH in Parasitology, UNC-Chapel Hil
BS in Biology, Barry University

Research Interests

My research is guided by the principles of cultural competence and community engagement, and grounded in ecological frameworks of disease occurrence, management and prevention. I frequently employ applied anthropology methods in the research design. I conducted field research in the rural English-speaking Caribbean –Jamaica and the Bahamas, in Malaysia, Mexico, Rwanda, South Africa and Zambia, and community-based research with ethnically diverse U.S. populations (Hispanic/Latinos, Africans/African Americans). I am interested in culture and environmental factors in to HIV prevention. I am also interested in how migration (voluntary and forced) and resettlement create challenges, needs and opportunities for newcomer populations. As a Research Fellow with the Center for New North Carolinians, I have partnered with local and national refugee and immigrant serving organizations to address some of these challenges. Finally, I have been using community-based participatory research (CBPR) and service-learning to to work with students and community members to

Current Projects

Family relationships, household strategies, and hypertension risk in S.E. Asian Adults in the US South (S. Shreeniwas, S. Morrison & J. Dharod)

This interdisciplinary study examines how family relationship factors (intergenerational relations, spouse/partner relationships, and extended family networks) affect hypertension risk factors (food insecurity, nutrition choices, and primary health care access,) among adults, in the Southeast Asian refugee and immigrant community in the US South.

Gaps and Strategies in Montagnard Refugee Community Access to American Health Systems (PIs: H. Xin, S. Morrison, J. Dharod, A. Young)

This is case study examines the perspectives and experiences of Vietnam-trained former Montagnard refugee physicians concerning 1) medical training and practice in Vietnam 2) living in America, 3) common health beliefs and practices of Montagnards, and 4) current roles as interpreters, community health workers and health care “allies”.

Enablers of HIV Testing Decision Making among Hispanic/Latino women in the US South (PIs: S. Morrison & S. Shreeniwas)

This project is designed to identify and describe cultural and environmental factors that enable Hispanic/Latino women to voluntarily seek and follow-through with HIV testing and counseling. The aim is to generate an assessment tool comprising these enabling factors intended for use by HIV and other service providers to administer to clients. This will allow them to identify those women who are more easily facilitated for HIV testing versus those who may be more challenged in this regard.

Post-resettlement chronic and emergency health care needs of refugees (S. Morrison, H. Xin, & S. Shreeniwas; Community Partner – Church World Service)

This CBPR project is in partnership with Church World Service, a non-profit agency with a refugee resettlement program. The purpose is to identify emergency and chronic health problems that require management after the initial 6-month resettlement period and determine the extent of human, time and financial resources being directed toward case management and health education for prevention. The findings will guide efforts to mobilize or redirect existing resources for coordinated and effective disease management and prevention.

Links of Interest

Center for New North Carolinians
Montagnard Health Disparities Network
Latino Community Coalition

Courses Taught

  • HEA 207 International Health
  • HEA 314 Disease Processes
  • HEA 407 Service Learning in International Health
  • HEA 471 Immigrant and Refugee Health
  • HEA 640 Global Health Issues
  • HEA 671 Immigrant and Refugee Health