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Faculty & Staff Profiles

Assistant Professor, Public Health Sciences

Health Sciences Campus

Faculty photo for Susan Cahn
  • As a Senior Research Scientist for NORC at the University of Chicago, I spend my days working on evaluations and implementation of diverse federal healthcare programs on equally diverse topics from diabetes and telehealth to healthcare policy on payment reform and Medicaid. I design and implement qualitative and quantitative studies. I am also conducting opinion research on crowdfunding for medical debt and charity care. I am excited to join the Parkinson School as an adjunct faculty member to teach courses in public health sciences and share insights from my 30 year career.

    Research Interests

    My scholarship and work have often focused on the nexus of access to care and healthcare finance, exploring these topics qualitatively and quantitatively. A special interest is the application and analysis of the emerging large secondary datasets to public health questions and healthcare policy challenges.


    • DrPH, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health
    • Master of Health Science, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and Hygiene
    • MA, Johns Hopkins University, Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
    • BA in French and Spanish, University of Pennsylvania

    What prompted you to pursue your field?

    My father was a public health professional who worked for the Department of Health and Human Services for most of his 40-year career. I grew up in Washington, DC, and he and my mother taught me that government can and should make a difference so I decided to pursue the same profession.

    What would you tell a student about why your field is exciting or important?

    Up until the COVID-19 pandemic, most Americans took public health for granted and relied too much on medical care, but it is exciting to be able to build on this new awareness. It is exciting that thanks to HIT, we have access to the data and information we need to answer tough policy questions and intervene to create health equity.