Marcus Poindexter

Interested in researching social problems that affect both health behaviors and outcomes in Blacks with HIV, hypertension, and diabetes, Poindexter returned to Pitt to pursue a joint degree in public health and social work. His work centers around addressing systemic and individual barriers to improve health in all people, but specifically in Black and Brown individuals and families.

Prior to returning to Pitt for his doctoral studies, Poindexter was a medical social worker and researcher for UPMC Montefiore. There, he worked exclusively with physicians and patients on addressing barriers that prevented individuals from accessing and maintaining care with their PCP. Following this appointment, he re-established the Health Education Office apart of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, to assist disenfranchised Black and Brown individuals and families in taking better care of their health, and has a current appointment both as a teaching assistant and co-investigator on a health study and intervention examining the health and wellness of individuals that reside in Homewood, a blighted but culturally rich community in the city’s Eastside. Passionate about his work, Poindexter has partnered with both community organizations and faculty at three institutions to transform the lives of residents in the region, using a community-engaged and participatory approach to motivate change in health behaviors and wellness, one community at a time.

Poindexter holds an MSW from Pitt, is a licensed social worker, and a certified home and school visitor with the Pennsylvania Department of Education. He completed his undergraduate degree at Slippery Rock University, where he majored in special education with a concentration in community programs for Americans with disabilities.

Current Appointment

  • Teaching Assistant, University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work

Research Interests

  • Health equity, health disparities, public health, and patient-centered outcomes.
  • Teaching Interests
  • Health policy, social welfare & policy, race and social problems and generalist courses.

Current Research Activity

  • Lead Investigator: PRIDE Diabetes Management Health Survey
    • Goal: To examine the effect of perceived racism and discrimination on diabetes health behaviors and outcomes among Pittsburgh residents.
  • Co-Investigator: Youth Enrichment Service Youth-Led Lead Survey Research and Health Education Engagement
    • Goal: Using youth of color as stakeholders in the planning and policy implementation of an Allegheny County Health Department initiative to lessen lead exposure and increase lead testing in children less than two-years in disenfranchised individuals and families in Lincoln-Lemington.
  • Co-Investigator: Partners for a Healthy Homewood
    • Goal: To examine the health and wellness of Homewood residents to inform a community-engaged approach to address chronic health conditions.

Marcus Poindexter in the community

Personal Statement

"Transforming the lives of individuals and families, using a community-engaged and participatory approach, one community at a time."

Featured Stories

Representative Publications

Ruddock, JS., Poindexter, MA., Gary-Webb, TL., Walker, EA., & Davis, NJ. (2016).Innovative strategies to improve diabetes outcomes in disadvantage populations. Diabet Med, 33(6): pp 723-33.