Merrian J. Brooks, DO, MS


  •  Director of Pediatrics and Research at Botswana UPenn Partnership; Attending Physician of Adolescent Medicine Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  •  Botswana
  •   global adolescent health | global health equity | Health Disparities | Health Equity | professional research development

Languages: English


Dr. Brooks is a graduate of the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and holds a master's in clinical sciences on comparative research and health disparities from the University of Pittsburgh. She completed a residency in pediatrics at Cooper University Hospital and a clinical fellowship in adolescent medicine at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. During her time in Botswana, she has performed a multitude of critical tasks, such as working as a pediatrics specialist at Princess Marina Hospital, consulting in adolescent clinics, training and mentoring UB MMed and medical students, and advising on the health needs of adolescents in the policymaking arena. Additionally, Dr. Brooks has focused her research and scholarship on the development and evaluation of interventions that seek to reduce anxiety and depression in adolescents living with HIV through counseling and peer support. Since her arrival in Botswana, Dr. Brooks has proved herself to be an outstanding clinician and educator, a disciplined and creative investigator, a devoted advocate for her patients, and a loyal partner to her Batswana colleagues. While living in Botswana, I have integrated my love of pediatrics and adolescent medicine with serving the underserved globally. I am a consultant in adolescent clinics, train/mentor UB MMed and medical students, and advise on policy about adolescent health needs. My research and scholarship focus on strengthening adolescent mental health services. I research the implementation of counseling and peer support interventions aiming to reduce anxiety and depression in adolescents living with HIV. I hope to support the development of academicians, build a support system with partners from Philadelphia, and support BUP research expansion and sub-specialty development in Botswana.

Recent Global Health Projects

1. Community stakeholder feedback on adolescent mental health needs in Botswana
2. Screening for mental health symptoms in a population of youth living with HIV in Botswana


Boshe, J., Brtek, V., Beima-Sofie, K., Braitstein, P., Brooks, M., Denison, J., Donenberg, G., Kemigisha, E., Memiah, P., Njuguna, I., Poku, O., Roberts, S.T., Shayo, A., Dow, D. Integrating Adolescent Mental Health into HIV prevention and treatment programs:  Can Implementation Science Pave the Path Forward. Accepted AIDS and Behavior. Accepted September 2022

Yang, L.H.,* Eschliman, E.L.,* Mehta, H., Misra, S., Poku, O.B., Entaile, P., Becker, T.D., Melese, T., Brooks, M.J., Eisenberg, M., Stockton, M.A., Choe, K., Tal, D., Li, T., Go, V., Link, B.G., Rampa, S., Jackson, V., Manyeagae, G.D., Goodman, M., Arscott-Mills, T., Opondo, P.,  Ho-Foster, A., & Blank, M.B. A pilot pragmatic trial of a “What Matters Most”-based intervention targeting intersectional stigma related to being pregnant and living with HIV in Botswana. Accepted for publication by AIDS Research and Therapy. Accepted June 2022

Brooks MJ, Nicola Willis, Rhulani Beji-Chauke, Ontibile Tshume, Onkemetse Phoi, Elizabeth Lowenthal, Dixon Chibanda, Rashida A Ferrand. Principles for delivery of youth lay counselor programs: Lessons from field experiences. [Perspective] Journal of Global Health, In Press, Accepted March 2022 

Brooks MJ, Phetogo BK, Schwennesen H, Phoi O, Tshume O, Matshaba M, Lowenthal E. Building a Community Based Mental Health Program for Adolescents in Botswana: Stakeholder Feedback. Community Ment Health J. 2021 Nov 26:10.1007/s10597-021-00915-5. doi: 10.1007/s10597-021-00915-5. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34826035; PMCID: PMC9172915.

Brooks, M., Phetogo, B., Monyane-Pheko, M., Phoi, O., Tshume, O., Tembwe, T., et al. (2021): Feasibility of integrating mental health screening into youth HIV Care in a Low-Middle Income Country Setting. Advance. [Preprint].

Drisana Henry, Sarah Wood, Neo Moshashane, Kehumile Ramontshonyana, Christina Amutah, Pegah Maleki, Claire Howlett, Merrian J. Brooks, Aamirah Mussa, Dipesalema Joel, Andrew P. Steenhoff, Aletha Y. Akers, Chelsea Morroni,. Facilitators and Barriers to Implementation of Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptive Services for Adolescent Girls and Young Women in Gaborone, Botswana, Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, (March 2021). (

Brooks, M, Fields, E. Community Partnered Participatory Research Methods as told for racial justice and health equity [Perspective], (Dec 2020) Accepted Perspectives in Public Health

Brooks M, Leskovask,J, Mulvey, E, Miller, E. Motivational interviewing for probation officers: a case study from a small-sized county. Sept 2020. Juvenile and Family Court Journal (In Press)

Galagali, P, Brooks M. Psychological care in low-resource settings for adolescents. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry. June 2020. Epub ahead of print.. DOI: 10.1 177/1359104520929742

Pitts, B, Alasma, M., Brooks,M, Galagali, P, McKinney, R. McManus, P, Pinto, M, Radovic, R, Richarson, L. Improving Integration of Behavioral Health Into Primary Care for Adolescents and Young Adults a position statement of the society for adolescent health and medicine [Society Statement]. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2020 Jul; 67 (2): 302-306. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.05.016.


Last Updated: 24 February 2023