Over the course of her career Dr. Andress has been an applied public health practitioner and most recently a community-based researcher who has developed a unique model of the social determinants of health reflected through theories from human geography, communications, and the policymaking process. During her studies, she secured a Master of Public Health and Ph.D. in Community Health Science (University of Texas Health Sciences Center, major in health policy; concentration in Management and Policy Sciences), and a law degree from South Texas College of Law, Houston, Texas. At West Virginia University, School of Public Health she has served as an Assistant Dean for Public Health Practice and Workforce Development and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy, Management and Leadership.
As a community engaged place and health scholar, Andress’ research is a form of public health assessment demonstrating the connection between place and health incorporating a range of qualitative research skills including critical discourse analysis, ethnographic techniques, and content analysis of documents and data collected from interviews, focus groups, print media and audio and video recordings. Most often her scholarship portrays the lived experiences of underrepresented (UR) groups as told by and through their stories, photos, narratives and video recordings www.placeandhealthwv.com. These digital records are intended to illustrate the connections between lived experiences and larger historical, social, and structural forces of a place.
Prior to joining academia, Dr. Andress worked in worked in public health at the local and federal levels, served as a policy aide to local and congressional policymakers, and lead teams from 2007-2010 that launched the Centers for Health Equity in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Louisville, Kentucky.