Lisa Spees

Lisa P. Spees, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Health Policy and Management
1102G McGavran-Greenberg Hall
CB #7411
135 Dauer Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7411


Lisa Spees is a health services researcher interested in examining and reducing health disparities by improving cancer care quality and access among minority and rural populations. To date, her research in this area has focused on identifying multi-level (patient, provider, and organizational) barriers across the cancer care continuum using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Dr. Spees is especially knowledgeable in handling complex datasets including CIPHR (North Carolina cancer registry data linked to private and public insurance claims data) and SEER-Medicare.

Dr. Spees is currently leading projects focused on 1) examining the financial impact of hematopoietic stem cells transplant among pediatric cancer patients and their families and 2) improving access to guideline-concordant care for patients with gynecologic malignancies.

Research Activities

- Understanding and improving access to care

- Using social epidemiology in health disparities research

- Application of implementation science to cancer care

- Measuring healthcare utilization and health outcomes using large population-based datasets

Key Publications

Changes in Chronic Medication Adherence, Costs, and Healthcare Utilization after a Cancer Diagnosis among Low-Income Patients and the Role of Patient-Centered Medical Homes. Spees LP, Wheeler SB, Zhou X, Amin KA, Baggett CD, Lund JL, Urick BY, Farley JF, Reeder-Hayes KE, Trogdon JG. (2020). Cancer, (in press).

Variation in Cervical Cancer Screening Preferences Among Medically Underserved Individuals in the US: A Systematic Review. Biddell CB, O’Leary MO, Wheeler SB, Spees LP (2020). Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev.
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Involving Patients and Their Families in Deciding to Use Next Generation Sequencing: Results from a Nationally Representative Survey of U.S. Oncologists. Spees LP, Roberts MC, Freedman AN, Butler E, Klein WM, Prabhu Das I, de Moor J. (2020). Patient Educ Couns, S0738-3991(20), 30116-6.
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Impact of human papillomavirus (HPV) self-collection on subsequent cervical cancer screening completion among under-screened women: MyBodyMyTest-3 Protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Spees LP, Des Marais AC, Wheeler SB, Hudgens MG, Doughty S, Brewer NT, Smith JS (2019). Trials, 20(1), 788.
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Examining urban and rural differences in how distance to care influences the initiation and completion of treatment among insured cervical cancer patients. Spees LP, Brewster WR, Weinberger, M, Mahesh V, Baggett C, Zhou X, Petermann VM, Wheeler, SB (2019). Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 28(5), 882-889.
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  • PhD, Public Policy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2016
  • MS, Management, Wake Forest University, 2010
  • BA/MA, History, Emory University, 2009