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Faculty & Staff Profiles

Associate Professor, Public Health Sciences

2021 Abigail Silva Professor Headshot Loyola HQ.jfif
  • I am an epidemiologist and health equity researcher with more than a decade of applied public health experiences. In addition to serving as an associated professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences and Director of the Epidemiology Track of the MPH program,  I am also  a research health scientist at the Hines VA Center of Innovation for Complex Chronic Healthcare. My research focuses on examining factors that impact the incidence, distribution, and control of health states with the goal of informing policy and interventions that improve outcomes and address health inequities.

    • BA in Chemistry and Spanish Literature, Loyola University Chicago
    • MPH in Epidemiology, University of Illinois at Chicago
    • PhD in Epidemiology, University of Illinois at Chicago

    What prompted you to pursue your field?

    In college, I did my pre-med course work but majored in Spanish Literature and minored in Chemistry and Theology. After graduation, I took a "gap" year to study for the MCAT and work. However, that summer I was accepted into the University of Illinois at Chicago's Summer Enrichment Program in the School of Public Health. After I learned about John Snow and the 1854 cholera outbreak, I was sold! I found it powerful that there was a scientific field that focused on improving the health of whole populations.

    Why is this area of study important at this point in time?

    In the United States, cancer is diagnosed in almost two million people each year and is the second leading cause of death. Prevention and treatment of the main cancers exist but they are not fully accessible to many people and so economic, geographic, and racial inequities arise. As advances in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer increases, the most vulnerable populations tend to get left behind. This is NOT inevitable. My line of work seeks to draw attention to these issues by focusing on structural and modifiable factors.

    What called you to or attracted you to Loyola?

    I received my undergraduate education here! It is at Loyola where I learned about the Catholic social justice tradition and it resonated with me. The commitment to human dignity, the common good, and solidarity with people who are marginalized has stayed with me since. I am blessed to be back at my alma mater.


    • Suicide Rates and Differences in Rates Between Non-Hispanic Black and Non-Hispanic White Populations in the 30 Largest US Cities, 2008-2017. Schober, DJ; Benjamins, MR; Saiyed, NS; Silva, A; Shrestha, S Public health reports (Washington, D.C. : 1974) 2021
    • Comparison of All-Cause Mortality Rates and Inequities Between Black and White Populations Across the 30 Most Populous US Cities. Benjamins, MR; Silva, A; Saiyed, NS; De Maio, FG JAMA network open 2021 ;4(1)
    • Diabetes Mortality Across the 30 Biggest U.S. Cities: Assessing Overall Trends and Racial Inequities. Buscemi, J; Saiyed, N; Silva, A; Ghahramani, F; Benjamins, MR Diabetes research and clinical practice 2021
    • Influenza and Pneumonia Mortality Across the 30 Biggest U.S. Cities: Assessment of Overall Trends and Racial Inequities. Lippert, JF; Buscemi, J; Saiyed, N; Silva, A; Benjamins, MR Journal of racial and ethnic health disparities 2021
    • Initial Point of Entry to the Health Care System May Affect Downstream Quality of Breast Cancer Care. Rauscher, GH; Molina, Y; Silva, A; Murphy, AM Journal of the American College of Radiology : JACR 2021
    • HIV mortality across the 30 largest U.S. cities: assessing overall trends and racial inequities. Benjamins, MR; Saiyed, N; Bunting, S; Lorenz, P; Hunt, B; Glick, N; Silva, A AIDS Care 2021
    • Health Insurance Coverage Among Veterans Receiving Care From VA Health Care Facilities. Stroupe, KT; Martinez, R; Hogan, TP; Gordon, EJ; Gonzalez, B; Tarlov, E; Silva, A; Huo, Z; Kale, I; Ippolito, D; Osteen, C; Jordan, N; French, DD; Gordon, H; Fischer, MJ; Smith, BM Medical care research and review : MCRR 2021
    • Did the Affordable Care Act Decrease Veteran Enrollment in the Veterans Health Administration? Silva, A; Tarlov, E; Gonzalez, B; Smith, BM; French, DD; Hogan, TP; Jordan, N; Huo, Z; Martinez, RN; Ippolito, D; Stroupe, KT Medical care 2020 ;58(8)
    • Barriers and facilitators to HPV vaccine uptake among US rural populations: a scoping review. Peterson, CE; Silva, A; Holt, HK; Balanean, A; Goben, AH; Dykens, JA Cancer causes & control : CCC 2020 ;31(9)
    • A Cross-Sectional Survey on Telemedicine Use for Doctor-Patient Communication. Akbar, A; Iqbal, A; Gaziano, D; Gasior, F; Zaidi, AJ; Iqbal, A; Silva, A Cureus 2020 ;12(9)
    • Effect of the Affordable Care Act on healthcare utilization for Veterans with spinal cord injuries and disorders. Martinez, RN; Smith, BM; French, DD; Hogan, TP; Gonzalez, B; Osteen, CM; Hatch, M; Anderson, V; Tarlov, E; Silva, A; Goldstein, B; Stroupe, KT The journal of spinal cord medicine 2020
    • Homicide Mortality Inequities in the 30 Biggest Cities in the U.S. Schober, DJ; Hunt, BR; Benjamins, MR; Saiyed, NS; Silva, A; De Maio, FG; Homan, SM AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PREVENTIVE MEDICINE 2020
    • Neighborhood Walkability and BMI Change: A National Study of Veterans in Large Urban Areas. Tarlov, E; Silva, A; Wing, C; Slater, S; Matthews, SA; Jones, KK; Zenk, SN Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.) 2019 ;28(1)
    • Predictors of breast cancer mortality among white and black women in large United States cities: an ecologic study. Hunt, BR; Silva, A; Lock, D; Hurlbert, M Cancer causes & control : CCC 2019 ;30(2)
    • Epithelial ovarian cancer mortality among Hispanic women: Sub-ethnic disparities and survival trend across time: An analysis of SEER 1992-2013 Chen,C.; Markossian,T. W.; Silva,A.; Tarasenko,Y. N. Cancer epidemiology 2018 ;52:134-141
    • Health Insurance Coverage and Health Silva,A.; Markossian,T. The New England journal of medicine 2017 ;377(20):2000
    • Potential impact of the Affordable Care Act's preventive services provision on breast cancer stage: A preliminary assessment Silva,A.; Molina,Y.; Hunt,B.; Marossian,T.; Saiyed,N. Cancer epidemiology 2017 ;49:108-111
    • Racial disparity in survival from estrogen and progesterone receptor-positive breast cancer: implications for reducing breast cancer mortality disparities Rauscher,G. H.; Silva,A.; Pauls,H.; Frasor,J.; Bonini,M. G.; Hoskins,K. Breast cancer research and treatment 2017
    • A Mixed-Methods Study of Veterans Affairs Providers' Experiences Communicating With Patients About the Affordable Care Act Martinez R, Gordon E, Tully S, Silva A, Tarlov E, French DD, Huo Z, Stroupe KT MILITARY MEDICINE 2017 ;182(5):1715-1723
    • A Mixed-Methods Study of Veterans Affairs Providers' Experiences Communicating With Patients About the Affordable Care Act Martinez,R. N.; Gordon,E. J.; Tully,S.; Silva,A.; Tarlov,E.; French,D. D.; Huo,Z.; Smith,B. M.; Gordon,H. S.; Stroupe,K. T. Military medicine 2017 ;182(5):e1715-e1723
    • A Mixed-Methods Study of Veterans Affairs Providers' Experiences Communicating With Patients About the Affordable Care Act. Martinez, Rachael N.; Tully, Sean; Zhiping Huo; Gordon, Elisa J.; Silva, Abigail; Stroupe, Kevin T.; Tarlov, Elizabeth; French, Dustin D.; Smith, Bridget M.; Gordon, Howard S.; Huo, Zhiping Military medicine 2017 ;182(5)
    • Delivering Coordinated Cancer Care by Building Transactive Memory in a Team of Teams. Henry, Elizabeth; Silva, Abigail; Tarlov, Elizabeth Journal of Oncology Practice 2016 ;12(5)
    • Delivering Coordinated Cancer Care by Building Transactive Memory in a Team of Teams Henry,E.; Silva,A.; Tarlov,E.; Czerlanis,C.; Bernard,M.; Chauhan,C.; Schalk,D.; Stewart,G. Journal of oncology practice / American Society of Clinical Oncology 2016
    • Veterans Affairs Health System Enrollment and Health Care Utilization After the Affordable Care Act: Initial Insights Silva,A.; Tarlov,E.; French,D. D.; Huo,Z.; Martinez,R. N.; Stroupe,K. T. Military medicine 2016 ;181(5):469-475
    • Prevalence of Hypogonadism in Low-Risk Prostate Cancer Survivors. Agrawal, L; Arceo-Mendoza, RM; Barnosky, A; Bresler, L; Chiha, M; Silva, A; Wilczynski, C Federal practitioner : for the health care professionals of the VA, DoD, and PHS 2016 ;33(Suppl 4)
    • Race/ethnicity and disparities in mastectomy practice in the Breast Cancer Care in Chicago study. Dookeran, KA; Silva, A; Warnecke, RB; Rauscher, GH Annals of surgical oncology 2015 ;22(1)
    • Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Time to a Breast Cancer Diagnosis: The Mediating Effects of Health Care Facility Factors. Molina, Y; Silva, A; Rauscher, GH Medical care 2015 ;53(10)
    • Association of genetic ancestry with breast cancer in ethnically diverse women from Chicago. Al-Alem, U; Rauscher, G; Shah, E; Batai, K; Mahmoud, A; Beisner, E; Silva, A; Peterson, C; Kittles, R PLoS ONE 2014 ;9(11)
    • Assessing the quality of race/ethnicity, tumor, and breast cancer treatment information in a non-SEER state registry. Silva, A; Rauscher, GH; Ferrans, CE; Hoskins, K; Rao, R Journal of registry management 2014 ;41(1)
    • Assessing racial/ethnic disparities in chemotherapy treatment among breast cancer patients in context of changing treatment guidelines. Silva, A; Rauscher, GH; Hoskins, K; Rao, R; Ferrans, CE Breast cancer research and treatment 2013 ;142(3)