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Janelle Armstrong-Brown

Janelle Armstrong-Brown

Senior Manager, Center for Equity and Social Justice Research


PhD, Health Behavior and Health Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public Health
MPH, Epidemiology, State University of New York at Albany
BA, Health and Society, University of Rochester


Janelle Armstrong-Brown is an expert in health equity and a member of RTI’s Transformative Research Unit for Equity (TRUE), with more than 15 years of experience evaluating and implementing health intervention programs through applying a community-based participatory research approach. Her research examines the mechanisms by which social environmental factors, such as neighborhood resources, can impact health behaviors and subsequently health outcomes among communities of color and vulnerable populations. She has published on the impacts of racial residential segregation and redlining on neighborhood resources and community health outcomes. Her focus on health promotion and social determinants stems from the notion that equitable access to resources and disease prevention are critical steps to achieving health equity.

Dr. Armstrong-Brown will be a co-lead on the EPA-funded Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers project, announced in spring 2023. She also currently leads and supports multiple projects funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA), and the Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina Foundation. Since 2021, she has collaborated with CDC's Division  of Diabetes Translation to understand the impact of Food is Medicine Programs on diabetes outcomes. She is collaborating with Blue Cross Blue Shield NC Foundation and its grantees to understand how grantees are using data to advance racial equity.

Within TRUE, Dr. Armstrong-Brown leads community engagement efforts. Dr. Armstrong-Brown recognizes that respecting, honoring, and lifting the voices of the community in all aspects of her work is critical to redistributing power to create system change. She co-authored an article focused on transforming the research process to be more equitable. In a post on the Medical Care Blog, The Long Arm of Redlining: Health Inequities in the Digital Divide, she and her co-authors explained how broadband internet access is a social determinant of health linked to the legacy of the discriminatory policy of redlining.

Dr. Armstrong-Brown joined RTI in 2015. Previously, she was an assistant professor at Elon University. She held positions at the New York State Department of Health, the Center for Public Health Preparedness, and the Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities at the State University of New York at Albany. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Aging Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a member of the American Evaluation Association.

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