Lea Sacca, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Lea Sacca, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Population Health and Social Medicine

777 Glades Road

Boca Raton, FL 33431

OB1, Room 230

p: 561-297-4280


Department: Population Health & Social Medicine


Lea Sacca is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Population Health and Social Medicine at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at Florida International University. Lea earned her PhD from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston from the department of Health Promotion Behavioral Sciences. She also completed a minor in epidemiology and a minor in statistics. Lea first came to the United States in 2017 after she received a Fulbright Scholarship from the US Department of State to pursue an MPH in Health Promotion Behavioral Sciences and a Certificate in Global Health at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. She also received over 10 prestigious scholarships from the School of Public Health at UTHealth Houston in honor of her academic and research achievements. Lea was a board member for the Houston Global Health Collaborative over a period of two years. She has extensive leadership experience in the field of global health. Her research interests are focused on designing and implementing evidence-based interventions in the maternal and child health field to improve the well-being of disadvantaged populations including refugees, immigrant women, ethnic minority adolescent groups, and American Indian/Alaska Native youth, specifically in the fields of sexual health, cancer prevention, HPV vaccination, food insecurity, and mental health. She has led and co-authored multiple peer-reviewed articles in high-impact journals.


  • 2021: PhD, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health, Houston, TX
  • 2019: MPH, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health, Houston, TX
  • 2018: Certificate in Refugee Health, Unite for Sight Global Health University-Online Program
  • 2018: Certificate in Global Health, Unite for Sight Global Health University-Online Program
  • 2017: BS, University of Balamand, Al Kourah, Lebanon Major: Public Health and Development Sciences
  • 2021 – 2022: Postdoctoral Fellowship, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International University; Green Family Foundation, NeighborhoodHELP

Scholarly Activity

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Sacca, L., Garba, N. A., Clarke, R. D., Maroun, V., & Brown, D. R. (2022). Using community-based implementation frameworks and strategies to address food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic: A scoping review. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, 1–19. doi.org/10.1080/19320248.2022.2136024
  • Markham, C.M., Craig Rushing, S., Manthei, J., Singer, M., Jessen, C., Thomas, J., Peskin, M.F., Hernandez, B.F., Sacca, L., Evans, G., Luna-Meza, C., Merritt, Z., and Shegog, R. (2022). The Healthy Native Youth Implementation Toolbox: Using Implementation Mapping to Adapt an Online Decision Support System to Promote Culturally Relevant Sexual Health Education for Native Youth. Frontiers in Public Health.
  • Garba, N.A.; Sacca, L.; Clarke, R.D.; Bhoite, P.; Buschman, J.; Oller, V.; Napolitano, N.; Hyppolite, S.; Lacroix, S.; Archibald, A.; Hamilton, O.; Ash, T.; Brown, D.R. Addressing Food Insecurity during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Intervention Outcomes and Lessons Learned from a Collaborative Food Delivery Response in South Florida’s Underserved Households. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 8130. doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19138130
  • Sacca, L., Maroun, C., Khoury, S., Maroun, V., Khoury, J., & Bouery, P. (2022). Period Poverty in Lebanon: A Call for Action. Women’s Reproductive Health, 1–16. doi:10.1080/23293691.2022.2079965
  • Sacca, L., Markham, C., Hernandez, B., Shegog, R., Peskin, M., Craig Rushing, S., Warren, H., & Tsosie, M. (2022). The impact of COVID-19 on the delivery of educational programs in Native American communities: Qualitative study. JMIR Formative Research, 6(4), e32325. doi.org/10.2196/32325
  • Bouery, P., Attieh, R., Sacca, L., & Sacre, Y. (2022). Assessment of the social quality of life and the physical activity of adult celiac disease patients following a gluten-free diet in Lebanon. Nutrition and Health, 2601060221095685. doi.org/10.1177/02601060221095685
  • Sacca, L., Khoury, S., Maroun, C., Khoury, M., Maroun, V., Khoury, J., & Bouery, P. (2022). Posttraumatic treatment interventions for refugee children residing in the middle east and north Africa (MENA) region: A brief review. Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy: JICAP, 21(1), 27–46. doi.org/10.1080/15289168.2022.2050664
  • Sacca, L., Shegog, R., Hernandez, B. et al. Barriers, frameworks, and mitigating strategies influencing the dissemination and implementation of health promotion interventions in indigenous communities: a scoping review. Implementation Sci 17, 18 (2022). doi.org/10.1186/s13012-022-01190-y
  • Sacca, L., Maroun, V., & Khoury, M. (2022). Predictors of high trust and the role of confidence levels in seeking cancer-related information. Informatics for health & social care, 47(1), 53–61. doi.org/10.1080/17538157.2021.1925676
  • Sacca, L., Craig Rushing, S., Markham, C., Shegog, R., Peskin, M., Hernandez, B., Gaston, A., Singer, M., Trevino, N., Correa, C. C., Jessen, C., Williamson, J., & Thomas, J. (2021). Assessment of the Reach, Usability, and Perceived Impact of "Talking Is Power": A Parental Sexual Health Text-Messaging Service and Web-Based Resource to Empower Sensitive Conversations with American Indian and Alaska Native Teens. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(17), 9126. doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179126
  • Nabulsi, D., Ismail, H., Abou Hassan, F., Sacca, L., Honein-AbouHaidar, G., & Jomaa, L. (2020). Voices of the vulnerable: Exploring the livelihood strategies, coping mechanisms and their impact on food insecurity, health and access to health care among Syrian refugees in the Beqaa region of Lebanon. PloS one, 15(12), e0242421. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0242421
  • Sacca, L., Markham, C., & Fares, J. (2020). Using Intervention Mapping to Develop Health Education and Health Policy Components to Increase Breast Cancer Screening and Chemotherapy Adherence Among Syrian and Iraqi Refugee Women in Beirut, Lebanon. Frontiers in public health, 8, 101. doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2020.00101
  • Sacca, L., Chemaly, R. F., Batista, M. V., Jiang, Y., Haddad, L. E., & Ariza-Heredia, E. J. (2019). Impact of influenza vaccination on outcomes of influenza infections in immunocompromised patients. Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation: Journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, 25(3), S351–S352. doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2018.12.569

Honors and Awards

  • 2021: Delta Omega Honorary Public Health Society (Alpha Iota Chapter)
  • 2021: UTHealth Student InterCouncil (SIC) COVID-19 Relief Scholarship ($500)
  • 2021: UTHealth Student InterCouncil (SIC) Academic Achievement Award ($1,000)
  • 2021: Eugene H. Vaughan Endowed Scholarship ($1,000) for PhD Student in Health Promotion Behavioral Sciences
  • 2021: Health Promotion Behavioral Sciences (HPBS) PhD Student Sponsorship Funding ($1,000)
  • 2020-2021: The L. Kay Bartholomew Eldredge Family Endowed Scholarship in HPBS for PhD Student ($1,000)
  • 2020: Popular Vote, Research Day, UTHealth ($200)
  • 2019-2020: The L. Kay Bartholomew Eldredge Family Endowed Scholarship in HPBS for PhD Student ($1,000)
  • 2019-2020: New Outstanding Student Scholarship in HPBS ($3,000)
  • 2019: The James Emerson Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award
  • 2019: Delta Omega Honorary Public Health Society (Alpha Iota Chapter)
  • 2018-2019: The Lauren and Adam Strauss Endowed Scholarship ($1,000)
  • 2017-2018: New Outstanding Public Health Student Scholarship in HPBS ($1,000)
  • 2017-2019: FULBRIGHT Scholarship for an MPH in Health Promotion/Global Health at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
  • 2014-2017: Dean's Honor List, University of Balamand

Additional Information
The Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine offers students a variety of educational programs and degrees.
Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road, BC-71
Boca Raton, FL 33431