Dr. Ithar Hassaballa
COPE Evaluation Project Manager
Family Medicine and Community Health
University of Kansas Medical Center

Co-Founder and Chief Brilliance Officer (CBO)
Hassaballa Consulting

Fellow, WHO Collaborating Centre
Center for Community Health and Development
University of Kansas

Dr. Ithar Hassaballa Profile Photo - Ithar Hassaballa

"I would like to be known as a person who is concerned about freedom and equality and justice and prosperity for all people."

~ Rosa Parks

As a Sudanese American woman, mother, and scientist, I have a strong commitment to address health disparities among racial and ethnic minority populations. I have a decade of experience in community-based participatory research and program evaluation in health equity and global health, addressing individual, system, and policy changes. I graduated from the University of Kansas with a Doctorate in Behavioral Psychology (2017), with a concentration in Community Health and Development and received a Master of Public Health (2017) from the KU School of Medicine.

I have deep experience in evaluation, analysis, and translating data into actionable information. As part of the Center for Community Health and Development, I evaluated Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s Together on Diabetes Population Health Cluster (2012 to 2017). Through collaborative leadership, I led the evaluation plan, provided evaluation consultation, training/technical assistance, continued data sense-making, and translational research activities with seven grantees, which consisted of 20 different sites across 13 states.

We used innovative methods to help different audiences understand the lessons learned and to use research for practice, program, and policy change to advance equity within Black, Brown, and vulnerable (e.g., those experiencing homelessness) communities. Additionally, I led the capacity building and training on evaluation for the World Health Organization in Africa, which resulted in an invitation to lead the evaluation of the Ebola Response Effort in Liberia (2014 to 2017). The work included the technical support, monitoring, and participatory evaluation of the Ebola response effort, writing, and publish findings. Some of the evaluation lessons learned in Liberia are being used currently during the COVID-19 response effort.

Furthermore, I taught community psychology at the American University in Cairo (AUC), Egypt (2017 to 2019). Graduate students in the Psychology Department at AUC include me as part of their thesis committee regularly. Upon returning to the U.S., I worked as Research Project Manager to address youth violence prevention among Black and Latino youth in Kansas City, Kansas (2019 to 2020). In my role as the Research Project Director/Assistant Director at the University of Kansas’ Center for Public Partnerships and Research, I led projects to understand and improve conditions for children and families so they can thrive in Kansas (2020 to 2021). Currently, I am leading the evaluation of a $13 million grant to support public health infrastructure building in 20 Kansas counties as Communities Organizing to Promote Equity (COPE) Evaluation Project Manager. I am keen on engaging communities in the research and evaluation process to address COVID-19 and other health disparities.

Read her profile on NYC Daily Post

ABOUT THE 40 UNDER 40 PUBLIC HEALTH CATALYST PROGRAM

The inaugural 40 under 40 cohort represents the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers, scientists, activists, intellectual provocateurs, authors, and directors who inspire and catalyze us all to a more just and equitable world.