Dr. April M. Ballard is an environmental health scientist. Her work is on health disparities and equity related to water, sanitation, and hygiene. She employs mixed methods approaches to understand how social (e.g., stigma, poverty) and environmental (e.g., resource distribution, water quality) conditions influence behaviors and health outcomes, with a specific focus on children, women/girls, and those experiencing houselessness.
Dr. Ballard applies advanced statistical modeling, qualitative methods, measurement development, and theory-driven approaches. She emphasizes the translation of research for public health policy and practice in her work. She is particularly interested in the development and implementation of human-centered, pragmatic programs to address inequities. She has worked in public health research for close to a decade, and has led rural- and urban-based projects in the United States (Appalachian Kentucky, Central Kentucky, metro-Atlanta) and Ecuador.
Dr. Ballard earned her PhD in Environmental Health Sciences from Emory University and her MPH in Environmental Health and Epidemiology from the University of Kentucky. During her PhD, she was a fellow in the Center for Global Safe Water and the Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health. In 2021, she was recognized as an Agents of Change in Environmental Justice Fellow.
Select recent publications are below. Please see Google Scholar for additional work.
Areas of Interest
- Behavior and Health
- Community Based Research
- Diarrheal and Enteric Diseases
- Infectious Disease
- Rural Health
- Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
- Social Determinants of Health
- BA 2014, Transylvania University
- MPH 2017, University of Kentucky
- PhD 2023, Emory University
- Ballard AM, Laramee N, Haardoerfer R, Freeman MC, Levy K, Caruso BA, 2023, Measurement in the study of human exposure to animal feces: A systematic review and audit, International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 249,
- Ballard AM, Cooper HLF, Young AM, Caruso BA, 2022, 'You feel how you look': exploring the impacts of unmet water, sanitation, and hygiene needs among rural people experiencing homelessness and their intersection with drug use, PLOS Water, 1, e0000019
- Ballard AM, Hoover AT, Rodriguez AV, Caruso BA, 2021, Emphasizing choice and autonomy in personal hygiene, menstrual health, and sexual health product distribution to people experiencing homelessness in Atlanta, Georgia during COVID-19, Health Promotion Practice, 22, 764-766
- Ballard AM, Caruso BA, 2021, Public handwashing for basic hygiene in people experiencing homelessness, The Lancet Planetary Health, 5, e763