​​​​​Welcome to the Community Health & Development Specialty Area Site​​​​

Dr. Jomella Watson-Thompson and Dr. Vincent Francisco are faculty wh​o teach courses in this specialty area and whose research interests align with health issues affecting our communities. Drs. Watson-Thompson and Francisco are affiliated with the Center for Community Health and Development, a WHO Collaborating Centre, whose mission is to promote health and development through collaborative research, teaching and public ​service.​

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​​Vincent T. Francisco, Ph.D.​​

​​Dr. Vincent Francisco is Kansas Health Foundation Professor of Applied Behavioral Science and Senior Scientist with the Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies. He is also Director of the Center for Community Health and Development, a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre at the University of Kansas. In his work, he uses behavioral science methods to help understand and improve conditions that affect population health and health equity. Dr. Francisco published widely in the areas of health promotion, capacity building, and community-based research and intervention.​

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​Jomella Watson-Thompson, Ph.D.​​

​​Dr. Thompson holds a Ph.D. in Behavioral Psychology and a Masters of Urban Planning from the University of Kansas. She applies behavioral science methods and interventions to improve how communities address issues related to community health and development. Her research has focused on neighborhood development, healthy youth development, and prevention, including substance abuse and violence prevention. Dr. Thompson supports community capacity-building efforts to address social determinants of health through community-based participatory research in urban neighborhoods and disparate communities. She has researched the effects of community-based processes and intervention to promote mobilization and change in communities. Dr. Thompson has extensive experience providing training, technical support and evaluation for community-based initiatives. Dr. Thompson has co-authored articles on community capacity-building, youth development, and prevention. She has been a consultant for several community coalitions and community-based initiatives.​