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Photo of Patil, Crystal L.

Crystal L. Patil, PhD


Department Head

Department of Human Development Nursing Science

Pronouns: she/her


Building & Room:

806 NURS


845 S. Damen Ave., MC 802, Chicago, IL 60612

Office Phone:

(312) 996-4327


Dr. Patil has a PhD in anthropology from Ohio State University and her research focuses on how the social world becomes embodied and expressed as health, illness, or suffering. The motivation for her research stems from a concern for social justice.  Her research draws on ecological and social determinants frameworks to make sense of complex health-related problems. She applies these models as she develops and tests strategies to reduce health disparities and strengthen health systems both in the USA and in sub-Saharan Africa. Her mentoring focuses on fostering the productive careers of students and newer investigators. Dr. Patil has several active research projects. The primary topics include:

  • Interventions & Health Disparities Research  
    • Group Antenatal Care: Effectiveness and Contextual Factors Linked to Implementation Success in Malawi (antenatal, postnatal and well-child;
    • Black Midwives for Black Women: Maternity Care to Improve Trust and Attenuate Structural Racism (PCORI, MPIs: Liese, Geller, and Stewart)
    • Adaptation and Implementation of a Patient Navigation Program for Cervical Cancer Screening across Contexts in Senegal (PI, Dykens, funding pending)
    • Diet, Environment, and Choices of Positive Living (DECIDE Study): Evaluating Personal and External Food Environment influences on Diets among PLHIV and Families in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania (Drivers of Food Choice, PI Ambikapathi)
  • Implementation Science (health systems, clinics, and communities)
    • Hybrid Effectiveness-Implementation Trial of Guided Relaxation and Acupuncture for Chronic Sickle Cell Disease Pain (GRACE) (
    • A Community-based Implementation Model for HIV Prevention and Testing in Malawi (
    • Centering and Empowerment: The Road to Reducing HIV and STIs in Chicago’s Sex Worker Community (Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation, PI Singer)
    • A Youth-Centered Intimate Partner Violence Prevention Program for Immigrant Communities (Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation, PI Abboud)

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