Heidi Luft, PhD, RN

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

Dr. Luft completed her BSN at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and PhD at Columbia University in the City of New York, as a pre-doctoral fellow on the NIH/NINR grant "Training in Interdisciplinary Research to Prevent Infections" (TIRI).

Dr. Luft's program of research aims to achieve sexual health equity in oppressed and/or resource poor populations, with a focus on Latinx populations in the US and abroad. Her work supports the premise that employing community driven approaches and social ecological frameworks that consider multiple levels of influences (individual, interpersonal, community, policy) is fundamental to develop effective sexual health promotion and disease prevention interventions. This perspective supports an anti-oppression approach to promoting healthy sexual behaviors of individuals and has the potential to provide a sustainable public health impact. Her program of research is characterized by its grounding in social ecological and self-management theory, innovative interdisciplinary approaches to solving complex health issues, rigorous mixed methods, and implementation science processes. These studies provide insight into the ways in which social ecology influences sexual health behaviors, the role of men and boys in improving sexual health outcomes, and effective implementation of sexual health interventions in domestic and global settings.

“The fundamental question underlying her program of research is “How do we promote safe and healthy relationships in way that is effective, sustainable, and acceptable for individuals living in resource-poor settings within the US or abroad?”


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

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.