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Olivia Denise Carter-Pokras Ph.D.


  1. Ph.D. Epidemiology, The Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, 1994
  2. Dissertation: “Detection of heavy alcohol drinking: evaluation and application of biochemical tests”
  3. M.H.S. Biostatistics, The Johns Hopkins University,Maryland, 1982
  4. B.S. Biology, Tulane University,Louisiana, 1979


Olivia Carter-Pokras, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in Epidemiology at the University of Maryland College Park School of Public Health (UMCP-SPH. A health disparities researcher for 3 decades in the Federal government and academia, Dr. Carter-Pokras has been recognized by the Governor of Maryland, Surgeon General, Assistant Secretary for Health, and Latino Caucus of the American Public Health Association for her career achievements to improve health care quality for Latinos, improve racial and ethnic data, and develop health policy to address health disparities.  While at UMCP-SPH, she has focused her research, service and education efforts to support translation of epidemiologic research into policy and practice to improve Latino population health. Dr. Carter-Pokras is an elected fellow of the American College of Epidemiology and a member of the American Public Health Association’s Education Board. She currently chairs the American College of Epidemiology’s Policy Committee,  and has served on the Institute of Medicine’s Advancing Pain Research, Care, and Education Committee. A long-time member of Montgomery County’s Latino Health Steering Committee, Dr. Carter-Pokras conducts health assessments of Latinos in Baltimore and Montgomery County in close partnership with local government and community based organizations, and has led NIH funded research projects to develop cultural competency and health literacy curricula, and address oral health of Latino and Ethiopian children and their mothers. She is the Evaluation Director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded Prevention Research Center at the University of Maryland. Dr. Carter-Pokras has published more than 56 peer-reviewed journal articles, and her research has played a critical role in national recognition of health disparities experienced by Latinos. Dr. Carter-Pokras lectures on chronic disease epidemiology, epidemiologic methods, cultural competency and health disparities to public health students and health professionals.

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