• Ralph Waldo Emerson




    Dr. Salemi




    I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.


    I have a demonstrated record of collaborative research, scholarly publication, teaching and advising, and participation in public health organizations and professional associations.


    I have amassed a substantial and versatile proficiency in database development, data linkage, management, and analysis, program and systems evaluation, community engagement, and information dissemination.   


    I am a passionate public health professional committed to solving problems and creating conditions that enable people to lead healthy, productive lives.



    Sucker of Life's Marrow


    My history is derived from the cultural basket of Tampa's Cuban and Italian ancestry. As a third generation Tampa native, I was born into a family with rich cultural traditions.


    I have become a feverish trailblazer who embraces nature, sports, and an active lifestyle (marathons...yes please!), and am a proud vegetarian committed to a healthy life and a sustainable, humane food system.


    I'm dedicated and high-intensity, but am really a fun-loving character who doesn't take himself too seriously most of the time, and who feeds off of human interactions. 


    Most importantly, I am a lucky man who has been blessed with a beautiful wife, loving parents, and remarkable friends.


    The introductory years of my life would be shaped, not by my hard-working parents, but by my abuela Estella. This sixty year-old Cuban woman, a mere friend of the family, practically raised me from a twelve week-old newborn to a grade school youngster. To her I owe the very fabric of my character; benevolence, honesty, the pursuit of knowledge and interaction with others. Albeit early in my life, these tenets would serve to build my integrity and moral fabric. My parents have always provided the unconditional love and support I needed to excel; however, an often tumultuous life made me come to the realization that not every day in life proceeds according to plan; life has its surprises, so I learned to seize each day in pursuit of my goals. Similarly, I learned to become independent, analytical, and eager to discover my role in life.

    Tutelage in high school and college would serve as the impetus, and subsequently the driving force for unearthing my passion for knowledge and appeal to sports and fitness. Working and volunteering in the community fostered my affection for people, both friends and strangers, and my yearning to be a part of their lives. Progressively, the thought of and my desire to become a physician grew. I began to guide my education, employment, and spare time towards investigation of everything in a physicians world, from the seemingly chaotic medical hodgepodge in the ER to the ever-criticized managed care establishment. The lure of medicine culminated in my application and acceptance to the University of South Florida (USF) Morsani College of Medicine in 2002. However, after immense reflection and despite what I believed to be a strong passion to employ individualized patient care to treat disease and illness, I came to the self-realization that life as a physician would not best achieve my career and personal objectives. Despite being the single most difficult decision of my young life, hindsight and my discovery of the realm of public health have convinced me that withdrawing from medical school was the correct path for me to take.


    Following my withdrawal, it was a most unique employment experience with the American Cancer Society that changed my life. For over twelve years (until late 2014), I lived, yes lived, at the Benjamin Mendick Hope Lodge on USFs campus, among cancer patients and their loved ones. I served as the resident Night Manager at this gorgeous facility, erected to provide free housing to cancer patients while undergoing treatment. I yearned to inject warmth, compassion, and genuine fun into the lodge environment, which ensured that we lessen emotional burden for our patients and caregivers. At the lodge I experienced miracles and a benevolence and compassion is lacking in the world in which we live. It kept me grounded, appreciative, and optimistic about the future.

    And then I embarked on my career in epidemiology, the scientific cornerstone of public health. In my years as an epidemiologist for the USF Birth Defects Surveillance Program, chair of both the National Birth Defects Prevention Network’s Data Committee and Surveillance Guidelines and Standards Committee, and in my role on a 3-year, federally-funded R01 on comparative effectiveness research (CER), I have amassed a substantial and versatile proficiency in database development, as well as data linkage, management, and analysis. I also have experience with community engagement activities, specifically leveraging a multiple-criteria decision-making model to select and address a disparity issue of concern to the community within the maternal and child health populations in a socio-economically disadvantaged setting. I have published or have in-press over 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles (updated August 2018), most focusing on evaluation of surveillance programs and data systems, or on important technological and methodological issues in epidemiology. I have taught or co-taught Epidemiology Methods, Computer Applications for Public Health Researchers, and Public Health Database Management at the USF College of Public Health. In 2014, I began working as an Assistant Professor for the Baylor College of Medicine. That chapter of my story continues to be written. In July 2016, I was awarded Baylor's Outstanding Faculty Researcher Award. I now serve as the Director of Analytics for our Department's Center for Population Health Research, the Assistant Director of the Department's Primary Care Research Fellowship, a trainer and evaluator for Baylor's Center of Excellence in Health Equity, Training and Research, and the 2018 President of the National Birth Defects Prevention Network.

    I love being challenged, competing, teaching, learning, and experiencing life. I am blessed to have the woman of my dreams, Jennifer, as my wife. Albeit abbreviated and encapsulated, this is who I am - a compassionate, upright, intelligent, and devoted student, husband, and individual, eager to pursue his passion and be an outstanding credit to his profession.


    Come see what I do

    Curriculum vitae (CV)

    My education, professional experience, teaching and mentorship, service activities, skills, and interests

    Last updated August 2018




    This CV is interactive!


    I've placed hyperlinks throughout the document to facilitate navigation to universities, organizations, societies, and professional and social profiles.


    Each published paper that has already been listed in PubMed also has a link that takes you directly there!


    A sample of some of my recent papers designed to advance knowledge and improve health


    Just click on the paper's image to view the paper in PubMed!


    You can also see all of my peer-reviewed publications in PubMed by clicking here!


    Excludes a few publications in journals in which all issues are not indexed in PubMed.

    ******NEW! from August 2018 ******


    Evaluating the impact of expanding the number of diagnosis codes reported in inpatient discharge databases on the counts and rates of birth defects

    Salemi JL, Rutkowski RE, Tanner JP, Matas JL, Kirby RS

    Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association

    ******NEW! from August 2018 ******


    Trends, correlates, and survival of infants with congenital diaphragmatic hernia and its subtypes

    Ramakrishnan R, Salemi JL, Stuart AL, Chen H, O'Rourke K, Obican S, Kirby RS

    Birth Defects Research

    Identifying Algorithms to Improve the Accuracy of Unverified Diagnosis Codes for Birth Defects

    Salemi JL, Rutkowski RE, Tanner JP, Matas JL, Kirby RS

    Public Health Reports

    Evaluation of the Sensitivity and Accuracy of Birth Defects Indicators on the 2003 Revision of the U.S. Birth Certificate: Has Data Quality Improved?

    Salemi JL, Tanner JP, Sampat DP, Rutkowski RE, Anjohrin SB, Marshall J, Kirby RS

    Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology

    National trends of hepatitis B and C during pregnancy across sociodemographic, behavioral, and clinical factors, United States, 1998-2011

    Salemi JL, Spooner KK, Mejia de Grubb MC, Aggarwal A, Matas JL, Salihu HM

    Journal of Medical Virology

    Hyperglycaemia in infants with hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy is associated with improved outcomes after therapeutic hypothermia: a post-hoc analysis of the CoolCap Study

    Basu SK, Salemi JL, Gunn AJ, Kaiser JR

    Archives of Disease in Childhood - Fetal and Neonatal Edition

    ****** Editor's Choice Article! ******


    Pregnancy as a window to future health: Maternal placental syndromes and short-term cardiovascular outcomes

    Cain MA, Salemi JL, Tanner JP, Kirby RS, Salihu HM, Louis JM

    American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology

    Infant Outcomes After Elective Early-Term Delivery Compared With Expectant Management

    Salemi JL, Pathak EB, Salihu HM

    Obstetrics and Gynecology

    Creation and Evaluation of a Multi-layered Maternal and Child Health Database for Comparative Effectiveness Research

    Salemi JL, Tanner JP, Bailey M, Mbah AK, Salihu HM

    Journal of Registry Management

    A Practical Approach for Calculating Reliable Cost estimates from Observational Data: Application to Cost-Effectiveness Analysis in Maternal and Child Health

    Salemi JL, Comins M, Chandler KC, Mogos MF, Salihu HM

    Applied Health Economics and Health Policy

    The Accuracy of Hospital Discharge Diagnosis Codes for Major Birth Defects: Evaluation of a Statewide Registry with Passive Case Ascertainment

    Salemi JL, Tanner JP, Sampat D, Anjohrin SB, Correia JA, Watkins SM, Kirby RS

    Journal of Public Health Management and Practice

    Evaluating Difficult Decisions in Public Health Surveillance: Striking the Right Balance between Timeliness and Completeness

    Salemi JL, Tanner JP, Anjohrin SB, Rutkowski R, Correia JA, Watkins SM, Kirby RS

    Journal of Registry Management

    The Relative Contribution of Data Sources to a Birth Defects Registry Utilizing Passive Multisource Ascertainment Methods: Does a Smaller Birth Defects Case Ascertainment Net Lead to Overall or Disproportionate Loss?

    Salemi JL, Tanner JP, Block S, Bailey M, Correia JA, Watkins SM, Kirby RS

    Journal of Registry Management

    A Comparison of Two Surveillance Strategies for Selected Birth Defects in Florida

    Salemi JL, Tanner JP, Kennedy S, Block S, Bailey M, Correia JA, Watkins SM, Kirby RS

    Public Health Reports

    Disparities in Perceived Patient-Provider Communication Quality in the United States: Trends and Correlates

    Spooner KK, Salemi JL, Salihu HM, Zoorob RJ

    Patient Education and Counseling

    Trends and Correlates of Disparities in Alcohol-Related Mortality Between Hispanics and Non-Hispanic Whites in the United States, 1999-2014

    Mejia de Grubb MC, Salemi JL, Gonzalez SJ, Zoorob RJ, Levine R

    Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research

    Differences in Mortality Between Pregnant and Nonpregnant Women After Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

    Mogos MF, Salemi JL, Spooner KK, McFarlin BL, Salihu HM

    Obstetrics and Gynecology

    Transformative Use of an Improved All-Payer Hospital Discharge Data Infrastructure for Community-Based Participatory Research: A Sustainability Pathway

    Salemi JL, Salinas-Miranda AA, Wilson RE, Salihu HM

    Health Services Research

    Racial differences in DNA -methylation of CpG sites within preterm-promoting genes and gene variants

    Salihu HM, Das R, Lorton L, Huang H, Paothong A, Wilson RE, Aliyu M, Salemi JL, Marty P

    Maternal and Child Health Journal

    A positive association between umbilical cord RBC folate and fetal telomere length at birth supports a potential for fetal re-programming

    Louis-Jacques A, Salihu HM, King LM, Paothong A, Sinkey RG, Pradhan A, Siegel EM, Riggs B, Salemi JL, Whiteman VE

    Nutrition Research

    Uncertainty in maternal exposures to ambient PM2.5 and benzene during pregnancy: sensitivity to exposure estimation decisions

    Tanner JP, Salemi JL, Stuart AL, Yu H, Jordan MM, Duclos C, Cavicchia P, Correia JA, Watkins SM, Kirby RS

    Spatial and Spatiotemporal Epidemiology

    Developing a Database Management System to Support Birth Defects Surveillance in Florida

    Salemi JL, Hauser KW, Tanner JP, Sampat D, Correia JA, Watkins SM, Kirby RS

    Journal of Registry Management

    Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Risk of Early Childhood Mortality Among Children with Congenital Heart Defects

    Nembhard WN, Salemi JL, Ethen MK, Fixler DE, Canfield MA, DiMaggio A


    Mortality due to congenital heart defects among infants, children, and adults, United States, 1999-2005

    Gilboa SM, Salemi JL, Nembhard WN, Fixler DE, Correa A



    Several years ago, I created EpiTableCalcs for some basic 2x2 table calculations

    to get students interested in one of the introductory principles in epidemiology.


    Check out the cheesy promo video below with the fancy elevator music.


    Download the app for free from here if you want a test drive!

    This app will make you a more sensitive, specific human being ;-)


    I make a cameo in the start of the 2010 San Francisco Half Marathon

    this is the happiest I would be all race amid the rolling hills


    Take a look and enjoy!

    Daddy Time

    My son is both a miracle and a marvel.

    My Two Blessings

    Mommy, Daddy, and Gabriel Leonardo


    Professional (and perhaps not so professional) notariety

    Humbled to be presented the 2017 Outstanding Alumni Award by the University of South Florida during National Public Health Week

    Our study investigating elective early-term deliveries appears on the front page of the Houston Chronicle.

    Our study investigating elective early-term deliveries appears on the front page of the Houston Chronicle.

    Our study with the CDC investigating increasing rates of gastroschisis appears on the front page of the Houston Chronicle.

    Our study with the CDC investigating increasing rates of gastroschisis appears on the front page of the Houston Chronicle.

    A beautiful tribute article by my home university

    One of the very few times growing up I actually had a picture that made it in the newspaper

    Chosen to represent Hillsborough County in Sports Illustrated featuring hometown heroes Tony and Bertha Saladino

    Interestingly, the cover of this SI issue featured Joe Montana's retirement...

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