Dr. Kamilah Thomas-Purcell’s scholarship is to understand how culture, ethnicity, social-ecological and institutional factors influence preventive health behavior. She has specific expertise in health education, social marketing, cultural influences on health and qualitative methods and has numerous publications in these areas. Dr. Thomas-Purcell’s own cultural competency was built from years of experience working with underrepresented populations to conduct health disparities research. Living and working overseas increased Dr. Thomas-Purcell’s awareness and appreciation of cross cultural issues and this continues to grow as she integrates her life experiences to improve health outcomes for the medically underserved.
In her present role as Associate Professor of Health Science at Nova Southeastern University, she teaches Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral -level courses in Health Policy, Current Issues in Health Care, and Research Practicum.
In her previous position as Assistant professor of Public Health and Nutrition at Nova Southeastern University, she taught graduate-level courses in Health Literacy and Health Disparities, Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health, Principles of Health Education, Foundations of Public Health, and Interprofessional Leadership. Dr. Thomas-Purcell’s incorporation of visual, auditory and tactile teaching techniques appeal to students from diverse backgrounds.
Dr. Thomas-Purcell earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Public Health with an emphasis in Community and Family Health at the University of South Florida and a Master of Public Health degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a focus in Health Behavior and Health Education. She earned her Bachelor of Health Science Degree at the University of Florida. Dr. Thomas-Purcell has conducted research with distinguished organizations including the United Nations Population Fund, amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, Moffitt Comprehensive Cancer Center and Research Institute, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Health National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the National Institute of Health National Cancer Institute Center for Global Health, the Caribbean Public Health Association. She is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist and regularly presents her research at local and international conferences.
Her current grant-funded research projects include: 1) Exploring Religion and Spirituality as a Key to Addressing Cultural Barriers to Health Literacy, 2) Woman to Woman a Cervical Cancer and HIV Prevention program for Grenadian women and 3) Perspectives on the Uptake of Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening in the English-speaking Windward Islands