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College of
Health Sciences


Assistant Professor
Department of Population Health Sciences

Henry Hood Center for Health Research Building
100 North Academy Avenue
Danville, PA 17822
Fax: 570-214-9451

Melissa N. Poulsen, PhD, MPH

Research Interests

With a background in behavioral science and environmental epidemiology, Dr. Poulsen’s research interests center on multilevel factors that constrain or facilitate health behaviors and influence population health, as well as the effective implementation of evidence-based interventions. She draws upon a broad methodological skillset in her research, including the use of electronic health record data and natural language processing of clinical notes, survey research, mixed methods, and formative and qualitative research. As faculty in the Environmental Health Institute, her epidemiologic research largely focuses on community and environmental determinants of health, including the impact of the socioeconomic, built, and natural environment on chronic disease outcomes such as childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes, and opioid use disorder. Dr. Poulsen’s goal is to integrate understanding of the connections between individual, social, healthcare, and community contexts and health into effective community- and clinical-based preventive care and healthcare delivery. Toward this end, her current research examines multilevel implementation factors impacting patient adherence to medication treatment for opioid use disorder, and she works with colleagues in the Obesity Institute on behavioral intervention trials that translate research into clinical practice to prevent pediatric obesity.


Post-doctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Geisinger, 2015-2017
PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2010-2015
MPH, University of Michigan School of Public Health, 2004-2006
BA, Carleton College, 1998-2002

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