Samantha Winter

Dr. Samantha Winter is an assistant professor at the Columbia School of Social Work. Before joining Columbia she was the Dorothy Byrne Postdoctoral Fellow in Global Health at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. Dr. Winter’s research focuses on inequities in women’s health and access to health-related services; water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH) and health in sub-Sahara Africa; health-related behavior; access to and distribution of health-related services in informal settlements in East Africa; and the role of social disorganization in access to health-related services.

In future research, Dr. Winter aims to examine social and environmental determinants of women’s health and access to healthcare in informal settlements in East Africa; the effect of health, environment, and violence screening tools on healthcare in informal settlements; the role of social cohesion and networks in women’s access to health-related services, including WASH, in informal settlements in East Africa; and the effect of violence-prevention interventions in reducing intimate partner violence and improving mental and physical health outcomes for women in informal settlements in East Africa.

Dr. Winter’s work in Kenya has focused on women’s access to WASH and the social and environmental factors that influence that access, as well as women’s physical and mental health outcomes—including experiences of gender-based violence—in informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya, and on women’s empowerment, perceptions of gender norms, efficacy, and gender-based violence among women who participate in health groups and women’s sports in Kwale County, Kenya.

Dr. Winter received her PhD and her MA in Social Work from Rutgers University. She also holds an MS in Environmental Engineering and Science from Stanford University and a BS in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University.

Research Interests

Built Environment
Environmental Health
Health Inequities
Sexual Violence
Social Determinants
Social Support
Urban Health


Demographic and Health Surveys