Expertise and Interests
Applied medical anthropology, family health and caregiving, reproductive
health and childbirth; ethnomedicine and ethnobotany; mental health;
international health services delivery, health program evaluation, health
disparities and barriers to care among US immigrant, refugee, and economically
disadvantaged populations; indigenous and peasant populations in South and
Dr. Finerman received her PhD from the University of California at Los Angeles. She
specializes in research and teaching in applied medical anthropology, focusing on
family health and caregiving, international health services delivery, reproductive
health and childbirth, ethnomedicine and ethnobotany, mental health, and program evaluation
to improve healthcare quality and access for underserved populations. She was a Fulbright
Scholar, and has received the University of Memphis Outstanding Young Researcher Award,
the University of Memphis Distinguished Teaching Award, the College of Arts and Science
Excellence in Teaching Award, the Thomas Briggs Foundation Excellence in Teaching
Award, and Dunavant Professorship.
Dr. Finerman has 30 years of fieldwork experience among indigenous and peasant populations
in South and Central America, including a longitudinal study of medical change and
medicinal plant use in Andean Ecuador, and an evaluation of child survival programs
in Guatemala. She has served as consultant or technical advisor on health projects
for the U.S. Agency for International Development and the World Health Organization.
Research in Memphis includes enhanced health services delivery to immigrant and refugee
groups, and populations facing health disparities. She collaborates with local agencies
such as the Memphis and Shelby County Health Department, Methodist Healthcare, and
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital on infant mortality prevention, infection control,
barriers to health services among Latino immigrants and economically disadvantaged
populations, and cultural competency training for local health providers.
Submitted, In Review K. Johnson, M. González, M. Melgar, F. Antillon-Klussman,
R. Finerman, M. Caniza. Understanding Hand Hygiene Behavior in a Pediatric Oncology
Unit in a Low Middle Income Country: A Focus Group Approach. Submitted: Journal of Infectious Disease.
In Press, Accepted for 2014 Finerman, Ruthbeth. Family and Physical Health. The Encyclopedia of Health, Illness, Behavior, and Society. William Cockerham, Robert Dingwall, and Stella Wuah, Editors. Wiley-Blackwell.
2013 Sagrestano, L., J. Clay, and R. Finerman. Transportation vulnerability as
a barrier to service utilization for HIV-positive individuals. AIDS Care: Psychological
and Socio-medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV, DOI: 10.1080/09540121.2013.819403.
2012 Finerman, Ruthbeth and Lynda Sagrestano. Global Perspectives on Pregnancy
and Birth. In: Reproductive Justice: A Global Concern, pp. 201-230, Joan Chrisler, Editor. Praeger Psychology of Women Series.
2012 Clay, Joy, L. Sagrestano, and R. Finerman, Building Relationships to Strategically
Impact Community Initiatives to Reduce Teen Pregnancy. Journal of Health and Human Services 35(3): 271-300.