Alane Celeste-Villalvir

Director of Research and Training, The Praxis Project
Chapter Member: Boston SSN
Areas of Expertise:

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About Alane

Dr. Celeste-Villalvir, DrPH, MPA is an anti-racist health equity scholar who has experience with community organizing and leading public health programming in the nonprofit sector and in academia. Celeste-Villalvir conducts qualitative and mixed methods research that is community-engaged and prioritizes the health and wellness needs of individuals experiencing homelessness, people engaged in substance use, people facing food and nutritional insecurity, and individuals at risk of or living with infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C.

In the News

Alane Celeste-Villalvir quoted on her work with Living Hope by Anne Snyder & Kate Schmidgall, "Hope After Apocalypse " BitterSweet Monthly, January 2022.
"Diabetes, Dialysis, and Documentation," Alane Celeste-Villalvir (with Meghan Wolfe), Research, Public Health Post, October 14, 2019.
"Just Say Yes to Healthy Eating," Alane Celeste-Villalvir, Food Bank For New York City, July 23, 2014.
Alane Celeste-Villalvir quoted on City Harvest's efforts to make healthy snacks more accessible in food deserts by Joey Scarborough, "City Harvest Tries to Create the Bodega of the Future With Fruit, Veggies and Healthier Snacks" Daily News, September 23, 2013.


"The Intersectional Impact of Disability and Immigration on Health: A Health Needs Assessment of Immigrants Living With Spinal Cord Injury in Houston, Texas" (with Christine Kovic and Francisco Argüelles). Community Health Equity Research & Policy 44, no. 2 (2024): 209-218.

Examines the intersectional impact of disability and immigration on the health of immigrants with spinal cord injury (SCI), and addresses the lack of literature on Latinx immigrants with SCI. Findings support the need for public health and immigration policies to promote inclusion and equitable access to services as well as improve the health and quality of life of immigrants.

"Exploring Feasibility and Acceptability of an Integrated Urban Gardens and Peer Nutritional Counselling Intervention for People With HIV in the Dominican Republic" (with Amarilis Then-Paulino, Gabriela Armenta, Gipsy Jimenez-Paulino, Kartika Palar, Deshira D Wallace, and Kathryn P Derose). Public Health Nutrition 26, no. 12 (2023): 3134-3146.

Explores the feasibility, acceptability, and implementation barriers of ProMeSA: An urban gardens and peer nutritional counseling pilot intervention for people with HIV in the Dominican Republic. Findings show that the intervention was feasible and well-received, though addressing issues of transportation, pests and space is necessary for equitable participation and benefit.

"Exploring Gender Differences in HIV-Related Stigma and Social Support in a Low-Resource Setting: A Qualitative Study in the Dominican Republic" (with Denise D. Payan, Gabriela Armenta, Kartika Palar, and Amarilis Then-Paulino et al.). PLOS ONE 18, no. 8 (2023).

Explores HIV-related stigma and its impact on health, focusing on gender differences in the experiences of stigma and social support in the Dominican Republic. Findings suggest that gender-specific approaches are needed to address the distinct impacts of HIV-related stigma on men and women's physical and mental health.

"Assessing Stage of Change and Harm Reduction Strategies for Synthetic Cannabinoid Use Among Individuals Experiencing Homelessness in Houston, Texas" (with Cathy Crouch, Laura Witte, Angela M. Heads, Michael Weaver, Joy M. Schmitz, Frances Isbell, and Vanessa Schick). Journal of Drug Issues (2023).

Investigates the relationship between homelessness, synthetic cannabinoid (SC) use, and readiness to quit among individuals residing in homeless encampments in Houston, Texas. Findings suggest a need for harm reduction strategies focused on reducing barriers to quitting SC use and improving access to housing and supportive services for individuals experiencing homelessness and using SCs.

"A Qualitative Investigation of the Barriers and Facilitators to Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Screening Among Individuals Experiencing Homelessness in Houston, Texas" (with J. Michael Wilkerson, Christine Markham, Lourdes Rodriguez, and Vanessa Schick). Dialogues in Health 1 (2022).

Investigates the barriers and facilitators to hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening from the perspective of individuals experiencing homelessness within a non-residential social service setting. Findings suggest that community-based HCV screening programs should consider client-centered strategies, such as reducing wait times and offering incentives, to enhance screening accessibility for this high-risk population.

"A Qualitative Investigation of Organizational Challenges and Facilitators to Screening Individuals Experiencing Homelessness for Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) in Houston, Texas" (with J. Michael Wilkerson, Christine Markham, Lourdes Rodriguez, and Vanessa Schick). PLOS ONE 17, no. 8 (2022).

Investigates the organizational challenges and facilitators to hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening of individuals experiencing homelessness as reported by homeless services providers. Findings suggest that community organizations can enhance HCV screening by providing staff training, client education, incentives for participation, and fostering partnerships with clinics and the community to ensure linkage to care and services for this high-risk population.

"Assessing the Health Status and Needs of Informal Workers at Texas Truck Stops" (with J Michael Wilkerson, Vanessa Schick, and Sheryl McCurdy). Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 33, no. 2 (2022): 870-886.

Assesses the health status and needs of informal workers at truck stops. Findings support the need for comprehensive health promotion programing at truck stops, emphasizing that interventions would need to be multifaceted to address the multiple layers of disenfranchisement and marginalization.