Section on Health Equity in Dissemination and Implementation Sciences

The mission of the Section on Health Equity in Dissemination and Implementation Sciences (HEDIS) is to bolster the public health impact of novel interventions addressing infectious diseases of global and local importance. HEDIS seeks to achieve its mission through dissemination and application of epidemiologic and policy research, and implementation science based on an equity framework. The investigators harness behavioral expertise and bioinformatics data sciences resources to interrogate large HIV and SARS-CoV-2 patient databases to characterize health outcomes and apply technology-enhanced approaches in order to improve uptake of and engagement in care in sociodemographically vulnerable communities.

Examples of projects include:

  • Investigating behavioral, structural, and mental health factors impacting uptake and persistence on Pre–Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in Washington Heights and Harlem
  • Stick2PrEP Cisgender Women and Trans Individuals: Using a Digital Sexual Health Dashboard and Smartphone-Based Data Collection to Increase Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Uptake 
  • Transmission of COVID-19 in households
  • COMMITS: Prevalence of long-term sequelae of COVID-19, and their association with biological phenotype and individual, household- level demographic, socioeconomic and behavioral factors in a cohort of predominantly Black and Latinx patients and their households
  • VAX-UP: Shared-decision making to support uptake of COVID-19 vaccine in underserved populations
  • Impact of Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection on diverse communities
  • ARMOR STUDY: COVID-19 Seroprevalence and Mental Health Burden Among Healthcare Workers and Community Member
  • COVID-19 Persistence: Understanding the SARS-CoV-2 Virus and Host Factors in People Who Are Recovering From Their Illness (C-PIC
  • CALM: Utilizing mindfulness Meditation to Improve Symptoms in Patients with Long COVID

Focal infectious diseases of interest include: HIV and other sexually transmitted Infections (STIs), Hepatitis Virus B (HBV) and C (HCV), Human Papilloma virus (HPV), SARS-CoV-2, human monkeypox virus and other emerging infections. The section works in any populations affected by our focal infectious diseases with priority for on women’s health outcomes.

The goal is to conduct investigations that will have measurable impact on population health both domestically as well as internationally. 


HEDIS Section Director

Dr. Delivette Castor is an epidemiologist who studies how to introduce, and scale proven infectious disease interventions in public health programs for population-level impact within an equity framework. She joined the faculty of Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) in November 2019 and has been involved as a co-investigator with the Columbia University’s Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) since.  Dr. Castor is co-investigator on several NIH-funded studies on HIV prevention, digital technology for screening and treating Human Papillomavirus (HPV) in Cape Town, South Africa, and COVID-19. She is also studying SARS-CoV-2 transmission in New York City households and the association between social determinants of health and longer-term health and economic effects of COVID 19. Dr. Castor spent the prior decade with the United State Agency for International Development (USAID) where she led management and coordination of implementation research activities within the President’s Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)-supported programs. In that role, she supported the design, implementation, and evaluation of comprehensive HIV interventions. She has worked within multidisciplinary teams involving policymakers, program planners, and researchers to translate research to practice for voluntary medical male circumcision, PrEP, stigma, and gender-based violence interventions, among others.

HEDIS Section Faculty

HEDIS Section Research and Administrative Staff

  • Craig Heck
  • Esther Huang
  • Jay Loeffel 
  • Daniela Quigee