Social Determinants of Health Summer Institute



The Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH) Summer Institute on the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) provides opportunities to gain the foundational knowledge and applied skills needed to study and intervene in the social determinants of health. According to Healthy People 2020, the social determinants of health are “conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.” Addressing these social determinants is vital to eliminating health inequities.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Rollins School of Public Health’s second Social Determinants of Health Summer Institute. You will need to make your own accommodations. We would like to assist you by providing these recommendations:

Emory Conference Center Hotel 

The Conference Center Hotel is located 0.3 miles from RSPH. The address is 1615 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA.

To make a reservation, please call (404) 712-6000 and mention you are an Emory University student for a discounted rate.

To learn more about the Conference Center Hotel, visit

Courtyard by Marriott

The Courtyard by Marriott is located 2.5 miles from RSPH in the bustling Downtown Decatur area. The address is 130 Clairemont Avenue, Decatur, GA.

Complimentary hotel shuttle service to Emory University is available. To reserve a room and/or to learn more about shuttle service and other amenities, please call (404) 371-0204. Details can also be found at the hotel’s website:

Hampton Inn & Suites

The new Hampton Inn & Suites is also located in downtown Decatur. To learn more about this hotel and book a room, please visit

For more on things to do in the Downtown Decatur area, visit

Parking on Campus

If you choose to drive to RSPH, paid parking is available just minutes away in the visitor's lot at the Michael Street parking deck. Visitor parking rates are as follows:

0-15 min  free
15 min-1 hr $4
1-2 hours $6
2-3 hours $8
3-4 hours $10
4-24 hours * $12
Lost ticket $25

To learn more about parking on campus, visit

Note: The Michael Street deck is the closest deck to RSPH. Other decks (including Peavine, Fishburne, etc) will require at least a 10-minute walk through campus to RSPH. 

Campus Shuttle Service 

Complimentary University shuttle service is available across campus and throughout nearby areas.  To learn more about the shuttle routes and schedules, visit

Multilevel thinking and analysis in the social determinants of health

DESCRIPTION: A core tenet of a ‘social determinants of health’ perspective is that causal drivers of population health and health disparities exist at multiple levels, including individuals, families, neighborhoods, and nation-states. Mirroring this multilevel perspective on disease distribution and causation, many public health datasets are similarly ‘multi-level’ with observations on individuals nested within clusters; clusters may be defined by residential community, hospital, school, state, or other grouping. Multileveled data present two challenges for public health analysts. First, clustered observations violate statistical assumptions of independence, producing biased estimates. Second, the causal questions of interest often focus on the relative importance of and interaction between contextual levels (e.g., neighborhood) and individual levels. Multilevel regression is a toolset for addressing each of these concerns. In this workshop, we will develop conceptual understanding of multilevel processes in health, and introduce and apply analytic methods in SAS for the analysis of multilevel data.


Michael Kramer

Instructor: Michael Kramer, PhD

Dr. Kramer is an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Rollins. He is a social epidemiologist with deep expertise in applying multilevel methods to study the social determinants of maternal and child health. Dr. Kramer has led several federally funded grants using multilevel methods, and currently teaches a graduate-level course on social epidemiology. To learn more about Dr. Kramer’s research and teaching interests, click here.

Qualitative Data Analysis (in partnership with QUAL-WORKS)

This course was cross-listed with the QUAL-WORKS summer training program on qualitative research based at Emory University. To learn more about all the training workshops conducted by QUAL-WORKS click here.

DESCRIPTION: This 2.5-day workshop integrated the principles and skills needed to conduct rigorous qualitative data analysis. Course sessions covered different approaches to analysis, analytic tasks and how to use software for analysis. Participants left the workshop with the knowledge and skills to effectively analyze, report and evaluate textual data. Participants also learned how to use a textual data analysis program in hands-on lab sessions. This workshop was suitable for anyone wishing to analyze qualitative data or those who supervise or train research staff. It also provided valuable skills for evaluating research papers, proposals or projects that use qualitative data.


Monnique Hennink

Instructor: Monique Hennink, PhD

Dr. Hennink is an associate professor in the Hubert Department of Global Health at Rollins. Dr. Hennink has 25 years of experience teaching and conducting qualitative research in global settings. She has authored five textbooks on qualitative research and developed the QUAL-WORKS training program on qualitative research for public health professionals. She conducts training workshops both in the US and internationally and teaches graduate level courses at Rollins. Her research is globally diverse, examining behavioral aspects of public health issues, such as reproductive health behavior, HIV/AIDS risk reduction, sanitation behaviors, behavioral interventions for reducing diabetes, and women’s empowerment research. Much of her research focuses on resource-poor settings, which provides course participants with exposure to balancing methodological rigor with the practical realities of international fieldwork. To learn more about Dr. Hennink’s research and teaching click here.

Group randomized trials to address the social determinants of health

DESCRIPTION: To improve social determinants of health (i.e., conditions in places where people live, learn, work, and play) will require innovation, determination, trial and error, and accumulation of knowledge regarding what works. The conduct of rigorously implemented randomized trials, with randomization at the group level, will move this knowledge base forward. Group-level randomization is appropriate when place-based, social group, system, organization and/or societal level phenomenon are involved.

This 4-day workshop provided instruction in the design and conduct of group randomized trials—experiments where the unit of assignment is an intact social group (e.g., families, schools, communities, rather than individuals). The objective of the course was to provide a thorough grounding in the conduct of group randomized trials to researchers and health professionals interested in developing competence in the planning, design, and execution of group randomized trials to address the social determinants of health. The curriculum enabled participants to:

  • Describe principles underlying the rationale and importance of group randomized trials, and situations conducive to random assignment and group random assignment.
  • Identify design element options to address threats to internal validity and causal inference.
  • Understand methods for conducting group randomized trials.
  • Select appropriate strategies for recruitment, randomization, treatment implementation, and retention of participants.
  • Develop strategies for sample size calculations and appropriate statistical analyses of group randomized trials data.
  • Evaluate the quality of group randomized trials and interpret their results.
  • Design a group randomized trial as part of a working group on a specific topic.


Kelli Komro

Instructor: Kelli Komro, PhD

Dr. Komro is a social and behavioral epidemiologist who, for more than two decades, has led NIH-funded cluster-randomized trials to study family, school, community and policy strategies to promote health and reduce high-risk behaviors and health disparities. She focuses on child health promotion by intervening on social determinants of health through policy change. NIH has continually funded her research since the 1990s and she has published in the leading public health, prevention science, preventive medicine, addiction and health behavior journals.  To learn more about Dr. Komro’s research and teaching, click here.

Melvin Livingston

Instructor: Melvin Livingston, PhD

Dr. Livingston is a methodologist with expertise in the application of quasi-experimental design principals to the evaluation of both community interventions and state policies. He has particular expertise in time series modeling, mixed effects modeling, econometric methods, and power analysis. Prevention work at the community level led him to an interest in the impact of state and federal socioeconomic policies on health outcomes. To learn more about Dr. Livingston’s research and teaching, click here.