• Olayinka Shiyanbola
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Adati Tarfa, PharmD, M.S

Research Assistant

Adati’s research examines how people living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) can be linked and retained in HIV care. A pharmacological goal of HIV care is to ensure people living with HIV are virally suppressed so that they can live healthier lives and have a decreased likelihood of passing HIV to others. Many people living with HIV experience barriers along the steps of the HIV continuum of care that delays or inhibits them from achieving and maintaining viral suppression. Adati identifies the barriers that they face such as substance abuse issues, homelessness, lack of social support, and lack of access to care. She engages stakeholders such as patients, pharmacists, and social workers to explores inter-professional collaborative ways in which pharmacists can address the challenges to HIV care.

Master’s Thesis:

Exploring the Role of Community Pharmacists and Social Workers in Improving Adherence to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Care.

Research Assistant Projects: 

Under the guidance of her advisor, Dr. Olayinka Shiyanbola, Adati has worked on mentored-research projects that develop culturally appropriate tools and peer-support programs to optimize medication use amongst African Americans living with type-2 diabetes. These projects augmented Adati s knowledge/experience in conducting stakeholder engagement research; qualitative research; focus group/cognitive interview and minority community engagement research. Adati's mentored projects are: 

  • Peers LEAD- Partnering with Peers in the Community to Improve Diabetes Medication Adherence among African Americans 
  • Feasibility and Acceptability of a Pilot Culturally Specific Educational-Behavioral Intervention for African Americans with Type 2 Diabetes 

Adati is a third-year graduate student of Health Services and Policy Research in Pharmacy. She earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Drake University with academic and leadership honors. She is interested in using her doctoral training to explore how pharmacists can provide targeted care for marginalized populations.

Her research focuses on people living with HIV that experience barriers to accessing their basic healthcare needs. To best improve access to care for patients, Adati collaborates with social workers that are specifically trained to address barriers to HIV care such as homelessness, stigma, substance use disorder, and economic insecurity.

Adati was selected by the Office of Minority Health (OMH) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to serve as a 2018 Health Equity Fellow for OMH’s health equity fellowship program. She is currently undertaking self-directed learning to explore racial diversity in pharmacy education and practice. 

Highlighted Publications:
  1. Ho P, Kaiping C, Shao A, Luye B, Ai A, Tarfa A, Brossard D, Brown L, Brauer M. A Mixed Methods Study of Public Perception of Social Distancing: Integrating Qualitative and Computational Analyses for Text Data. Journal of Mixed Methods Research. 2021 Jun
  2. Shiyanbola OO, Kaiser B, Thomas G, Tarfa A. Preliminary Engagement of a Patient Advisory Board of African Americans with Type 2 Diabetes in a Peer-Led Diabetes Medication Adherence Intervention. Research Involvement and Engagement. 2021 Jan 6;7(1):4. doi: 10.1186/s40900-020-00245-y.
  3. Shiyanbola OO, Maurer M, Ward E, Sharp L, Lee J, Tarfa A. Protocol for Partnering with Peers Intervention to Improve Medication Adherence among African Americans with Type 2 Diabetes. medRxiv: 2020.2006.2004.20122895
  4. Shiyanbola OO, Tarfa A, Song A, Sharp L, Ward E. Preliminary Testing of a Peer-Supported Diabetes Medication Adherence Intervention for African-Americans. Health Behavior and Policy Review 2019; 6 (6) 558-569. DOI:
  5. Shiyanbola OO, Bolt D, Tarfa A, Brown C, Ward E. A Content Validity and Cognitive Interview Process to Evaluate an Illness Perception Questionnaire for African Americans with Type 2 diabetes, BMC Research Notes 2019. 12:308.