" I Love To have fun, Travel, Help Others and Enjoy Life. That is Why I Do What I Do."

Why do I love public health so much?

Crime, obesity, poverty, lack of education and chronic illness in my own family and community have had a significant impact on the way that I view the world, human behaviors, and societal and cultural interpretations of health and illness. They have therefore had a significant impact on my professional trajectory and research interests.

I initially began dental school at Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, TX with an interest in community based oral health. I soon discovered that although I was interested in oral health, I did not want to be a dentist. I then began working in healthcare administration and pursued my Master of Business Administration degree to move into upper management roles. While working as an administrator, my role changed slightly and I began doing more health counseling with patients as a health educator. My love for health education began then and I later transitioned into a position working in the Department of Public Health for the State of Georgia.

As a former track and field athlete I have always been passionate about exercise, physical activity and science. I subsequently went back to school and earned a Masters degree in Exercise Science with an emphasis in health education and nutrition from Georgia State University. Before graduating, I entered the public health workforce at the Emory Clinic (Emory University Hospital) in Atlanta, GA as an intern in the cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation program. While at my internship I made a connection at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and was offered a position in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity (DNPAO). While working at the CDC, I gained valuable experience working on a diverse range of federally funded physical activity-related projects in the community.

What makes me uniquely qualified to do what I do is that I want to effectively use CBPR and other forms of research to address physical inactivity, obesity and chronic illness and understand health behaviors so that we can change them. In addition to my training and experience, I am passionate about this work as it has directly impacted my life. I have lost all four of my grandparents to obesity and chronic illness (cancer, hypertension, diabetes). While completing my dissertation, my own father died of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, glaucoma, and that’s just to name a few of his conditions. I can empathize with communities and families who have been tragically touched by illness and disease and show them that the future is bright as well as evidence-based, culturally relevant ways to adopt a healthy lifestyle. 

Dr. Jasel Deneice Martin

Dr. Jasel Martin completed her DrPH (Doctorate of Public Health) at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, CA. Her dissertation was a cross-sectional study observing the relationships between social support, self-regulation and leisure time physical activity in Black college-aged women.

Dr. Martin’s research has been situated within the context of physical activity engagement, nutrition and chronic disease outcomes. Her training and experience has equipped her to address causes and outcomes of obesity by using Patient Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR), Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR), Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER), Exercise Physiology, Health Equity and Patient Engagement to develop robust research and community initiatives.

Most of the current knowledge on community involvement is based on anecdotal data and flawed methodologies. Her research aims address systemic issues that promote chronic illness by addressing all members of the research learning community (including lay community members), develop a theoretical basis, and testing measures using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Furthermore, it fills a significant gap in the literature by focusing on racial and social disparities, and minority community involvement as it pertains to physical activity and health promotion.

She is a pioneer in the process of applying Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) to physical activity and lifestyle to make an impact on a variety of health-related outcomes. One goal of her research will be to compare the effectiveness of supervised versus non-supervised physical activity on physical activity engagement, dietary choices and chronic illnesses. Another goal of her research is to determine the effectiveness of physical activity on health outcomes as the type, dose and intensity of physical activity changes. These findings may help refine existing physical activity recommendations based on the disease state and may be compared to other medical approaches (pharmacotherapy, surgery, etc.). Her work has earned her awards such as The Joe Manns Black Wall Street Award in Baltimore, MD and The Yancey/Edgley Fellowship for health promotion, physical fitness, and community health education in Los Angeles, CA.  

Dr. Martin received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Oakwood College, a Master of Science in Exercise Science from Georgia State University, and a Master of Business Administration/Healthcare Administration from the University of Phoenix. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Pharmaceutical Health Services Research Department in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Currently, she is an adjunct professor at The George Washington University in Washington, DC as well as a Clinical Quality Program Administrator for Anthem, serving the Medicaid population. She also serves on a few panels and committees run through the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

Relevant Work Experience: 

Health Promotion and Behavior Change

Health Policy

Health Communication

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research

Health Program Planning, Implementation, Dissemination and Evaluation

Health Education

Project Management

Health Services Research

Health Equity

Teaching @ the collegiate level

School & Community based nutrition and physical activity research and interventions

Areas of Expertise: 

Physical activity epidemiology

Chronic Disease epidemiology

Exercise Physiology/Kinesiology

Public Health Practice

Population Health

Nutrition

Qualifications: 

DrPH, Public Health/Health Education & Promotion & Nutrition, Loma Linda University, School of Public Health, Loma Linda, CA

M.S., Exercise Science/Health Promotion & Nutrition, Georgia State University, Department of Kinesiology and Health, Atlanta, GA

MBA, Healthcare Administration, University of Phoenix, Atlanta, GA

BS, Biology, Oakwood University, Department of Biological Sciences, Huntsville, AL

Research Fellow, University of Maryland Baltimore, Pharmaceutical Health Services Research, School of Pharmacy, Baltimore, MD

Clinical Internship, Clinical Exercise Physiology, Emory University, The Emory Clinic, Atlanta, GA

Certified Health Education Specialist, National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc.

And several exercise and nutrition related certifications

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