Heidi Luft, PhD, RN

Heidi Luft, PhD, RN
Assistant Professor
hsluft@uwm.eduCunningham Hall 663
Assistant Professor

Dr. Luft teaches in the Nursing and Peacebuilding programs at UWM. Her research focuses on increasing gender security and sexual health equity in low and middle-income countries, specifically in the Latin America and Caribbean region. Her work is guided by frameworks for dissemination and implementation science, team science, social ecology, cultural adaptation of interventions and measures, cultural humility, and community-engaged/informed research. Her research takes a strengths-based approach, with a focus on helping to build socioemotional capacities among youth to help prevent dating/peer violence, substances misuse, and high-risk sexual behaviors. All of her research is conducted in close collaboration with local researchers and organizations within the host country where the research takes place.

The fundamental question underlying Dr. Luft's program of research is “How do we promote gender security and sexual health equity in way that is effective, sustainable, and acceptable for individuals low- and middle-income countries?”


Ph D Nursing, Columbia University, City of New York
BSN Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

Current Research

Reducing health disparities among vulnerable populations by increasing access to culturally humble, quality care (Funded: UWM Office of Research)

Evaluating the feasibility of implementing an evidence-based intervention in middle schools to prevent intimate partner violence among teens in the Dominican Republic

Exploring contextual factors that may impact the risk of being a victim or perpetrator of intimate partner violence among adolescents in the Dominican Republic

Self-management among adolescents in the Dominican Republic for primary prevention of intimate partner violence and homicide

Contracts & Grants

Luft, H. Building Capacity for Collaborative Research to Advance Social Justice and Health Equity in the Dominican Republic. (Jan. – Jul 2021). U.S. Scholar Award: Fulbright.

Collaborative Research Team Development Grant
Office of Research

Intellectual Contributions

Luft, H., Ke, W., Trifol, L., Halpern, M., Lerebours Nadal, L., and Larson, E. “Sexual relationship power and safe sex communication among partnered women in the Dominican Republic.” Journal of Transcultural Nursing.

Stonbraker, S., Smaldone, A., Luft, H., Cushman, L. F., Lerebours Nadal, L., Halpern, M., and Larson, E. “Associations between health literacy, HIV-related knowledge, and information behavior among persons living with HIV in the Dominican Republic.” Public Health Nursing 35.3 (2018): 166-175.

Iribarren, S., Siegel, K., Hirshfield, S., Olender, S., Voss, J., Krongold, J., Luft, Heidi S., and Schnall, R. “Self-management strategies for coping with adverse symptoms in persons living with HIV with HIV-associated non-AIDS conditions.” AIDS & Behavior 22.1 (2018): 297-307.

Luft, H, and Larson, E. “Psychosocial correlates of safe sex communication between Latina women and their stable male partners: An integrative review.” AIDS Care 29.5 (2017): 618-626.