Lydia O'Donnell



Lydia O’Donnell, EdD, is a public health expert and behavioral scientist who has conducted extensive research to inform and improve prevention and treatment services for youth and adults. Over a 30-year career at EDC, she has designed and evaluated innovative programs for health systems and providers, schools, families, and community organizations. She has a long-standing commitment to reducing health disparities through community-informed programs that can be successfully implemented and sustained.

In the mid-1980s, O’Donnell conducted some of the first research with health care providers to address AIDS stigma and improve the quality of health services. Since then, with funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other federal agencies as well as foundations, she has designed multiple community-informed interventions that are included in national best-practices registries and widely disseminated. She has worked extensively with economically disadvantaged Latino and African American communities and diverse populations on issues including sexual and reproductive health, youth development, and behavioral and mental health.

O’Donnell has published more than 100 scientific papers and has served on multiple NIH and CDC review committees and advisory committees. She holds an EdD from Harvard University and completed a postgraduate fellowship in gender roles and mental health.

Selected Resources


The Safe in the City kit includes prevention posters, a user's guide, and a DVD of Safe in the City, a 23-minute HIV/STD prevention video designed to be easily integrated into cli


EDC developed Video Opportunities for Innovative Condom Education and Safer Sex (VOICES/VOCES), a video-based intervention designed to increase condom use among heterosexual African American and La

Resource libraries

This resource library contains programs and strategies for addressing school-based health and safety issues, including bullying, substance abuse, mental health, and school discipline.


This report presents highlights and findings from EDC’s administration of the MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey to 24,355 high school students in 26 Massachusetts communities in 2014.