Staff Collaborate Conference Room

Sandra Bogar, PhD

Sandra Bogar, PhD

Sandra Bogar, PhD



  • Instructor, Division of Epidemiology

Contact Information


Sandra Bogar, PhD, is an instructor and research fellow in the Institute for Health & Equity. Dr. Bogar teaches courses in the Public Health PhD and Masters programs and serves as a mentor to medical and graduate students. Her research employs a Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) approach, which leverages the strengths and expertise of community and academic partners and is explicit in goals of advancing social justice and health equity.

Dr. Bogar’s research interests include the impact of place-based determinants of health, multi sector collaborations among academic, community, and government partners, and youth research partnerships. To that end, Dr. Bogar has been privileged to hold a longstanding CBPR partnership with Running Rebels, a well-respected community organization that has served Milwaukee youth for more than 37 years. In practice, the partnership established a Youth Advisory Council (YAC) to help design, conduct, and disseminate a mixed methods study exploring youths’ environmental health knowledge, attitudes and perspectives. Currently, the YAC is developing stakeholder “action asks” which are grounded in the data results and work to advance policy and programming related to environmental health improvement. Data will also inform development and refinement of screening tools in primary care settings to advance understanding of place-based effects on adolescent health outcomes.

Facilitating research partnerships with youth has been among the most rewarding experiences of Dr. Bogar’s life. Research is often driven by determining a “problem,” or a “disparity,” and research itself has documented cases of contributing to gross human rights abuses. In short, research can be incredibly depressing. Working alongside youth brings critical insight to health prevention efforts, optimism in building generational capacity to solve complex problems, and empowerment and ownership in addressing issues that impact youth. Surprise visits from pet pythons during GIS sessions, sponsorship from a beloved local ice cream company, and the dissemination of study results through rap, poetry, drawings and photos also highlight that youth bring humor, creativity and talent to the research process.

Dr. Bogar’s publications underscore her interest in broad place-based determinants of health with topics that include examinations of intersections between green space, violence, and crime, investigating health needs of rural and farm women, interventions aimed at repurposing vacant land use into neighborhood assets, and the identification of youth-determined environmental health risk and resilience factors. In addition, publications and dissemination efforts of the Youth Advisory Council are included and ongoing.