Alexandra “Xan” Nowakowski, PhD, MPH, is a medical sociologist and public health program evaluator who uses her own experiences of living with chronic lung disease to promote asthma management quality and equity in Florida and across the United States. She is currently on the faculty in medicine and sociology at Florida State University. Her work in asthma care quality improvement emphasizes team collaboration, patient engagement, mixed methods, and community empowerment.
Dr. Nowakowski has worked with the Florida Asthma Program since January of 2012. Before joining the National Asthma Program project team for Florida, she conducted evaluations of biomedical research capacity in Florida, health needs for multi-site urban and rural clinics in Florida’s Big Bend area, local health department training needs, pain management capacity and financing at New Jersey hospitals, and school-based interventions for occupational health and safety.
In recent years, Dr. Nowakowski has worked on evaluations of medication therapy management programs and long-term care coverage initiatives for Florida Medicaid, as well as assessment of pain management processes and experiences in university health centers. She also collaborated with numerous academic and public sector partners to start a community health center in Havana, Florida, and now focuses on user satisfaction evaluation as a member of the clinic’s board of directors. She has also co-authored a book about health research that engages patient narratives of trauma and hardship, to be published by Taylor & Francis.
Dr. Nowakowski holds PhD and MS degrees in medical sociology from Florida State University, as well as an MPH in health systems and policy from Rutgers University. Her interest in evidence-based asthma management and patient empowerment results from having lived with chronic autoimmune disease since birth, including asthmatic conditions and other mucous membrane disorders. She finds fulfillment in helping her peers achieve the best health and quality of life possible.