1. Profile
  2. Frances Aranda

Frances Aranda PhD MPH MS

Frances Aranda
  • Senior Research Specialist
  • Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine
  • University of Illinois Chicago
Gender Pronouns
  • she/her
Contact Information
  • faranda [at]
  • (312) 413-0371
  • (312) 355-4189
  • School of Public Health / Psychiatric Institute (SPHPI)
    1601 W. Taylor St.
    SPHPI MC 912
    Chicago IL 60612
  • Room #:486

Frances Aranda, PhD, MPH, MS, completed her PhD in Public Health (Community Health Sciences) in 2010 and a postdoctoral fellowship in 2013. The postdoc was funded through a Diversity Supplement by NIH-National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the University of Illinois, College of Nursing. And Frances has two master’s degrees (in Human Service Administration and in Public Health [gerontology concentration]). 

Dr. Aranda has a broad range of research experience gained over 25 years of working in a university and healthcare setting. She was the project manager for four NIH funded longitudinal studies and several cross-sectional studies. These studies focused on breast cancer among low-income racial/ethnic minority women, cervical and breast cancer in Korean immigrant women, alcohol use among lesbians, and smoking cessation among LGBT individuals. The recent research studies she managed included two intervention studies—one examining self-directed health care among adults with serious mental illness and preventing 30-day hospital readmissions among patients with comorbidities of physical and mental health diagnoses (stopped 3/2020 during pandemic). She is also a co-investigator on a couple of studies at the newly funded Center on Mental Health Services Research & Policy and on a study at Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. Frances helped launch two national web surveys examining the impact of COVID-19 on life experiences among two samples, young adults (18-25 years of age) and adults, 18 years and older. She is overseeing a follow-up longitudinal qualitative research study for young adults. 

  • Her research interests include examining racial/ethnic differences across various physical and mental health conditions (e.g., depression, chronic pain, PTSD, alcohol use, smoking, aging, and measurement issues).

  • Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Health and Function of Adults with Psychiatric Disabilities

    PI Dr. Judith Cook;

    This 5-year program of research, dissemination, training, and technical assistance is advancing knowledge about the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adults with mental illnesses, along with a series of innovative interventions to improve their outcomes.

  • Center on Integrated Health Care and Self-Directed Recovery

    PI Dr. Judith Cook;

    This 5-year program of research, dissemination, training, and technical assistance is advancing knowledge about health, self-direction, and employment of adults with mental illnesses, along with a series of innovative interventions to improve their outcomes.

  • Illinois NTI to Support people with IDD with Co-Occurring Mental or Behavioral Disabilities

    PIs Drs. Tamar Heller and Judith Cook;

    This 5-year project. The goal is to convene multi-disciplinary teams of intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) and mental and behavioral health (MH) state agency personnel, and representatives of other partner agencies, with the goal of developing and implementing a shared training infrastructure tailored to Illinois’ needs

  • Selected Publications:

    Cook, J. A., Jonikas, J. A., Burke-Miller, J. K., Hamilton, M., Falconer, C., Blessing, M., Aranda, F., Johns, G. & Cauffield, C. (2023). Randomized Controlled Trial of Self-Directed Care for Medically Uninsured Adults with Serious Mental Illness. Psychiatric Services, appi-ps.
    Pub Med link:

    Cook, JA, Swarbrick, M, Boss, K, Steigman, PJ, Nemec, P, Jonikas, JA, Brice, GH, Aranda, F. (2021). The Importance of Employment to Workers with Pre-existing Behavioral Health Disorders during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal. 45(1), 11-17.

    Burns, J., Janssen, I., Lillis, T., Mulcahy, M., Purim-Shem-Tov, Y., Bruehl, St., Burgess, H., Fischer, A., Rim, K., Aranda, F., Pinkerton, L., & Hobfoll, S. (2020). Transition from acute to persistent pain the identification of distinct clusters and trajectories among emergency department patients. Pain, 61(11), 2511-2519.

    Cook, J.A., Burke-Miller, J.K., Jonikas, J.A., Aranda, F. & Santos, Alberto (2020). Factors associated with 30-day readmissions following medical hospitalizations among Medicaid beneficiaries with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder. Psychiatry Research, 291.

    Lillis, T.A., Burns, J., Aranda, F., Burgess, H., Purim-Shem-Tov, Y., Bruehl, S., Beckham, J.C., Pinkerton, L.M., & Hobfoll, S.E. (2019). Race-Related Differences in Acute Pain Complaints Among Inner-City Women: The Role of Socioeconomic Status. Journal of Behavioral Medicine.

    Lillis, T., Burns, J., Aranda, F., Purim-Shem-Tov, Y., Bruehl, S., Beckham, J.C. & Hobfoll, S.E. (2018). PTSD Symptoms and Acute Pain in the Emergency Department: The Roles of Vulnerability and Resilience Factors among Low-Income, Inner-City Women. The Clinical Journal of Pain, 34(11), 1000-1007. https://doi:%2010.1097/AJP.0000000000000626

    Gaffey A.E., Burns, J.W., Aranda, F., Purim-Shem-Tov, Y., Burgess, H.J., Beckham, J.C., Bruehl, S., & Hobfoll, S.E., (2018). Social undermining underlies sensitivity to physical pain: Mediation pathways of cognitive and emotional dysregulation. Journal of Health Psychology.

    Gaffey, A.E., Aranda, F., Burns, J.W., Purim-Shem-Tov, Y., Burgess, H.J., Beckham, J.C., Bruehl, S. & Hobfoll, S.E., (2018). Race, Psychosocial Vulnerability and Social Support Differences in Inner-City Women’s Symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Anxiety, Stress, & Coping, 32(1), 18-31,

Title Description Investigator(s) Category Status
Developing a Model to Promote Health and Recovery after Medical Hospitalizations: Community Health Workers Teamed with Peer Specialists This study integrates a proven strategy used in general medicine (community health workers) with mental health peer-delivered services in a new intervention designed to prevent unnecessary 30-day readmissions in behavioral health patients following hospital discharge. Center on Mental Health Services Research and Policy On-going
Pivot Toward Wellness: Impact of Disrupted Life Transitions on Young Adults’ Health Status & Well-Being Phase one of this study was a national web survey of young adults with mental health conditions to assess the impact of disrupted transitions on their health and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Phase two involves longitudinal qualitative research interviews to explore how societal changes have affected life transitions in ways that influence young people's health and well-being. Center on Mental Health Services Research and Policy On-going
Randomized Controlled Trial of Blended Telehealth Patient Navigation This project is designing an innovative blended telehealth navigator intervention that combines the evidence-based practices of patient navigation and telemedicine. A randomized controlled trial study is testing the intervention working with study partners from IIT's Chicago Health Disparities Center, Thresholds, Howard Brown Health, and Heartland Health Centers. Center on Mental Health Services Research and Policy On-going

*System-generated list from psychiatry research website.