February 15, 2019

Family Science doctoral students Naheed Ahmed and Andrew Conway won “Best Student Abstract” at the 2018 American Public Health Association (APHA), annual conference. Their presentation was on comorbid mental health and medical conditions among ethnic minority populations in the U.S. Ahmed and Conway looked at psychological distress, diagnosis of diabetes or angina, and history of a heart attack or attack. They found that ethnic minority groups, in particular American Indian participants, were more likely to have comorbid conditions, which may be due to the historical oppression this population has faced in the U.S. These findings highlight the need for integration of medical and mental health services to meet the needs of patients. Ahmed and Conway analyzed data from the National Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Study, which is a national study of health outcomes and behaviors conducted annually in the U.S. by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ahmed and Conway received statistical guidance from Dr. Xin He and Dr. Marie Thoma was an advisor for their research.

This annual meeting and expo was held in San Diego, CA from November 10-14, 2018. The theme of the meeting was “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Health Equity Now” where Ahmed and Conway presented their research, amongst other public health professionals in the field.

Naheed Ahmed holds a Master's in Applied Bio-cultural Anthropology and a Master's in Public Health from the University of South Florida. She has worked on global health projects for the past 10 years and lived abroad in Tanzania and South Africa. Her research interests include medical anthropology, maternal and child health, and HIV prevention. In her free time, Naheed enjoys hiking, running, and climbing.

Andrew is a third-year Family Science doctoral student. He received his Master of Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore and completed a post-MSW fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center. Andrew is a Licensed Social Worker and worked as Clinical Faculty at the Yale School of Medicine in the Intensive In-Home Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Services program. Andrew’s research interests include the impact of intergenerational trauma on youth mental health, youth absenteeism, and the interaction of vulnerable families with state systems.

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Naheed Ahmed, Andrew Conway, Xin He, Marie Thoma