Eugenia Catarina South, M.D., M.S.H.P

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Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Presbyterian Medical Center of Philadelphia
Senior Fellow , Leonard Davis Institute, University of Pennsylvania
Faculty Director, Penn Urban Health Lab, Penn Medicine
Associate Vice President of Health Justice, University of Pennsylvania Health System
Faculty Director, Center for Health Justice ,
Department: Emergency Medicine

Contact information
University of Pennsylvania Hospital
Department of Emergency Medicine
3400 Spruce Street - Ground Ravdin
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-746-5609
Fax: 215-573-2701
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA , 2003.
MD (Doctor of Medicine)
Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO , 2008.
MSPH (Master of Science in Health Policy)
University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine , 2012.
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Description of Research Expertise

Eugenia South, MD MS is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. South’s research focuses on how neighborhood context impacts health and safety in urban environments. She is interested in understanding the ways in which the physical attributes of where people live, work, and play influence chronic stress, cardiovascular and mental health, and violent crime. She worked with the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society to pilot a randomized controlled trial of vacant lot greening, the first prospective experimental analysis of a community greening intervention. This trial found that people felt safer after greening, a trend toward decreased violent crime, and physiologic evidence of decreased stress. This work resulted in several published manuscripts and has been featured in national media outlets including NPR, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Washington Post, as well as multiple international media outlets. Currently, Dr. South is developing several projects, including an evaluation of the impact of abandoned building remediation on chronic stress, and an evaluation of NatureRx, a park prescription program aimed at increased youth exposure to urban green space.

Selected Publications

Khatri UG, Nguemeni Tiako MJ, Gebreyesus A, Reid A, Jacoby SF, South EC: “A Lack of Empathy:” A qualitative study of Black people seeking treatment for opioid use disorder. SSM Qual Res Health 4, Dec 2023.

Gotschall JW, Zhao M, Wilson C, Moore Z, Ayeni V, Rosenbach M, South E: Philadelphia Towards Racial and Environmental Equity (Philly TREEs): how a medical school can advance health equity through urban forestry in Philadelphia, PA, USA. Lancet Planet Health Sep 2023.

Mayne SL, DiFiore G, Hannan C, Nwokeji U, Tam V, Filograna C, Martin T, South E, Mitchell JA, Glanz K, Fiks AG: Feasibility and acceptability of mobile methods to assess home and neighborhood environments related to adolescent sleep. Sleep Health June 2023.

Dolin CD, Mullin AM, Ledyard RF, Bender WR, South EC, Durnwald CP, Burris HH: Neighborhood Deprivation and Racial Disparities in Early Pregnancy Impaired Glucose Tolerance. Int J Environ Res Public Health June 2023.

Seeburger EF, Gonzales R, South EC, Friedman AB, Agarwal AK: Qualitative Perspectives of Emergency Nurses on Electronic Health Record Behavioral Flags to Promote Workplace Safety. JAMA Netw Open 6(4): e238957, Apr 2023.

Unachukwu IC, Abrams MP, Dolan A, Oyekemi K, Meisel ZF, South EC, Aronowitz SV: "The new normal has become a nonstop crisis": a qualitative study of burnout among Philadelphia's harm reduction and substance use disorder treatment workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Harm Reduct J 20(1), Mar 2023.

MacDonald J, Jacobowitz A, Gravel J, Smith M, Stokes R, Tam V, South EC, Branas C: Lessons Learned From a Citywide Abandoned Housing Experiment. Journal of the American Planning Association Feb 2023.

Agarwal AK, Seeburger E, O'Neill G, Nwakanma CC, Marsh LE, Soltany KA, South EC, Friedman AB: Prevalence of Behavioral Flags in the Electronic Health Record Among Black and White Patients Visiting the Emergency Department. JAMA Netw Open 6(1): e2251734, Jan 2023 Notes: doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.51734.

South EC, MacDonald J, Tam V, Ridgeway G, Branas C: Effect of Abandoned Housing Interventions on Gun Violence, Perceptions of Safety, and Substance Use in Black Neighborhoods A Citywide Cluster Randomized Trial. JAMA Intern Med 183(1): 31-39, Jan 2023 Notes: doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2022.5460.

Agarwal AK, Sagan C, Gonzales R, Nijim S, Merchant RM, Asch DA, South EC: Assessing Experiences of Racism Among Black and White Patients in the Emergency Department. J Am Coll Emerg Physicians Open 2022 3(6:e12870), Dec 2022 Notes: doi: 10.1002/emp2.12870.

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Last updated: 11/16/2023
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