Janine Jurkowski

Studies social determinants of health to prevent childhood obesity, to address the health impact of food insecurity and to improve health care utilization among populations who experience health disparities.

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Janine Jurkowski

School of Public Health
Department: Health Policy, Management and Behavior

Community-based participatory research; health disparities; low-income communities, women's health and family health

Campus phone: (518) 402-0420
Campus email: [email protected]


Dr. Jurkowski's research focuses on social and cultural factors' that influence chronic disease prevention among women, people of color and low-income families with a current focus on obesity prevention among vulnerable populations. She has expertise in engaging low-income and other communities who experience disparities so that the perspectives of those impacted by research and public health interventions are legitimately incorporated. She uses Empowerment Theories and community-based participatory research approaches to do so. Dr. Jurkowski has expertise in mixed methods, using both survey research and focus groups, Photovoice and interview methods to understand and address the factors that contribute to disparities in health.

Dr. Jurkowski currently has two active projects that focus on obesity prevention and food insecurity, two of which are federally funded. The larger scale research project involves scaling up an empowerment oriented childhood obesity intervention for families who have children in Head Start with a community-based participatory research process. The second project is in collaboration with Schenectady County Public Health Services who was funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to develop, implement and evaluate community-based interventions focused on chronic disease. Dr. Jurkowski is writing up the results of the evaluation of a food pantry policy intervention to influence food pantry client’s health food consumption.

Dr. Jurkowski has a long history of working with low-income and poor populations including women and their families, Latinos, African Americans, and people with people with intellectual disabilities. Dr. Jurkowski has worked with multi-sector partners including major and small nonprofits and county health departments and the New York State Department of Health.