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Population Health

Sallie Sanford

Sallie-SanfordSallie Sanford
Associate professor of law; Adjunct associate professor of health services
Visit Ms. Sanford’s faculty page to learn more about her professional background.

What is the area of focus for your work/research?
My research and teaching focus on health care law, which encompasses legal, policy and ethical issues that arise in medical care, public health, and global health contexts. My current research centers on domestic health reform implementation, with particular attention to historically underserved populations. In addition, I have been involved in funded research into law and policy reforms in support of PEPFAR initiatives in the Global South.

How do you see your own work/research contributing to better population health outcomes?
The law impacts population health outcomes (positively and negatively) in myriad and significant ways. I hope that my work advances interdisciplinary connections in support of legal and policy reforms that improve community health as broadly conceived, enhance the patient experience of care, and provide better value for our health care dollars.

For example, the Affordable Care Act is the most comprehensive and consequential federal law impacting domestic population health in at least 50 years. As difficult as it has been to begin implementing its access provisions, expanding comprehensive insurance coverage is the easy part. More challenging provisions focus on improving health in underserved populations, transforming payment and delivery systems, bending the cost curve, expanding behavioral and mental health services, effectively incorporating community resources, and improving quality, among other long-standing population health goals. As health reform advances, its success will depend upon interdisciplinary work into how to improve the legal and regulatory frameworks in support of population health.

What do you hope can be accomplished through this initiative?
I hope that the Population Health Initiative will foster sustainable changes that improve population health as broadly conceived.