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Assistant Professor

Applied Health Sciences

Maureen Benjamins
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  • Maureen Benjamins, PhD, is a social epidemiologist. Her research explores how social factors, like race or religion, influence health outcomes. Dr. Benjamins has led several studies to understand health equity nationally and in Chicago. Currently, she is leading a comprehensive study of racial disparities in death rates and life expectancy across the largest cities in the U.S. She also co-directed the Sinai Community Health Survey 2.0, which was one of the largest community-driven, face-to-face health surveys in Chicago history. She is based at the Sinai Urban Health Institute where she is the Senior Research Fellow. In addition to her research efforts, Dr. Benjamins developed and directs the Sinai Population Health Institute and two internship programs for medical students. She teaches at Loyola’s Parkinson School as well as at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.


    Education
    • Duke University, Bachelors           
    • University of Texas, Austin, Masters             
    • University of Texas, Austin, Ph.D.               

    What prompted you to pursue your field?

    I have been studying racial health inequities for almost 20 years. I have led several initiatives to study this in Chicago (Sinai Community Health Survey 2.0) and nationally (Unequal Cities initiative).

    Why is this area of study important at this point in time?

    Given the increased attention being paid to racial justice today, having population-based data to highlight the entrenched disparities is critical. However, it is even more important to ground this data in a historical perspective, acknowledging the deep-rooted social factors that have caused the "unfair and unjust" differences we still see.