Rima Afifi


Portrait of Prof. Rima Afifi of the Department of Community and Behavioral Health at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

Title(s): Professor , Director, Prevention Research Center for Rural Health
Department: Community and Behavioral Health
Office: N416 CPHB
Phone: (319) 384-1472

Dr. Afifi engages in public health research and practice with intent to promote social, community, and policy environments conducive to wellbeing. Whenever possible, she uses methods of Community Based Participatory Research; applies an ecological lens to the understanding of the issues; engages multiple disciplines to widen the perspectives on any topic; and emphasizes knowledge transfer of research to practice and policy. She is specifically interested in intervention and implementation science.

Most of Rima’s research and practice has centered on adolescent and youth health and wellbeing; and on the Arab world.  This has infused her research and practice with critical reflections on the impact of global politics, economics, trade; and of war, conflict and contexts of uncertainty; as well as the power of youth agency and voice.  A secondary area of research emphasis has been tobacco control, and particularly alternative tobacco products including hookah and e-cigarettes. Using the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control as a guidance document, her research has explored determinants of use, as well as policy solutions to minimize the morbidity and mortality burden of alternative tobacco products.

Courses Taught

  • CPH 1400: Fundamentals of Public Health
  • CPH 2600: Introduction to Public Health Methods
  • CPH 4105: Introduction to Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
  • CPH 6410: Global Health Equity
  • CPH 7270: Principles of Scholarly Integrity: Public Health
  • CBH 5235: Community-Based Participatory Research
  • CBH 6205: Designing and Implementing Interventions

Research Interests

  • Adolescent/Youth Wellbeing
  • Health and Wellbeing of Refugees
  • Tobacco Prevention and Control
  • Mental Health
  • Community Participatory Approaches
  • Structural Determinants of Health
  • Intervention Development and Evaluation



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