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Deborah Neffa-Creech 
Senior Research Associate

Deborah specializes in social sciences research, with an emphasis on health behaviors, interpersonal communication, and technology use. At Sentient Research, she is responsible for helping with projects from development to evaluation using quantitative and qualitative research techniques and analysis.

Deborah earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the UNC-Chapel Hill Hussman School of Journalism and Media, where she earned a certificate in interdisciplinary health communication – offered with the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health – and worked on social marketing initiatives with non-profit and public health organizations. After completing her M.A., Deborah spent four years in Charlotte as a communications specialist at Atrium Health, one of the nation's largest non-profit health systems. She developed campaigns to prompt patient and provider behavior change while supporting strategic communications for Atrium’s international medical outreach program, patient experience department, and diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Eager to gain additional research skills, Deborah moved to Los Angeles and earned a PhD in health communication from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. There, she gained expertise in study design and in varying approaches to data collection and analysis, including interviews, focus groups, surveys, field experiments, scale development, social network analysis, and structural equation modeling. At Annenberg, she was a research assistant for the Metamorphosis Research Group and for a randomized controlled trial funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For her dissertation, she partnered with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to explore adolescent and family use of media for Type 2 diabetes management. Deborah has presented her research 18 times at professional and academic conferences and has published a book chapter and several articles in peer-reviewed journals. She has also served as a reviewer for communication and public health journals, as well as a senior editorial assistant for the International Journal of Communication. When she’s not engaged in research, Deborah enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, exercising, and crossing off restaurants from her wish list.




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West Covina, CA 91790
Tel: 213.864.8959
Fax: 866.614.6075