Joseph Pacheco, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor, Department of Community and Population Health
Affiliation: Quechua/Cherokee
Office: BH 215


Dr. Joseph Anthony Pacheco is an Assistant Professor with an Indigenous population focus in the College of Health at Lehigh University. He is a community-based participatory researcher with extensive experience working in the field of public health and has conducted prevention and implementation research for over ten years in both reservation and urban Indigenous communities. He comes to Lehigh from the University of Kansas School of Medicine, where he obtained his PhD in Health Policy and Management in the Department of Population Health. He has also served as a project manager for numerous American Indian-focused NIH-funded grants focused on tobacco cessation and healthy home environments at the University of Kansas Medical Center. More recently, he has served as a Senior Research Scientist for the Institute for Indigenous Studies at Lehigh University. As an Indigenous person, his research goals are to find ways to reduce Indigenous health inequities and address the many social impediments to health that exist in Indigenous communities throughout the Americas. He strives to involve the community in all aspects of his research, from concept inception through design, analysis, and dissemination, utilizing a community-based participatory research approach. In addition to his research, Dr. Pacheco aspires to surpass his students’ expectations as their instructor. His teaching philosophy is to focus on the most important people in the classroom, the students. His goal is to create an inclusive strength-based learning environment that allows all students to bring their prior knowledge and experiences to the classroom and places a higher importance on opportunities for additional learning as opposed to “right and wrong answers”.


  • PhD, Health Policy and Management, University of Kansas Medical Center, 2022
  • MPH, Concentration in Environmental Health, University of Kansas Medical Center, 2013
  • BS, Pre-professional Zoology, Northwest Missouri State University, 2010

Areas of Research and Publications

Populations: Indigenous populations in the Americas, historically resilient communities in the US, and tribal college students

Policies: Access to care; tobacco control, environmental health, health policies

Topics: Smoking cessation, indoor air quality, culturally tailored approaches, community-based participatory research, health inequities, social impediments to health, cancer screening/ prevention

Awards and Honors

  • 2011-2013 | Susan G. Komen for the Cure Cancer Scholar
  • 2013,2014,2017 | Outstanding Project Manager, American Indian Health Research & Education Alliance
  • 2016-2018 |  Susan G. Komen for the Cure Cancer Scholar
  • 2016-2020 | Center for American Indian Community Health Pre-Doctoral Fellow