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Amelia Greiner Safi

picture of Amelia Greiner Safi

Senior Research Associate

486 Mann Library Building

Dr. Greiner Safi received her MS in Communication from Cornell, focusing on risk and science communication and her PhD in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She holds a joint appointment between the Department of Communication and the Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine where she is a faculty member in the new Masters of Public Health program, which has a OneHealth/Planetary Health that fits well with her interdisciplinary background.  Her work focuses on translating between and among various audiences to identify and advance common interests, engage audiences and change behavior;  identifying and understanding the impact of how topics are framed; understanding how to best communicate about complex human and environmental health issues; and translating research to policy and practice. She generally pursues work at the intersection of communication, public health, the environment, urban planning and policy. These interests have led to work on the health impacts of zoning including conducting a health impact assessment; the media presentation of risk and human/environmental/ecological health linkages in the reporting of both the EPA and FDA seafood consumption advisories and on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; implications of arctic drilling for disaster response and on subsistence fishing for residents in Barrow, AK; case studies of community experience with flooding and the FEMA buyout process; understanding and influencing HIV screening practices among primary care providers; and the impact of graphic warning labels on tobacco products.

In her land use work, of particular interest were 1) the ways various participants in land use policy making understand “health” 2) identifying possible health impacts of zoning that were not yet recognized or included in decision making, including the implication for health disparities, and 3) learning how to frame and translate these issues so that they were relevant for different audiences. She received an NSF dissertation award for her work on the first zoning rewrite in Baltimore City in over 40 years. This work helped catalyze a Health Impact Assessment of the zoning rewrite funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This HIA along with extensive collaboration with and independent efforts from fellow researchers, NGOs, community organizations, local government and residents helped lead to the inclusion of current health considerations in the zoning rewrite that otherwise would likely not have been included.

In the Department of Communication, she currently directs a $3 million award from the National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration to understand the impact of the FDA's proposed graphic warning labels on cigarette packages and ads on emotional reactions, health beliefs and smoking intentions. Over 3 years, the team - via a mobile research lab outfitted with eye tracking computers - will involve nearly 4000 adult smokers and middle school students from the Northeast. She is a member of Cornell's Graduate Field of Communication Faculty.  

As faculty in the Masters of Public Health Program she is shaping the development of that program, will engage with external partners, continue public health-relevant research, and teach modules in Social Determinants of Health, Communication, Land Use and Health, Health in All Policies, Qualitative Methods and Study Design, and Project Management.