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Photo of Velonis, Alisa J

Alisa J Velonis, MPH, PhD

Associate Professor

Faculty, Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health

Community Health Sciences

Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health

Pronouns: she/her/hers


Building & Room:



1603 W. Taylor St.

Office Phone:

(312) 355-1217


As a researcher and public health practitioner, I have a passion for generating solution-focused evidence to address gender-based violence, structural inequities, and health. Prior to my life as an academic, I spent nearly two decades working in public health and community-based settings focused on reproductive health, HIV services, and domestic violence. As a result, I remain dedicated to applied research using engaged approaches, such as concept mapping, implementation science, and community-based participatory research.

As of August 2024, I will be the Director of UIC's Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health, a center dedicated to training the next generation of maternal and child health practitioners. I teach a variety of courses, including translating MCH evidence to practice and reproductive and gender-based violence, and program evaluation. My current research portfolio includes state and local health department evaluations and a new multisite initiative to improve maternal health outcomes through innovative WIC-based initiatives.

Selected Grants

USDA/University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Partnering with WIC to Advance Maternal Health Equity, Site PI (Evaluation Core)

Illinois Department of Public Health, Strengthening Illinois' Public Health Administration, Co-I (Evaluation)

City of Chicago, Department of Public Health), Health Disparities Grant Evaluation, Co-I (Qualitative Core)

Chicago Cook County Workforce Partnership, Chicago Community Health Response Corps, Co-I (Evaluation)

Selected Publications

Haen, L, McGown, M, Taylor, S., Conroy, L., Velonis, A. (2024). “An honest reckoning about what’s happening”: Insights on Systems-Level Occupational Health Needs and Solutions based on the Experiences of Gender-Based Violence Advocates at the Start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. DOI: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000003065

Velonis, A., Howe, E., Altmayer, K., Alemzadeh, S., Forst, L., & Hebert-Beirne, J. (2023). Building Leadership Through Partnerships: Using Concept Mapping to Develop Community Capacity to Address Gender-Based Violence. Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action. 17(1), 51-62.

Estrich, C., DeSisto, C., Pliska, E., Macki, C., Velonis, A. , Uesugi, K., Waddell, L., & Rankin, K. (2022). Roles of social networking in complex multi-agency implementation efforts.  Sage Open. DOI:10.1177/21582440221123303

Estrich, C, DeSisto, C, Uesugi, K, Akbarali, S, Pliska, E, Romero, L, Cox, S, Kroelinger, C, Velonis, A. (2022). Use of a Learning Community to Expand Access to Contraception. American Journal of Public Health. 112, S523_S527,

O’Campo P, Velonis A, Buhariwala P, Kamalanathan J, Hassan MA, Metheny N. (2021).  Design and Development of a suite of Intimate Partner Violence Screening and Safety Planning Web-Applications: A User Centred Approach. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 23(12) doi: 10.2196/24114PMID: 34931998

Metheny, N., Perri, M., Velonis, A., Kamalanathan, J., Hassan, M., Buhariwala, P., Du Mont, J., Mason, R., O’Campo, P. (2021). Evidence for Changing Intimate Partner Violence Safety Planning Needs as a Result of COVID-19: Results from Phase I of a Rapid Intervention. Public Health.

Velonis, A. J., Maddox, R., Buhariwala, P., Kamalanathan, J., Hassan, M. A., Fadhil, T., & O’Campo, P. (2021). Asking the right questions: screening men for partner violence. Journal of interpersonal violence.

Velonis, A. J., Hebert-Beirne, J., Forst, L., Hernandez, M., Castaneda, D., & Conroy, L. (2020). Impact of precarious work on neighborhood health: Concept mapping by a community/academic partnership. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 63(1), 24-35. PubMed PMID: 31613400

Velonis, A. J., O’Campo, P., Rodrigues, J. J., & Buhariwala, P. (2019). Using implementation science to build intimate partner violence screening and referral capacity in a fracture clinic. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. 25(3), 381-389.

Velonis AJ, Daoud, N, Matheson F., Woodhall-Melnik J, Hamilton S, O’Campo P.2015.“Strategizing Safety: Expanding our Theoretical Framework to Understand Women’s Decision Making in the Face of Partner Violence and Social Inequities.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Available online, DOI: 10.1177/0886260515598953

Notable Honors

2024, Delta Omega Innovative Curriculum Award, Delta Omega


ACHIEVE Post-Doctoral Fellow, 2013-2015
Centre for Research on Inner City Health
St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Ph.D. 2013
University of Colorado Denver, Dept. of Health and Behavioral Sciences
Dissertation: Are All Hits the Same? A Mixed Methods Investigation of Gender and Violence in Heterosexual Relationships

MPH, 2000
Boston University School of Public Health

B.A., 1992
Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts