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Stephanie Hanson

Stephanie Hanson


Population Health Instructor

Office Building

Avera Health and Science Center



Mailing Address

Avera Health & Science 153
Allied & Population Health-Box 2202C
University Station
Brookings, SD 57007


Stephanie Hanson, M.P.H., graduated with her B.S. in biology with a focus in human physiology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She later graduated from The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health in Washington, D.C. with her M.P.H. degree in global health epidemiology and disease control. Stephanie is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota in the School of Social Work.

During her M.P.H. program, she focused on understanding the exacerbating effects of complex emergencies on postpartum depression. While in Washington, D.C., Stephanie worked for Save the Children, the Peace Corps and The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM). While at NASEM, Stephanie worked on consensus study and proceedings of workshop reports examining a wide range of topics, including the neuropsychiatric effects of antimalarial drugs, respiratory disorders in veterans and best practices for caring for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She also led the development of a project focused on addressing gaps in understanding surrounding perinatal mental health disorders. After moving to the Minneapolis metro area, Stephanie worked as a clinical research coordinator on studies using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and neuronavigation to better understand suicidal ideation in adolescents.

Stephanie's research interests focus on the relationship between empowerment and the development of perinatal mental health disorders; she defines the perinatal period as being from preconception (the time when someone actively decides to try to become pregnant) through five years following the birth of a child. She is particularly interested in understanding how empowerment can be used to prevent the development of perinatal mental health disorders. Stephanie is more broadly interested in maternal and child health and mental health. Stephanie is currently serving as the PI on a four-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration called BIRTH-SD-AIM that is working to improve the quality and safety of care birthing persons in South Dakota receive during the perinatal period.

Education FT

  • B.S. in biology | University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • M.P.H. in global health epidemiology and disease control | The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health
  • Ph.D. in candidate, social work | University of Minnesota

Academic Interests FT

  • Perinatal mental health disorders
  • Maternal and child health
  • Mental health

Academic Responsibilities FT

  • PUBH 702 - Public Health Theory and Practice
  • PUBH 753 - Maternal and Child Health
  • PUBH 754 - Mixed Methods Research
  • PUBH 755 - Program Planning and Evaluation
  • PUBH 761 - Social Epidemiology

Committees and Professional Memberships FT

  • Postpartum Support International
  • Marce of North America
  • American Public Health Association
  • South Dakota Public Health Association

Grants FT

  • $800,000 - HRSA for BIRTH-SD-AIM
  • $10,000 - Wokini Challenge Grant for BIRTH-SD-UNITE