Dr. Tiruneh is an Associate Professor of Community Health at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, department of Population and Data Sciences. She received her PhD in Medical Sociology from Northwestern University. Dr Tiruneh completed her post-doctoral training in Health Services Research at Brown School of Public Health and in Infectious Diseases Epidemiology at the Miriam Hospital, the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She also completed a clinical research training at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Tiruneh conducts mixed-methods research to understand and address social determinants of health and health disparities. A large part of her research has focused on HIV prevention and treatment, patient engagement in care, chronic disease management, and factors affecting access to health care and health outcomes.


PhD, Medical Sociology, Northwestern Universty
MPhil, International Community Helath, University of Oslo
BA, Sociology and Social Administration, Addis Ababa University

Post-doctoral Training

Graduate Certificate, Clinical Research Training, Harvard Medical School (2018-2019)
Fellowship, Health Services, Policy, and Practice, Brown University School of Public Health (2014-2016)
Fellowship, Infectious Diseases Epidemiology, Miriam Hospital/Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University (2016-2017)
Graduate Certificate, Program Evaluation, University of Connecticut (2015-2016))

Courses Taught

COMH 6330: Research Methods in Community and Behavioral Health
COMH 5330: Health Disparities
COMH 5310: Foundations of Program Evaluation

Research Interests

Social epidemiology
Health disparities
Chronic disease management
Mental health
Substance use
Implementation science
Global health

Publication Highlights

Tiruneh, Y. M., Li, X., Bovell-Ammon, B., Iroh, P., Flanigan, T. P., Montague, B. T., ... & Nijhawan, A. E. (2020). Falling Through the Cracks: Risk Factors for Becoming Lost to HIV Care After Incarceration in a Southern Jail. AIDS and Behavior, 1-12.
Nigatu, D., Haile, D., Gebremichael, B., & Tiruneh, Y. M. (2019). Predictive accuracy of perceived baby birth size for birth weight: a cross-sectional study from the 2016 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey. BMJ open, 9(12).
Nijhawan, A. E., Higashi, R. T., Marks, E. G., Tiruneh, Y. M., & Lee, S. C. (2019). Patient and Provider Perspectives on 30-Day Readmissions, Preventability, and Strategies for Improving Transitions of Care for Patients with HIV at a Safety Net Hospital. Journal of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (JIAPAC), 18, 2325958219827615.
Ammon, B., Iroh, P., Tiruneh, Y., Li, X., Montague, B. T., Rich, J. D., & Nijhawan, A. E. (2018). HIV Care After Jail: Low Rates of Engagement in a Vulnerable Population. Journal of Urban Health, 1-11.
Tiruneh, Y. M., Berhane, Y., & Wilson, I. B. (2017). Reconciling Serodiscordance: Lived Experiences of Mixed HIV-Status Relationships in Ethiopia. In A. Persson & S. D. Hughes (Eds.), Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Couples with Mixed HIV Status: Beyond Positive/Negative (pp. 139-152). Cham: Springer International Publishing.
Tiruneh, Y. M., Galárraga, O., Genberg, B., & Wilson, I. B. (2016). Retention in care among HIV-infected adults in Ethiopia, 2005–2011: a mixed-methods Study. PloS one, 11(6), e0156619. Tiruneh, Y. M., & Wilson, I. B. (2016). What Time is it? Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy in Ethiopia. AIDS and Behavior, 1-12.
Tiruneh, Y. M. (2012). Refashioning stigma: Experiencing and managing HIV/AIDS in the biomedical era. International Public Health Journal, 4(4), 403.
Tiruneh, Y. M. (2012). Refashioning Stigma: Experiencing and Managing HIV/AIDS in the Biomedical Era. In H. Klein & J. Merrick (Eds.), Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) research: Social science aspects. New York: Nova Science.