RWJF Health & Society Scholar:
Social Determinants of Health
Area(s) of Expertise:
Inequality, Social Policy, Housing and Health, Social Demography
Danya Keene received her PhD in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of Michigan in 2009. She was also predoctoral and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan Population Studies Center. Her mixed-methods research broadly explores how social policies contribute to health inequality. Specifically, her work has examined how urban revitalization and public housing demolition may affect the health of low-income African American communities in Chicago, Atlanta and nationally. This research has considered how relocation and displacement may affect access to geographically-rooted social ties and the health promoting resources that they provide. Her work has also examined how stigma associated with public housing and urban poverty may affect the well-being of those who reside in, or relocate from discursively condemned places. This concept of ‘spatial stigma’ is an understudied mechanism by which place affects health, and one that Dr. Keene is continuing to examine in different contexts. As a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar, Dr. Keene continued to work on issues related to residential mobility, geographic rootedness, place and health equity. For example, she is developing a mixed-methods project to explore the lived experiences and health consequences of home foreclosure in low-income Philadelphia communities.