Explore UAB

October 2019

Faith E. Fletcher, PhD fletch95@uab.edu Assistant Professor, Health Behavior

Broad research focus

HIV inequities, women's health, social justice, the ethics of engaging marginalized and stigmatized populations in research.

One exciting on-going project?

I am working with the WIHS (Women’s Interagency HIV Study) to better understand perceptions of genomic research participation among minority women living with HIV (WLWH). There is an urgent need to establish ethical frameworks to engage traditionally underrepresented populations in research.My work seeks to develop ethically responsive policies and procedures to ultimately reduce research inequities and vulnerabilities.

What kind of research do you hope to do in the future?

Many HIV-positive patients feel vulnerable to stigma and discrimination when attending clinics that primarily deliver HIV prevention and care. This challenge presents an opportunity to alter both social and physical environments to provide safer clinic spaces. Some examples might include examining the positioning of HIV clinics in relation to busy streets, bus stops, neighborhoods, and other establishments. I would like to work with a multidisciplinary group of stakeholders to make buildings and structures more accessible and acceptable to the people who need them.

Favorite (first-authored) paper?

A manuscript describing some of my own lessons learned and ethical challenges encountered conducting qualitative research with African American WLWH was recently accepted for publication in a November special edition of Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. It centers the narratives and research experiences of WLWH and acknowledges women as vital stakeholders across the research continuum.

Fletcher FE, Rice WS, Ingram LA, Fisher CB. “Ethical Challenges and Lessons Learned from Qualitative Research with Low-Income African American Women Living with HIV in the South.” Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved (AcceptedNovember2019) Bioethics Supplement Issue (JHCPU30.4 Suppl).

Coolest training you've attended?

From 2014 to 2016, I participated in the HIV and Drug Abuse Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute (RETI) at Fordham University. Prior to RETI, I struggled to find academic spaces and the language to center the resilience and vulnerabilities of minority WLWH in research settings. RETI provided the training and infrastructure to ultimately generate empirical data to inform ethical practices and policies related to participant engagement. This summer, I was invited to speak to the current cohort.

Most prized professional accomplishment?

In 2017, I was named one of the National Minority Quality Forum’s 40 under 40 Leaders in Health. In addition to being recognized for my commitment to marginalized and vulnerable populations, the award connected me to a network of young professionals on the front lines working to eliminate health disparities. I was also recently named co-director of the UAB Center for Clinical and Translational Science Community Engagement core. In this role, I hope to enrich authentic academic-community partnerships across the Alabama-Mississippi-Louisiana region.

If not academia, then...?

Journalism! As an undergraduate, I was a reporter for Tuskegee University’s Campus Digest. I thought I might use my passion for writing to promote social justice. Through Tuskegee's National Center for Bioethics in Research & Health Care, I discovered bioethics and public health.

Office of Research Events

Back to Top