SIG Chairs

Special Interest Group Chairs and Contact Details

Breanne Casper

Shana Harris
University of Central Florida 
(407) 823-4963

Shana Harris is a medical anthropologist with over a decade of experience researching drug use and abuse and health politics and practice in Latin America and the United States. Her dissertation and postdoctoral research ethnographically examined the adoption and promotion of harm reduction interventions in Argentina. Her current research focuses on medical travel and the use of a psychedelic called ibogaine for drug treatment in Mexico. Her articles have appeared in several scholarly journals, including Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Human Organization, and Substance Use & Misuse. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Central Florida.

Melinda Gonzalez

David (Kofi) Mensah

Kristin Hedges, PhD
Grand Valley State University

Kristin Hedges is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Grand Valley State University. Her research interests are linked to gender inequality and health; including HIV/AIDS, infectious disease, reproductive health, juvenile justice, and substance abuse. Her work focuses on structural vulnerability and how local contexts impact health and healing. She conducts research in Kenya and the US.

Deon Claiborne

Elisha Oliver

Michael Oldani

Adrienne Strong

Emily Mendenhall

Lauren Carruth

Zhiying Ma

Maija Butters
University of Helsinki

Maija Butters (MA, Cultural Anthropology; PhD, Study of Religion) works as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki. Her research involves various aspects of death and dying in contemporary Europe, and especially issues related to existential meaning-making at the end of life in postsecular societies. Maija is involved with hospice education in Finland, where she lectures on culturally sensitive patient care at hospitals and medical conferences. She also teaches both within and outside the academy on death cultures and rituals in a range of religious traditions.

Dennis W. Wiedman, Chair
Florida International University

Chair Dennis W. Wiedman, PhD is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies. School of International and Public Affairs, Florida International University.  Miami, Florida. He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Oklahoma (1979) with training in medical anthropology at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. He joined the Office of Transcultural Education and Research, Psychiatry Department, University of Miami School of Medicine where he directed a community mental health unit. His research areas include Native American health, Peyotism as a health care system, and Type II diabetes.  He taught courses primarily in medical anthropology, anthropological theory, ethnohistorical research methods, introduction to anthropology, and Indigenous studies.   In his role as FIU University Accreditation Officer and lead strategic planner (1990-2004), he envisioned the new FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine incorporating medical anthropology principles and a community focus. He served on the Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association in the practicing/professional seat (2001-2004), President of the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology (2006-2008) and founding Director of the FIU Global Indigenous Forum (2013-2021). With Co-editor Iveris Martinez they published 2021 “Anthropology in Medical Education: Sustaining Engagement and Impact.” (Springer Press).  

Iveris L. Martinez, Co-Chair
California State University

Co-Chair Iveris L. Martinez, PhD is Professor, Archstone Foundation Endowed Chair in Gerontology, and Director of the Center for Successful Aging at the College of Health and Human Services at California State University, Long Beach. As founding faculty of the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (Florida International University) she served as Chief of the Division of Medicine & Society, chaired the Admissions Committee, and taught health disparities, cultural competency, and social determinants of health.  She also led an annual interprofessional clinical workshop across the health sciences. An applied anthropologist, she has conducted community-based research on the socio-cultural factors influencing health and aging among Latinos and other minorities, with funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Macarthur Foundation, and others. Current research interests include workforce development for aging populations, improving services for dementia caregivers and interprofessional efforts to create age-friendly communities. She has served as the Chair of the Board of the Alliance for Aging, Inc., local area agency on aging for Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, founding Chair of the Long Beach Aging Services Collaborative, and President of the Association for Anthropology, Gerontology, and the Life Course. She received a Ph.D. in Anthropology and Population & Family Health Sciences from Johns Hopkins University. 

Celeste Pang, Co-Chair
Mount Royal University. Calgary, Canada.

Celeste Pang is a sociocultural and medical anthropologist, and an incoming Assistant Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Celeste’s research focuses on issues of health and healthcare access at the intersections of gender, sexuality, disability, and aging. She completed her PhD and a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto, where her research examined LGBTQ+ aging and long-term care, and issues of capacity, consent, and substitute decision-making among people living with dementia who are “going it alone”. During this time, Celeste also collaborated with clinicians on several studies focused on equity and access in healthcare. Since 2020, she has worked as a community-based researcher at Egale Canada, an advocacy organization for 2SLGBTQI people and issues, where she conducts research on aging, health, and housing issues and designs educational materials for healthcare and social service professionals.

Yesmar Oyarzun

Margarite Whitten

Julie Armin

Marieke S. van Eijk, Ph.D.; Co-chair
University of Washington, Seattle
Department of Anthropology

Marieke van Eijk is a medical anthropologist and Lecturer in Medical Anthropology and Global Health at the Department of Anthropology at the University of Washington, Seattle. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Armed with a cross-cultural approach, in her research and teaching, she examines the political health care economies and the forms of labor they produce that create substantial health burdens and challenge the provision of affordable, quality care. Focusing on hidden labor in health care, her recent project analyzes the work of administrative personnel charged with processing medical bills who labor behind the scenes to overcome the shortcomings of privatized U.S. managed care. Her previous research investigated transgender health care delivery in the United States.

Leyla Koyuncuoglu