Bedrosian Center

LaVonna Blair Lewis


Teaching Professor

Director of the USC Diversity in Healthcare Leadership Initiative

Sol Price School of Public Policy
Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall, 309

LaVonna Blair Lewis, Ph.D., MPH, is a Teaching Professor at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, and the Director of the USC Diversity in Healthcare Leadership Initiative.   Dr. Lewis joined the USC faculty in 1996and she was selected Professor of the Year at SPPD in 1998 and 2001.   Dr. Lewis’ areas of research and professional interests consistently focus on cultural competency and health disparities, both targeting the health status and health care needs of underrepresented groups.

She is currently involved in multiple projects that address racial and ethnic health disparities in cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, and infant mortality.  From 1999-2012 she worked with a Los Angeles based community based organization (CBO), the Community Health Councils, Inc., on the African American Building a Legacy of Health (AABLH) Project.  The project, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was a community based project that explores individual, organizational, and community support for (and barriers to) healthy living, a key factor in reducing CVD and diabetes.

Additional funding from the CDC in the form of a Community Transformation Grant and REACH Demonstration grant will explore lessons learned in the AABLH project in other ethnic enclaves and communities in Los Angeles County.  In addition, the new projects will work with additional partners and other types of community organizations, including schools and federally qualified health centers.

In her work with iDREAM For Racial Equity (formerly the Pasadena Birthing Project), she is exploring these same multi-level factors and their contribution to birth outcomes.

Her work has appeared in the American Journal of Public Health, Family and Community Health, the Journal of General Internal Medicine, and other health management and policy journals.  Moreover, all of the work to date has employed a community based participatory research framework that partners with the relevant stakeholder groups in developing the research questions.

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Peter Robertson, LB Lewis, DC Sloane, L Galloway-Gilliam, and J Nomachi, “Developing Networks for Community Change: Exploring the Utility of Network Analysis,” Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society, 2012:43(2):187-208.

Hyung-Woo Lee, PJ Robertson, LB Lewis, DC Sloane, L Galloway-Gilliam, and J Nomachi, “Trust in a Cross-Sectoral Interorganizational Network: An Empirical Investigation of Antecedents.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 2011:20(10):1-23.

LaVonna Blair Lewis, Lark Galloway-Gilliam, Gwendolyn Flynn, Jonathan Nomachi, LaTonya Chavis Keener and David C. Sloane. “Transforming the Urban Food Desert from the Grassroots Up: A Model for Community Change.” Family and Community Health. 2011:34(1S):S92-S101.

Mary Story, Billie Giles-Corti, Amy Yaroch Lazarus, Steven Cummins, Lawrence Douglas Frank, Terry Huang, and LaVonna Blair Lewis “Workgroup IV: Future Directions for Measures of the Food and Physical Activity Environments.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2009:36(4S) S182-188.

Raphael Bostic, LaVonna Blair Lewis and David Sloane, “The Neighborhood Dynamics of Hospitals as Large Land Owners,” in Large Land Holders, R. Bostic (Ed.), Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Sharpe.

Antronette K Yancey, LaVonna B. Lewis, Joyce Jones Guinyard, David C. Sloane, David Sloane Lori M. Nascimento, Lark Galloway Gilliam, Allison L. Diamant, and William J. McCarthy, “Putting Promotion into Practice: The African Americans Building a Legacy of Health Organizational Wellness Program,” Health Promotion Practice, 2006:7(3S) 233S-246S

David C Sloane, LaVonna Blair Lewis, Antronette K Yancey, Joyce Jones Guinyard, Lori M, Nascimento, Lark Galloway Gilliam, Allison L Diamant, and William J McCarthy,
Assessing Resource Environments to Target Prevention Interventions in Community Chronic Disease Control. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 2006:17(2) 146-158.

Lewis LaVonna Blair, PhD, David C. Sloane, PhD, Lori Miller Nascimento, MPH, Allison L. Diamant, MD, MPH, Joyce Jones Guinyard, DC, Antronette K.Yancey, MD, MPH, Gwendolyn Flynn, and the AABLH Coalition. “African Americans’ Access to Healthy Food Options in South Los Angeles Restaurants. American Journal of Public Health, 2005: 95:668-673

Yancey, Antronette, LaVonna Lewis, David Sloane, Joyce Jones Guinyard, Allison Diamant, Lori Nascimento, Michael Cousineau, William McCarthy, and the REACH Coalition. “Leading by Example: A Local Health Department-Community Collaboration to Incorporate Physical Activity Into Organizational Practice.” Journal of Public Health Management and Practice 2004: 10:116-123.

Sloane, David, Allison L. Diamant, LaVonna Lewis, Antronette K. Yancey, Gwendolyn Flynn, Lori Miller Nascimento, William P. McCarthy, Joyce Jones Guinyard, Michael R. Cousineau, and the REACH Coalition. “Improving the Nutritional Resource Environment for Healthy Living Through Community Based Participatory Research.” Journal of General Internal Medicine 2003: 18:568-575.

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