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Farhiya  Farah, Ph.D. - Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. Minneapolis, MN, US

Farhiya Farah, Ph.D. Farhiya  Farah, Ph.D.

Public Health Programs Director & Assistant Professor | Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN, UNITED STATES

Expertise: Public Health






Farhiya Farah- Gives powerful speech on Poor Health Care Services in Northern Kenya-#itBreaksMyHeart




Dr. Farhiya Farah is a public health practitioner who has worked with academia, government, and community based organizations for two decades in the Twin Cities metro area. She is energized and passionate about promoting health equity and inclusivity in public health policies and practices. Dr. Farah has received numerous recognition and awards for her innovative public health work.

Dr. Farah’s public health research interests are at the intersection of food safety and healthy food. She collaborated with HealthPartners Institute of research on a five-year NIH system science study examining prevalence of cardiovascular diseases of Somalis living in the metro areas and also does food safety intervention and evaluation work with Minneapolis Health Department and St. Cloud Public Health.

Dr. Farah is an active member of her community and has volunteered with the City of Minneapolis Department of Health, ECHO Minnesota, and the University of Minnesota School of Public Health Africa Initiative. She is the current board chair of Average Mohamed that works with youth challenging intolerance through dialogue and narrative sharing mostly through cartoons.

Areas of Expertise (6)

Modifiable Cardiovascular Risk Factors

Refugee and Immigrant Health

Healthy Communities

Public Health

Ethnic Food Safety

Community Based Participatory Research

Accomplishments (4)

2018 Circle of Excellence Award

Minnesota Department of Human Service Commissioner
Awarded for innovative consulting work on Alzheimer and Dementia done through partnership with Jewish Family Services and Volunteers of America.

Health Means Business Healthy10 Award

The Health Means Business ‘Healthy10 Awards’ were created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as a way to honor ten outstanding national business-led initiatives or cross-sector collaborations between local businesses and traditional and non-traditional partners to improve community wellness and access to economic opportunity.

Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health

2016 - University of Minnesota
Nominated and elected to the Pi Chapter of the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health at the University of Minnesota. Membership in Delta Omega is highly selective, and each inductee is chosen based on outstanding performance and devotion to public health.

2016 Public Health Hero

2016 - Minneapolis Health Department
Awarded from a competitive process for supporting the city's work in the category of "Safe Place to Eat, Swim and Stay" in Minneapolis.

Education (3)

University of Minnesota--Twin Cities: Ph.D., Environmental Health Science

University of Minnesota: M.P.H, Public Health

Marymount University: B.S., Biology

Affiliations (1)

  • Scientist at large- representing Minnesota residents: Environmental Health Tracking & Biomonitoring

Recent Articles (2)

Stigma, Discrimination, or Symptomatology Differences in Self-Reported Mental Health Between US-Born and Somalia-Born Black Americans. American journal of public health.

Henning-Smith, Carrie & P Shippee, Tetyana & McAlpine, Donna & Hardeman, Rachel & Farah, Farhiya.


We examined differences in self-reported mental health (SRMH) between US-born and Somalia-born Black Americans compared with White Americans. We tested how SRMH was affected by stigma toward seeing a mental health provider, discrimination in the health care setting, or symptoms of depression. Methods: Data were from a 2008 survey of adults in Minnesota and were limited to US-born and Somalia-born Black and White Americans (n = 938). Results: Somalia-born adults were more likely to report better SRMH than either US-born Black or White Americans. They also reported lower levels of discrimination (18.6%) than US-born Black Americans (33.4%), higher levels of stigma (23.6% vs 4.7%), and lower levels of depressive symptoms (9.1% vs 31.6%). Controlling for stigma, discrimination, and symptomatology, Somalia-born Black Americans reported better SRMH than White and Black Americans (odds ratio = 4.76). Conclusions: Mental health programming and health care providers who focus on Black Americans' mental health might be missing important sources of heterogeneity. It is essential to consider the role of race and ethnicity, but also of nativity, in mental health policy and programming.

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Results from an experimental trial at a Head Start center to evaluate two meal service approaches to increase fruit and vegetable intake of preschool aged children International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity

Lisa J Harnack, J Michael Oakes, Simone A French, Sarah A Rydell, Farhiyah M Farah and Gretchen L Taylor



Fifty-three preschool aged children completed a randomized crossover experiment conducted at a Head Start center in Minneapolis, MN. Over a six week trial period each of the experimental meal service strategies (serving fruits and vegetable first and serving meals portioned by providers) was implemented during lunch service for two one-week periods. Two one-week control periods (traditional family style meal service with all menu items served at once) were also included over the six week trial period. Childrens lunch intake was observed as a measure of food and nutrient intake during each experimental condition.

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