Annis Golden

Annis Golden

Associate Professor; Associate Director of CEMHD
Department of Communication
Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities (CEMHD)
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PhD, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Annis Golden

Teaching and Research Areas: Organizational Communication, Communication and Technology, Health Communication

Research Interests:

My program of research reflects a commitment to theoretically grounded and socially engaged inquiry focusing on relationships between individuals and organizations. Throughout my career, my research has been concerned with how individuals navigate their relationships with organizations, in the context of particular community settings, with an emphasis on how these relationships impact individual well-being. 

One form this has taken is the employer-employee relationship, which has produced a substantial stream of qualitative research on the role of communication in managing work and personal-life interrelationships. I am especially interested in the ways information and communication technologies are implicated in individuals’ management of boundaries between work and personal life. 

A second form this takes is individual-organization relationships in health-related contexts. My research in this area has been supported by funding from both the National Institutes of Health and private foundations. From 2006 to 2020 (beginning with formative research supported by the University at Albany’s Center for Elimination of Minority Health Disparities, progressing on to a major 5-year study funded under the Center, which built on that formative research P20MD003373), and continuing with private foundation funding, my specific focus was on the interactions among low income African American women in a smaller urban setting and local health and human service providers.

A secondary part of this project focused on low wage service sector employment and healthcare seeking behaviors, bringing together the employer-employee relationship and health related concerns. Service-based labor is one of the fastest growing employment sectors in the new economy, and low wage hourly workers face challenges in managing work-life interrelationships and flexibility that are specific (though not unique) to paid employment experiences in this sector: non-standard hours, unpredictable schedules with last minute changes, rotating shifts, and relatively little power to negotiate with supervisors because of their perceived replaceability. In this project, my colleagues and I examined an under-investigated link between work-life interrelationships and health in the specific context of low-wage work; that is, how the characteristics of low wage work impact workers’ health through constraining healthcare seeking. 

My research continues to concentrate on women’s reproductive healthcare disparities, most recently focusing on the role of Community Health Workers (CHWs) in facilitating access to perinatal healthcare services for pregnant persons in underserved communities. A project funded through the COVID-19 Disparities in NYS initiative built on earlier research on community-based peer health advocates, work-life research, and social impacts of communication and information technologies to examine how the COVID-19 pandemic affected CHWs work. My current research focuses on CHWs’ facilitation of perinatal telehealth services and their bridging role between underserved communities and health and human service organizations.