Merissa Hawkins

Merissa Hawkins

Merissa Hawkins

Merissa V. Hawkins, MPH is the Statewide Initiatives Coordinator at Equitas Health and currently oversees the Ohio HIV/STI Hotline and the Free Condom Project. She received her Master’s in Public Health from Purdue University with a focus on community health and global health. She has worked for the World Health Organization (Kenya) and UNICEF (Madagascar) creating theory-based behavioral communication interventions for a variety of topics. She also lectured at Purdue University in Sexuality and Health, Foundations of Epidemiology, and Design and Analysis of Health Promotion Interventions. Her most recent publication was titled: Predicting the Mental Health Outcomes for Ebola First Responders. She is passionate about epidemiology, sexual health, anthropology, and succulents.

Presentation:  Structuring Sexual Health Interventions Design, Implementation, Culture, and Considerations
Day: Thursday
Time: Breakout Session 1
Where: Jefferson

Presentation Description:
This session will review several key considerations for the design and implementation of public health programs that focus on sexual behaviors in a technology-driven culture. Building upon already effective communication and intervention methods, we will discuss how to create and adjust programs to better reach high-risk populations. Included topics are: size and scope of the program, how to incorporate culture and anthropology, importance of data and epidemiologically driven decisions, use of technology and ease of access, awareness of barriers, and more.

Presentation Objectives:
1. Increase awareness of main considerations in designing, implementing, and adjusting public health programs (specifically in sexual health)
2. Increase knowledge of the importance of technology in program implementation
3. Challenge attendee’s perspectives on how to blend data and epidemiology with culture