Ph.D., Cultural Anthropology, speciality: Applied Medical Anthropology, The Catholic University of America, expected 2001. Master of Arts, Cultural Anthropology, speciality: Applied Medical Anthropology, The Catholic University of America, May 1997. Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, May 1987, St. Mary's College of Maryland.
Prince George's County Health Department: Sexually Transmitted Disease Program
(1989-October 31, 1998)
Program Management (November 1992-October 1998)
Responsible for all aspects of program management and research, from minutia to assessment of theoretical soundness of study design and evaluation. Research areas have included: anthropological ethnography and applied anthropological techniques, STD health seeking behaviors, STD/HIV behavior modification, HIV prevention and HIV Counseling and Testing, and cognitive theory based intervention development.
Creates, monitors and evaluates program and research goals, and conducts budget formulation and administration.
Program and research analysis and evaluation for local, state and federal agencies, as well as, local state and national presentations regarding program and research activities and findings.
Develops research and personnel protocols to implement research studies (DHMH IRB, DHHS SPA, CDC IRB). Responsible for the protection of patient confidentiality and protections for the rights of human subjects in research. Designs and conducts in-house staff and training for the implementation of research methodologies.
Provides professional training to outside agencies regarding anthropological theory, method, data collection and application for public and private, local and state agencies.
Supervision of multi-level professional/medical staff for successful study implementation.
Liaison for Prince George's County Health Department, Sexually Transmitted Disease Division at the local, state and national level and collaborates with community groups and out-side organizations on program and research endeavors.
Applied Medical Anthropologist (1995- present)
Created, designed and conducted original anthropological research with Vietnamese refugees focusing on health and illness narratives.
Study focused on a new, distinct population of Vietnamese Refugees: the wives of recently re-located (1990-1995) Vietnamese re-education camp detainees in the Washington D.C. area.
Research utilized anthropological methods such as: observation, participant observation, key informant interviews and historical documents to understand salient health and illness concepts and meaning contained in illness narratives.
Illness narratives were analyzed utilizing a socio-cultural perspective including salient historical and economic issues, kinship, and gender roles.
Entree into the local refugee community was facilitated by teaching English as Second Language classes to adult refugees at Catholic Charities Refugee Center, Wash. D.C., as well as, at-home English tutoring services for local Vietnamese refugee families.
Research disseminated to the U.S. State Department Office of Refugee Resettlement, Catholic Charities Refugee Program and invited to present results at National Society for Applied Anthropologists in April 1998, Puerto Rico.
In addition, provided context specific and innovative public health and medical anthropology consulting to local Community Based Organizations
Under Health Department purview:
Responsible for providing expert anthropological technical assistance, recommendations and analysis regarding public health, epidemiology, sexually transmitted disease prevention for programs and multi-disciplinary research projects.
Provides technical expertise regarding anthropological theory, methods, and analysis for research endeavors, as well as, analysis and assessments of patient care and prevention methods for economically disadvantaged and culturally diverse populations.
Creates and conducts training, in-services for multi-level professional, medical staff and community based organizations on anthropological methods, theory and techniques to apply in health care and clinical arenas and research.
Congenital Syphilis Program Manager, STD Division (August 1990-August 1992)
Responsible for all program management aspects including surveillance, intervention and prevention of all congenital syphilis cases in Prince George's County.
Created and implemented innovative techniques to facilitate surveillance, intervention, and prevention of congenital syphilis.
Achieved a substantial decrease in congenital syphilis morbidity in Prince George's County.
Awarded the National Association of County Organizations Achievement Award for dramatic impact of the congenital syphilis program.
Liaison for all hospital's obstetric and pediatric program chief's and physicians.
Disease Control Specialist, STD Division (August 1989- July 1990)
Responsible for the epidemiological investigation, intervention and prevention of syphilis and HIV morbidity by conducting partner notification and contact tracing.
Extensively trained in epidemiologic methods for surveillance, intervention, and prevention of all sexually transmitted diseases.
Conducted and trained in HIV Pre and Post Test Counseling.
Fielded anonymous telephone inquires regarding STD and HIV/AIDS.
Originator of innovative sexually transmitted disease lecture series that premiered as the first uncensored lecture in a private parochial high school and has toured high morbidity area high schools.
Represented STD Program at County, State, and Regional meetings.
Eckerd Youth Challenge Program
Residential Group Counselor (July 1988- July 1989)
Group Leader responsible for the assessment of therapeutic needs and counseling of ten male adjudicated juveniles at a residential treatment facility.
Provided group and individual counseling, as well as, created and supervised daily activities.
Implemented crisis intervention and individual counseling.
Created, developed, and instituted Individual Treatment Plans.
Originated, implemented and taught innovative experimental education classes.
Melwood Horticultural Training Center
Residential Group Home Primary Counselor (September 1987 - January 1988)
Primary counselor responsible for the supervision, counseling of three mentally disabled clients in a group home setting.
Supervised and counseled three mentally disabled clients.
Developed, implemented, and maintained Individual Program Plans and Behavior Management Programs.
Responsible for all household responsibilities and client care.
Supervision of two part-time residential counselors assigned to group home.
American Public Health Association
American Anthropological Association
Society for Applied Anthropology & Vice- Chair, Student Committee SfAA '00-01
Society for Medical Anthropology
Society for Anthropologists Practicing with Master's Degrees
American Anthropological Association: Committee on Refugee and Immigrant Issues
American Anthropological Association: Council on General Anthropology
Publications and Presentations:
Ballenger, A. & Anderson, A. (Session Co-organizers) "More Common Ground: A Dialogue with Students, Practitioners, & Academy". Society for Applied Anthropology, 1999 Annual Conference, Tucson, Az.
Chen, Z., Branson, B., Ballenger, A., Peterman, T. (1998) "Risk Assessment to Improve Targeting of HIV Counseling and Testing Services for STD Clinic Patients". Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 25:539-543.
Stoner, B., Jones, C., Zenilman, J., Ballenger, A., Middlestadt, S. "Health Care Providers Perceptions about Persons with Gonorrhea (GC): Formative Research Results from Two Urban US Communities", American Public Health Association, 126th Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., November, 1998.
Ledsky, R., Griffith, M., Hoffman, C., Ballenger, A., Middlestadt, S. "The Role of Community-Based Organizations in Gonorrhea Control", American Public Health Association, 126th Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., November, 1998.
Middlestadt, S.E., Malotte, Bull, S., Ledsky, R., Ballenger, A., Reitmeijer, C., Smith, L., LeRoux, T. "Encouraging Health Seeking Among Those At High Risk for Gonorrhea", American Public Health Association, 126th Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., November, 1998.
Ballenger, A. M. (Invited Panelist) "Critique of Applied Anthropology in Education- Doctoral Programs", sponsored by University of Southern Florida Applied Anthropology Department, 1998 Annual Society for Applied Anthropology Conference, Puerto Rico.
Ballenger, A..M. "Illness Narratives: Vietnamese Women Refugees", paper sponsored by the Anthropological Association: Committee on Refugee and Immigrant Issues, 1998 Annual Society for Applied Anthropology Conference, Puerto Rico.
Ballenger, A.M. (Invited Panelist) "Special Event: Society for Anthropologists Practicing with Master's Degrees", Sponsored by National Association for Practicing Anthropologists, American Anthropological Association Conference, November 1997, Washington D.C.
Ballenger, A.M. & Whitehead, T. "An Ethnographic Study of Sexually Transmitted Disease Related Risk Attitudes and Practices of 15-19 year old African American Female Residents of Select Communities of Prince George's County Maryland". Anthropological study using qualitative and quantitative research methods, utilizing socio-demographic questionnaires, focus groups and ethnographic interviewing. Analysis of preliminary focus group data and presented preliminary results at CDC, 1996 National STD Prevention Conference: Tampa.
Whitehead, T., Ballenger, A.M., Olthoff, G.A. "An Ethnographic Study of Sexually Transmitted Disease Related Risk Attitudes and Practices of 15-19 year old African American Female Residents of Select Communities of Prince George's County Maryland", Co-presentation of project, 1996 Regional CDC Enhanced Grantee Meeting, St. Louis.
Branson, B., Ballenger, A.M., Olthoff, G.A., "Study of Notification of HIV Antibody Test Results and Post-Test Counseling by Telephone" 1994. Collaboration with CDC, Division of STD& HIV Prevention, 1995 World AIDS Conference: Japan.
Branson, B., Ballenger, A.M., Olthoff, G.A., "Study of Notification of HIV Antibody Test Results and Post-Test Counseling by Telephone" 1994. Presentation at the 1994 CDC National STD Prevention Conference in Washington, D.C.
Ballenger, A. M. (Invited Guest Lecturer), "Death and Dying", St. Vincent Pallotti High School, Laurel Md., October 1990.
Ballenger, A.M. "Following Directions: A Comparison of Adolescents in 1918 and Today", St. Mary's Journal of Experimental Psychology, vol 3(1), 1986.
Provided intensive anthropological training in several venues regarding: focus groups, anthropological interviewing, the use of anthropology and the cultural brokerage technique in the HIV/STD clinical setting. List does not include Health Department "in-house" or community trainings on STDs.
Ballenger, A.M. and Brafford-Squires, L. "Demystifying Focus Groups"- for Maryland Regional Planning Groups, sponsored by State of Maryland AIDS Administration, July 30, 1996.
Ballenger, A.. M. "Anthropological Interviewing Techniques in the Clinical Setting"- for Cultural Systems Analysis Group contract employees and students. Conducted as an introduction of clinic flow, interviewing techniques and training, February 28, 1996.
Ballenger, A.M. "Anthropological Interviewing Training " conducted as on-site training for CuSAG contract staff interviewing in the clinical setting. April- March 31, 1996.
Ballenger, A.M. Invited Guest Speaker: "Applied Anthropology: Cultural Brokerage in the Clinic Setting" provided to Maryland AIDS Administration Training Center, 1995.