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University of South Florida · College of Behavioral & Community Sciences · School of Social Work

Guitele J. Rahill, Ph.D., LCSW

Guitele J. Rahill, Ph.D., LCSW

Dr. Guitele Jeudy Rahill is an Associate Professor of Social Work in the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences at the University of South Florida. She received her PhD from Florida International University (FIU) where she was a Presidential Fellow. Her main research interest concerns the reduction of health and mental health disparities for Haitians. Accordingly, she recently completed an exploratory sequential mixed method design study investigating the hidden practices of Haitian picuristes/ lay injectionists in Miami-Dade County, Florida (2008). That work resulted in several peer reviewed publications that contributed to knowledge on the development of Haitian health beliefs surrounding preferred health practices, the manner in which Haitians define health access, as well as Haitian specific notions of trust and of ideal characteristics of healers. As a natural progression of the Haitian injectionist study, she is currently involved in designing an educational toolkit to mitigate the impact of unsafe injections among Haitians whose beliefs about the efficacy of such injections result in the persistence of the practice in Haitian enclaves of the United States. She recently published an article that offers insights for individuals desiring to conduct health research and to practice among Haitians at home and abroad (Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, 2012). 

In the interest of developing culturally relevant health and mental health interventions for Haitians at home and in the Diaspora, Dr. Rahill partners with the Haitian Association Foundation (Tampa), the Haitian Studies Association (national), the Haitian Mental Health Network (Boston), the Center for Haitian Studies (Miami) and with community partners in Haiti (Centre de Recherche pour le Développement, Université d’Etat d’Haiti).    

To disseminate findings from her research, Dr. Rahill has served as keynote speaker and invited guest lecturer at several national and international conferences on the topics of Haitian health and mental health. In May, 2012, she was an invited speaker at the Haitian Mental Health Conference at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP). The theme of the conference was Trauma and Mental Illness in the Haitian Community: Cultural Considerations for Developing a Broad Clinical and Research Agenda. There, she addressed a racially and ethnically diverse group of mental health professionals who provide services for Haitians at home and in the Boston area on “Can Metaphors be used as Contextual Evidence to engage Haitian Clients?”

Dr. Rahill has published several peer reviewed articles in venues such as the American Journal of Public health, the Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health, the Journal of Ethnicity and Health, the Journal of Cultural Diversity, the American Journal of Psychotherapy, and the Journal of Health care for the Poor and Underserved

Dr. Rahill recently completed the final phase of a National Science Foundation funded research project examining the role of social capital in post-disaster housing recovery following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. She has been honored with the Russell Ewald Award for Academic Excellence and Excellence in Research, and also received the CRUSADA Award for Research Excellence in Contributing to the Reduction of Health Disparities among U.S. Latinos in Miami-Dade County, Florida.