Alexandria Coffey, MPH

Alexandria Coffey is a doctoral student in the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. She received her MPH in Epidemiology and her BS in Biochemistry from Kent State University.

We reached out to Coffey to learn more about her work, her life, and her academic journey through the following Q & A.

How did you get into injury and violence prevention work?

I am fortunate to have worked in injury and violence prevention since the beginning of my career. My first full-time job was at Akron Children’s Hospital, where I analyzed unintentional injury data and had the privilege of working alongside incredible community partners to design and implement data-informed prevention programming throughout the hospital’s service area. It was such a rewarding position and it continues to inspire my work and interests today!

What projects are you currently working on, and what makes them exciting to you?

I am currently working on two injury and violence prevention research projects. First, my dissertation explores the relationship between state refundable Earned Income Tax Credits and foster care entry, as a measure of child maltreatment. Second, I am working on a project that seeks to determine if there is an association between receiving subsidized childcare and subsequent risk of child welfare involvement. I have really enjoyed both projects, as they have provided me with invaluable opportunities to apply quantitative skills I have gained during my PhD program at UNC. I am most excited about the potential policy implications of this work and am looking forward to sharing results with community partners in the upcoming months.

What were you doing before you started your program at UNC?

I was working at Akron Children’s Hospital’s Research Institute, managing a $1.2M community-based clinical trial evaluating a cooling therapy among adolescent athletes with mild traumatic brain injuries. My favorite part of this position was getting to know the hospital’s athletic trainers based in over 20 local school districts. Their dedication to their athletes, schools, and communities was limitless – they worked around the clock to ensure their athletes had everything they needed to succeed.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work and school?

I really enjoy board games and puzzles. Recently, I have been playing a lot of Bananagrams and Quixx!

What makes you unique?

I enjoy sending handwritten notes to family and friends throughout the year. Whether it’s their birthday, a holiday, or just checking-in, sending cards helps me pause during busy times and focus on building connections with loved ones.

UNC IPRC’s Injury and Violence Prevention Fellowship program provides an opportunity for UNC-Chapel Hill graduate and professional students from diverse academic, professional, and demographic backgrounds to gain hands-on experience in injury and violence prevention by working with faculty mentors, networking, and pursuing professional development opportunities.