• Additional Titles:Faculty Associate, Pardee Center for the Longer Range Future
    Governing Counselor, American Public Health Association
  • Education:MB BCh (MD) Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
    American Academy of Pediatrics (Board Certified)
    MPH University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • Website or Lab: India Research & Outreach Initiative
  • Phone:617-353-7532

Research Interests

  • Public health, social determinants of health, health inequities, epidemiology, maternal and child health


Eileen B. O’Keefe, MD, MPH is a clinical professor in the Department of Health Sciences, a physician, and public health professional. Dr. O’Keefe joined the Boston University faculty in 2004 as the inaugural director of the Health Science Program, serving in that capacity until 2016. Her research focuses on the social determinants of health – the social and environmental conditions in which people live and the impact of these conditions in the generation of  health inequities within society. Her work focuses on how health inequities are shaped by the distribution of resources, money, and power and the critical role played by social policies in reducing or exacerbating these inequities. Her research has included health assessment of urban populations, such as Hartford Connecticut, to assessment of the health of women in rural villages of Gujarat, India. Dr. O’Keefe is active in national public health policy and serves as a governing councilor with the American Public Health Association and as associate editor for Frontiers in Public Health – Epidemiology.

Courses Taught

Selected Publications

  • Soni A, Fahey, N …O’Keefe EB et al. RAHI (pathfinder) – SATHI Indo-U.S. Collaboration: The Evolution of a Trainee-led International Initiative into a Multidisciplinary Collaborative Program of Medical Research and Education. Glob Heal Science and Practice. March 2017, 5(1):152-163
  • Soni  A, …O’Keefe E et al.. (2016) Association of common mental disorder symptoms with health and healthcare factors among women in rural Western India: results of a cross-sectional survey. BMJ Open July 9, 2016
  • Soni A, …O’Keefe E et al (2016) Are there two types of Suicidal Ideation among Women in Rural India? Annals of Global Health. Published May 19 2016.
  • Fahey N, Soni A, Alison A, Vankar A, Prabhakaran A, Moore Simas T, Byatt N, Phatak A, O’Keefe E (216) Higher levels of education mitigate the relationship between perceived stress and positive screening for common mental disorders among women in rural India: Results of a cross-sectional study. Annals of Global Health. Published April 6, 2016
  • Eileen B. O’Keefe, Jeremy P. Meltzer, Traci N. Bethea. Health disparities and cancer: Racial disparities in cancer mortality in the United States: 2000-2010. (2015) Frontiers in Public Health (Epidemiology) April 15, 1-15 doi 10.3389/fpubh.2015.00051
  • Soni A, …O’Keefe EB et al. (2014) Differential in Healthcare Seeking Behavior of Mothers for Themselves Versus Their Children in Rural India: Results of a Cross Sectional Survey Int Public Health J 2014;6(1):57-66
  • Margaret J. Giannini, Eileen O’Keefe et al. (2010) Understanding suicide and disability through three enabling conditions; intellectual disability, spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis.  Disability and Health Journal, (2010) 3 (2): 74-78. PMID: 21122771. View in: PubMed
  • Eileen O’Keefe, Successful Practices in Undergraduate Public Health Programs. Boston University’s Health Science major (BS Health Science, BA/MPH& BS/MPH (Dual Degree Programs) and Public Health Minor. Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Healthy People 2020 and Education for Health

Health Assessment/Planning Projects

  • Hartford’s School-Based Asthma Project, Hartford Health Dept.
  • (2002-2003)
  • Teen Pregnancy Prevention and Healthy Adolescent Sexuality,
  • East Hartford Dept. of Public Health (June 2002)
  • Hartford Health Survey 2000 (1999-2000)*
  • Hartford Homeless Health Survey 2000 (1999-2000)*
  • Hartford’s Community Health Profile (2000)*
  • City of Hartford’s HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report (2001)*
  • Connecticut’s Oral Health 0-3 years Survey and Screening. Survey Design (2001).
  • Hartford Homeless Health Survey 2002 (Design and funding)
  • Hartford’s Immigrant/Refugee Health Survey (Design and funding)

*Report available on line at http://www.hchp.org/hchpHealthData.htm

Health Science and Health Sciences

View all profiles