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Associate Scientist
Elli Leontsini

Departmental Affiliations

Social and Behavioral Interventions

Contact Info

615 N. Wolfe Street, Room E5533
410 502 6733

Research Interests

formative research; operations research; implementation research; design research; survey methods; ethnographic research methods; qualitative research methods; behavioral trials; trials of improved practices; human-centered design; social entomology; program evaluation methods; social media listening; community-based interventions; community participation; health education; health communication; health-seeking behavior; health behavior change; evaluation of school-based programs; evaluation of children's museum exhibits; process evaluation; vector-borne disease; mosquito-borne disease; tropical disease; Aedes aegypti; dengue fever; Zika Virus Disease (ZVD); malaria; cysticercosis; Lyme disease; diarrheal disease; Ebola Virus Disease (EVD); Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19); early child development; child survival; integrated management of childhood illness (IMCI); water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH); opioid overuse recovery services; Central America; Honduras; El Salvador; Guatemala; Nicaragua; Puerto Rico; Dominican Republic; Peru; Brazil; Cambodia; Tanzania; Zimbabwe; Uganda; Liberia; Bangladesh; Equatorial Guinea; Democratic Republic of Congo
Experiences & Accomplishments
National and Capodistrian University School of Medicine
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
I am a public health professor and researcher with over 20 years of experience in formative and qualitative research for the development and implementation of evidence-based acceptable, feasible and sustainable behavioral community-centered public health strategies; and in process and impact evaluation of resulting social and behavioral interventions. I have worked on community-based Aedes aegypti control in Central America and the Caribbean (DR and PR), domestic animal corralling for diarrheal disease and cysticercosis control in Peru, careseeking for febrile illnesses and malaria in West Africa (Liberia and Equatorial Guinea), and water and hygiene behaviors in Bangladesh. More recently I provided technical support to the Democratic Republic of Congo Ministry of Health on their preparedness and community engagement for Ebola prevention and control, and led a qualitative exploration of effectiveness, feasibility and self-efficacy for methods to prevent Zika Virus Disease in Guatemala and El Salvador, Central America. My current work includes formative research on early child development through safe play and song-based learning in peri-urban Peru, a qualitative evaluation of the implementation dimension of the Pennsylvania Hospitals Opioid Learning Action Network, and technical writing for online COVID-19 hygiene resources. My research objectives are • to understand social, cultural and behavioral factors in community-based disease prevention and control in resource-poor settings • how to utilize social, cultural and behavioral information in the design of community-based public health interventions, and • to develop and test community-based health behavior change strategies, involving local communities, private voluntary organizations, national level institutions and other social actors in all aspects of public health programs
Honors & Awards
2018 Teaching Excellence mention by JHSPH Deans for Program Seminar 224.861 based on students’ course evaluations, January 2019 2017 Teaching Excellence mention by JHSPH Deans for Program Seminar 224.861 based on student’s course evaluations, February 2018 2015 Teaching Excellence mention by JHSPH Deans for Program Seminar 224.861 based on students’ course evaluations, February 2016 2 2013 Excellence in Global Health Advising Award. Presented on behalf of JHU President Ronald J. Daniels, Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health, April 2013 2013 Teaching Excellence mention by JHSPH Deans for Formative Research Course 224.692 based on students’ course evaluations, June 2013 2009 Teaching Excellence mention by JHSPH Deans for Program Seminar 224.861 based on students’ course evaluations, February 2010 2003 The James H. Nakano Citation of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, for an outstanding scientific paper: by Winch PJ, Leontsini E, Rigau-Perez JG, Ruiz-Perez M, Clark GG and Gubler DJ. Community-based dengue prevention programs in Puerto Rico: Impact on knowledge, behavior and residential mosquito infestation. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 67(4):363-370, 2002.
Select Publications
Selected publications illustrating some of my contributions to public health:
  • Rothstein, JD, Buckland, AJ, Gagnier, K, Ochoa, MP, Allen-Valley, A, Jivapong, B, Cabrera, LZ, Leontsini, E, Fisher, K. Assessing the play and learning environments of children under two years in peri- urban Lima, Peru: A formative research study. BMC Public Health 21,108 (2021)
  • Leontsini, E, Maloney, S, Ramírez, M, Mazariegos, L, Chávez, E, Kumar, D, Parikh, P, Hunter, G. (2020). Community Perspectives on Zika Virus Disease Prevention in Guatemala: A Qualitative Study. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 102 (5):971-981
  • Parvez SM, Azad R, Rahman MM, Unicomb L, Ram PK, Naser AM, Stewart C, Jannat K, Rahman MJ, Leontsini E, Winch PJ, Luby SP. Achieving optimal technology and behavioral uptake of single and combined interventions of water, sanitation hygiene and nutrition, in an efficacy trial (WASH Benefits) in rural Bangladesh. Trials (2018) 19:358
  • Hulland KRS, Leontsini E, Dreibelbis R, Unicomb L, Afroz A, Dutta NC, Nizame FA, Luby SP, Ram PK, Winch PJ. Designing a handwashing station for infrastructure-restricted communities in Bangladesh using the integrated behavioural model for water, sanitation and hygiene interventions (IBM-WASH). BMC Public Health 2013, 13:877
  • Charron K, Kalbarczyk A, Martin NA, Combs EA, Ward M and Leontsini E. Building Blocks of Global Health Mentorship: Motivation, Expectations, and Institutional Support. Annals of Global Health. 2019; 85(1): 39, 1–9
Social and behavioral aspects of taenia solium and cysticercosis control in rural endemic Peru
Social Media Listening in response to Zika in four countries in Latin America and the Caribbean
Improving Early Child Development through the Integration of Safe Play and Song-Based Learning in peri-urban Lima, Peru
Designing and evaluating scalable integrated WASH and maternal and child health interventions in rural Bangladesh
Qualitative evaluation of the implementation dimension of the Pennsylvania Hospitals Opioid Learning Action Network
Developing a productive experience for public health students overseas