Associate Director, SSRC Policy Studies and Director, MHPRC
Ph.D., Sociology, Mississippi State University

Email: Connie.Baird@ssrc.msstate.edu
Phone: (601) 407-2742
Dr. Baird-Thomas is the Associate Director of the Social Science Center for Policy Studies and Director of the Mississippi Health Policy Research Center, Mississippi’s only research center devoted to health policy issues. Through the MHPRC, health and health services data are provided to a number of stakeholders including state agencies, advocacy groups and political officials.

Dr. Baird-Thomas received her undergraduate degree from Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS. She did graduate work at Washington University, St. Louis in the areas of Sociology and Criminology. She received the Ph.D. in Sociology from Mississippi State University.

Dr. Baird-Thomas’s primary research interests include at-risk youth, STD/HIV prevention, health disparities, infant mortality and program evaluation. She is currently involved in assessing an STD/HIV risk intervention for adolescent female offenders. Other related research includes the prevalence of chlamydia and gonorrhea among incarcerated youth and the effectiveness of a brief intervention in reducing STD/HIV risk behavior among this same population.

In the area of program evaluation, Dr. Baird-Thomas led the evaluation of a statewide effort to reduce health disparities among minorities. She also has served as the lead Investigator for the assessment of other statewide programs including the school nurse component of the Mississippi Tobacco Pilot Program and Mississippi’s Drug Free Schools and Community Program. Other activities for which she was the lead investigator include a feasibility assessment of implementing the Nurse-Family Partnership Program in Mississippi and the Evaluation of the Mississippi Disaster Case Management Pilot Program.

Dr. Baird-Thomas’s research has been funded by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety Planning, the Mississippi State Department of Health and the Office of Rural Health Policy (HRSA). Her work has been published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, International Journal of Crime, Criminal Justice and the Law, and Criminal Justice and Behavior.

Recent Publications and Presentations

2009 Hurricane Katrina’s Impact on the Mental Health of Adolescent Female Offenders.” Anxiety, Stress and Coping 22 (4):433-448 (with A. Robertson and D. Morse).

2008 “Minimizing the Risk of Pregnancy, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and

HIV Among Incarcerated Adolescent Girls: Identifying Potential Points of Intervention.” Criminal Justice and Behavior 35: 1500-1514 (with St. Lawrence, J., Snodgrass, C.E., Robertson, A.)

2008“Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Delinquency Among Adolescent Female Offenders.”Poster presentation, American Psychological Association annual conference (with Judith Stein, Angela Robertson, Rebecca G. Harvey)

2008 “Health Disparities Linked to Infant Mortality in the Mississippi Delta,” presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology, Memphis, TN (with Sarah Leonard)

2008 Drinking, Drug Use and Sexual Risk Behaviors among Incarcerated Adolescent Girls in Mississippi,” presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology (with Angela Robertson).

2008 “Child Victimization and Parental Monitoring as Mediators of Youth Problem Behaviors,” Criminal Justice and Behavior 35: 755-(with A. Robertson and J.A. Stein).

2007 “Child Maltreatment and Parental Monitoring as Mediators of Youth Problem Behaviors,” presented at the 44th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (with A. Robertson and J.A. Stein).

2006. “Brief STD/HIV Intervention in a Juvenile Detention Center: Sexual Risk Behavior and Risk Reduction.” International Journal of Crime, Criminal Justice and the Law, 1(1), 15-29 (with A. Robertson, P. Dill and D. Morse).

2006 “Predictors of STD among Incarcerated Girls: Looking Beyond Individual Characteristics.” Poster presentation, National STD Prevention Conference (with A. Robertson).

2006 “Gender Differences in the Prediction of Condom Use Among Incarcerated Juvenile Offenders: Testing the Information-Motivation-Behavior Skills (IMB) Model.” Journal of Adolescent Health. Jan:38(1)18-25 (with A. Robertson and J. Stein).

2005 . “Predictors of” Infection With Chlamydia or Gonorrhea in Incarcerated Adolescents”. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Feb:32(2)115-122 (with A. Robertson, J. St. Lawrence and R. Pack).

Recent Grants

2009 “Maternal Health in the Mississippi Delta.” Principal Investigator. Funding Agency: Dreyfus Health Foundation.

2008 “Nurse Family Partnership Program Feasibility Assessment.” Principal Investigator. Funding Agency: Mississippi Health Advocacy Program.

2008 “Disaster Case Management Pilot Program Evaluation.” Principal Investigator. Funding Agency: Mississippi Case Management Consortium and Federal Emergency Management Agency.

2007 “Mississippi Institute for the Improvement of Geographic Minority Health- Evaluation Component, Years 2 -3”. Co-Principal Investigator with A. Cosby. Funding Agency: University of Mississippi Medical Center, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

2006 “Health Services Research Project.” Co-Principal Investigator with A. Cosby. Funding Agency: Delta Health Alliance, Health Resources Services Administration, Office of Rural Health Policy.

2003 “Brief Intervention for STD/HIV Risk Reduction Among Incarcerated Youth.” Co- Principal Investigator with A. Robertson. Funding Agency: Mississippi State Department of Health,

2002 “Juvenile Detention Facilities Task Force Technical Assistance (Years I and II).” Co-Principal with R. Gregory Dunaway. Funding Agency: Mississippi Department of Public Safety, Division of Public Safety Planning.