Headshot of Rosemary Frasso

Rosemary Frasso, PhD, MSc, MSc, CPH

  • Director of Education, Center of Public Health Initiatives (CPHI)

  • Director of Education, Master of Public Health Program (Perelman School of Medicine)

  • Lecturer, MSW Program

Rosemary Frasso is a public health researcher and the Director of Education for the University of Pennsylvania’s Center of Public Health Initiatives (CPHI) and the MPH program in the Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Frasso earned her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice as well as two Master’s Degrees at the Harvard School of Public Health. Her current research focuses on health disparities, housing insecurity, health literacy, and the integration of qualitative and quantitative methods in projects designed to improve healthcare quality and access to physical and mental health services for vulnerable populations. Previously, Dr. Frasso worked for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on projects related to improving access to healthcare for people with disabilities. In addition to her research, Dr. Frasso provides consultation and oversight on qualitative projects for faculty and students across the university as well as for outside clients including the VA Medical Center, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

Her expertise in qualitative methods includes traditional and alternative data collection approaches, including, but not limited to, walking interviews, photo-elicitation interviews, free-listing, and consensus-deriving group approaches. Additionally, she has worked on several cross disciplinary projects. Recently Dr. Frasso collaborated with Dallas Artist, Willie Baronet, who has been buying and collecting signs from people on the streets since 1993 for art exhibits designed to raise awareness about homelessness. With members the CPHI team she conducted a qualitative content analysis of the messages on almost 300 signs. Results from this study and rationale for cross-disciplinary collaboration will be published this fall in the American Journal of Public Health.  Each year Dr. Frasso leads a team of students as they conduct a photo-elicitation project exploring challenges faced by students at the University of Pennsylvania. Results are shared with University stakeholders through reports and exhibits (available at

Dr. Frasso has taught multiple courses including Introduction to Public Health, Social Science Research, Qualitative Methods, Community Epidemiology and a Public Health Capstone Course. Each year Dr. Frasso directs CPHI’s 4-day Qualitative Winter Institute for researchers across the US interested in mixed-methods.

Recent Papers

Earl-Royal, E., Shofer, F., Ruggier, D., Frasso, R., Holena, D. Variation of Blunt Traumatic Injury with Age in Older Adults: A Statewide Analysis from 2011-2014″. Western Journal of Emergency Medicine: Integrating Emergency Care with Population Health, 2016 (in press).

Golinkoff, A., Hall, M., Cannuscio, C.C., Frasso, R. Cardboard Commentary: A Qualitative Analysis of the Signs from America’s Streets. American Journal of Public Health, 2016 . (in press).

Lebapotswe, BT., Frasso, R., Kgosiesele, O., Selemogo, M., Mothei., Q K, Habte1, D.,  Steenhoff, AP.  Factors influencing health care workers’ implementation of tuberculosis contact tracing in Kweneng, Botswana. Pan African Medical Journal, 2016. (in press).

Levy, S.L., Frasso, R., Colantonioa, S., Reeda, H., Stein, G., Barg, F.K., PhD, MEd, Mandelle, D., Fiks, A.G. (2016) Shared Decision Making and Treatment Decisions for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Academic Pediatrics, Aug; 16(6): 571-8.

Zafar H., Bugos E., Shapira M., Langlotz C., Frasso, R. (2016) “Chasing a ghost”: factors influencing primary care physicians’ follow-up of incidental findings. Radiology, May 17: 152188

Stillson, C., Okatch, H., Frasso, R., Mazhani, L., David, T., Arscott-Mills, T., Matlhare, M., Steenhoff AP. (2016) “That’s when I struggle” … exploring challenges faced by caregivers of children with tuberculosis in Botswana. International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 20: 1314–1319.

Dupuis, R., Meisel, Z., Grande, D., Strupp, E., Kounaves, S., Graves, A., Frasso, R., and Cannuscio, C.C. (2016). Food allergy management among restaurant workers in a large US city. Food Control, 63, 147-157.

Cannuscio, C.C., Dupuis, R., Graves, A., Seymour, J.W., Kounaves, S., Strupp, E., Leri, D., Frasso, R., Grande, D., and Meisel, Z.F. (2015). A behavioral economics intervention to encourage epinephrine-carrying among food-allergic adults: a randomized controlled trial. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 115(3), 234-240.

Davitt, J. K., Bourjolly, J., & Frasso, R. (2015). Understanding Inequities in Home Health Care Outcomes: Staff Views on Agency and System Factors. Research in gerontological nursing.

10. Bugos, E., Frasso, R., FitzGerald, E., True, G., Adachi-Mejia, A. M., & Cannuscio, C.C. (2014). Practical Guidance and Ethical Considerations for Studies Using Photo-Elicitation Interviews. Preventing Chronic Disease, 11, E189.

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