Gillings School Directory

Erin Kent, PhD

Dr. Erin Kent

Erin Kent, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Health Policy and Management
Associate Chair
Department of Health Policy and Management
  • 1102B McGavran_Greenberg Hall
  • CB #7411
  • Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7411
Erin E. Kent is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and Member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Center Cancer Prevention and Control Program.

In addition to expertise in epidemiology and health services, Dr. Kent has a background in mixed methods research and community-based participatory research. Dr. Kent’s focus is on the impact of social context on cancer control, and she leads a program of patient- and family-centered outcomes research and community engaged scholarship.  Dr. Kent is currently leading studies to improve support provision to rural families affected by cancer.

Prior to working at UNC, Dr. Kent served as a Program Director and Scientific Advisor for the Outcomes Research Branch at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). There, Dr. Kent worked to establish funding opportunities and research resources to better understand the that caregivers face and develop family-centered interventions for cancer patients and their caregivers.

Dr. Kent’s other main research interests are in patient-reported outcome and experience of care measurement and surveillance. From 2012-2019, Dr. Kent served as scientific lead for the SEER-Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (SEER-MHOS) linked database on patient-reported outcomes and as senior advisor for the SEER-Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (SEER-CAHPS) survey- and claims-linked database on patient experiences with care. Previously, Dr. Kent was a Cancer Prevention Fellow in the Office of Cancer Survivorship at NCI.

A major focus for Dr. Kent is training and mentorship. Dr. Kent works with students, postdoctoral fellows, and other trainees in research proposal development, mixed methods and qualitative research, and research to improve health equity.

Research Activities

  • Cancer survivorship
  • Cancer caregiving
  • Palliative care
  • Mixed methods
  • Social determinants of health
  • Patient-reported outcomes
  • Survey development
  • Data linkages and informatics


BA, Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, 2000

MS, Interdisciplinary Studies: Animal Behavior, San Diego State University, 2005

PhD, Environmental Health, Science, and Policy, University of California, Irvine, 2010

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