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Mellissa Withers, PhD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Preventive Medicine
Preventive Medicine
SSB 318G 2001 N. Soto Street Health Sciences Campus Los Angeles
+1 323 865 0495


Dr. Mellissa Withers is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Institute for Global Health. She leads the Global Health Program of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, a network of 45 universities in the region.

She received a PhD in community health sciences from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health with a minor in cultural anthropology. She also holds a Master’s in International Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a BA in international development from UC Berkeley.

Her primary research interests lie in community participatory research, maternal and child health, women’s empowerment, violence and global reproductive health.

She teaches undergraduate and graduate-level courses in global health, medical anthropology, community organizing and qualitative research methodology.


Harrington EK, Dworkin S, Withers M, Onono M, Kwena Z, Newmann SJ. Gendered power dynamics and women's negotiation of family planning in a high HIV prevalence setting: a qualitative study of couples in western Kenya. Cult Health Sex. 2016 Apr; 18(4):453-69. View in: PubMed

Withers M, Press D, Wipfli H, McCool J, Chan CC, Jimba M, Tremewan C, Samet J. Training the next generation of global health experts: experiences and recommendations from Pacific Rim universities. Global Health. 2016; 12(1):34. View in: PubMed

Samet J, Withers M. The APRU Global Health Program: Past and Future. J Epidemiol. 2016; 26(4):166-70. View in: PubMed

Withers M, Dworkin SL, Zakaras JM, Onono M, Oyier B, Cohen CR, Bukusi EA, Grossman D, Newmann SJ. 'Women now wear trousers': men's perceptions of family planning in the context of changing gender relations in western Kenya. Cult Health Sex. 2015 Jun 2; 1-15. View in: PubMed

Withers M, Dworkin SL, Onono M, Oyier B, Cohen CR, Bukusi EA, Newmann SJ. Men's Perspectives on Their Role in Family Planning in Nyanza Province, Kenya. Stud Fam Plann. 2015 Jun; 46(2):201-15. View in: PubMed

Withers M, Moran R, Nicassio P, Weisman MH, Karpouzas GA. Perspectives of vulnerable U. S Hispanics with rheumatoid arthritis on depression: awareness, barriers to disclosure, and treatment options. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2015 Apr; 67(4):484-92. View in: PubMed

Maternowska MC, Mashu A, Moyo P, Withers M, Chipato T. Perceptions of misoprostol among providers and women seeking post-abortion care in Zimbabwe. Reprod Health Matters. 2015 Feb; 22(44 Suppl 1):16-25. View in: PubMed

Upadhyay UD, Gipson JD, Withers M, Lewis S, Ciaraldi EJ, Fraser A, Huchko MJ, Prata N. Women's empowerment and fertility: a review of the literature. Soc Sci Med. 2014 Aug; 115:111-20. View in: PubMed

Maternowska MC, Withers M, Brindis C. Gender, masculinity and migration: Mexican men and reproductive health in the Californian context. Cult Health Sex. 2014; 16(8):989-1002. View in: PubMed

Tavrow P, Withers M, Obbuyi A, Omollo V, Wu E. Rape myth attitudes in rural Kenya: toward the development of a culturally relevant attitude scale and "blame index". J Interpers Violence. 2013 Jul; 28(10):2156-78. View in: PubMed

Withers M, Browner CH, Aghaloo T. Promoting volunteerism in global health: lessons from a medical mission in northern Mexico. J Community Health. 2013 Apr; 38(2):374-84. View in: PubMed

Withers M, Dworkin S, Harrington E, Kwena Z, Onono M, Bukusi E, Cohen CR, Grossman D, Newmann SJ. Fertility intentions among HIV-infected, sero-concordant couples in Nyanza province, Kenya. Cult Health Sex. 2013; 15(10):1175-90. View in: PubMed

Withers M, Tavrow P, Abe D. Who meets their intentions to stop childbearing? Results of a longitudinal study in rural eastern Bali, Indonesia. Health Care Women Int. 2012; 33(9):814-32. View in: PubMed

Withers M, Browner CH. The changing contexts of fertility outcomes: case studies from a remote village in Bali, Indonesia. Cult Health Sex. 2012; 14(3):347-60. View in: PubMed

Tavrow P, Withers M, McMullen K. Age matters: differential impact of service quality on contraceptive uptake among post-abortion clients in Kenya. Cult Health Sex. 2012; 14(8):849-62. View in: PubMed

Withers MH, Tavrow P, Adinata NA. Do ambivalent women have an unmet need for family planning? A longitudinal study from Bali, Indonesia. Womens Health Issues. 2011 Nov-Dec; 21(6):444-9. View in: PubMed

Withers M, Kano M, Pinatih GN. Desire for more children, contraceptive use and unmet need for family planning in a remote area of Bali, Indonesia. J Biosoc Sci. 2010 Jul; 42(4):549-62. View in: PubMed

Withers M, Dornig K, Morisky DE. Predictors of workplace sexual health policy at sex work establishments in the Philippines. AIDS Care. 2007 Sep; 19(8):1020-5. View in: PubMed

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