Sandra McCoy is an Associate Adjunct Professor in the Division of Epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) School of Public Health. She studies how social, economic, and cultural forces influence disease transmission and health outcomes. During the past several years, Dr. McCoy has explored these relationships through the lens of HIV infection and reproductive health. Using a diverse array of approaches, her goal is to identify innovative, cost-effective, and scalable interventions to overcome global health challenges.
Dr. McCoy is especially interested in designing and testing new interventions that can positively change health behavior, such as increasing adherence to treatment, adoption of family planning, or encouraging people to engage in health screenings. Most recently, Dr. McCoy led a randomized study in Tanzania to compare the effects of short-term food and cash assistance on adherence to antiretroviral therapy among people living with HIV infection in Shinyanga Region (read more about the study here). Also in Tanzania and with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Explorations Program, her team used patient-centered design and a customer centered approach to develop a simple, scalable intervention to retain patients in HIV care (read more about the study here). In addition to her work in Tanzania, Sandi is part of the external impact evaluation team for Zimbabwe’s Accelerated National Prevention of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission (PMTCT) Program, and she also has a portfolio of projects focusing on HIV prevention among vulnerable populations in the United States.
At UC Berkeley, Dr. McCoy teaches the fall course PH250A: Introduction to Epidemiologic Methods and co-teaches the spring course PH253B: Epidemiology and Control of Infectious Diseases. In addition, Dr. McCoy has been an instructor at numerous impact evaluation workshops led by PEPFAR, the World Bank, and UNAIDS in the U.S., Italy, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Tanzania. She has experience with experimental and quasi-experimental impact evaluations, qualitative research, user-centered design, and implementation science.