Airia S. Papadopoulos, PhD, MPH
Dr. Papadopoulos is the Deputy Director of Collective Insight. She has over a decade of experience in researching and addressing racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in health outcomes. In her work, she uses qualitative methods and strategies to engage and partner with marginalized communities, particularly communities of color, and bring their voices into policy and program design. Dr. Papadopoulos obtained both her Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in health policy and management and her PhD in applied anthropology from University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa, FL, and also has certifications in lactation counseling (CLC) and nutritional therapy (CNT). Her dissertation examined beliefs and experiences of African American mothers about infant feeding choices and identified key socioeconomic and cultural factors that contribute to their decisions to either breastfeed infants or use infant formula.
Dr. Papadopoulos began her career in research administration at USF, where she negotiated federal and state grants and contracts for public health and mental health studies. Upon joining the faculty of the USF de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, she turned her attention to advocating for underserved communities, which included Medicaid recipients in Florida and racial and ethnic minorities. As a qualitative scientist and a project manager, Dr. Papadopoulos has substantive experience engaging stakeholders and managing projects that focus on a range of topics, including racial disparities in health outcomes, maternal health, infant health and nutrition, depression and mental health, and nutrition. In 2021 and 2022, Dr. Papadopoulos used qualitative methods to interview Medicaid enrollees in support of a statewide evaluation of a health plan, learn insights into COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, understand best messages for promoting self-care among Black mothers during postpartum, and identify perceptions of racial justice and opportunities to improve engagement of health advocacy organizations that support Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.