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Stephanie B. Wheeler, PhD

Associate Professor Health Policy and Management

T:(919) 966-7374

F:(919) 966-3671


1103C McGavran-Greenberg Hall

CB #7411

Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7411

Dr. Wheeler's doctoral training in health services research, with a methodological concentration in Decision Sciences and Outcomes Research, renders her uniquely capable of leading multidisciplinary research partnerships and mentoring trainees and faculty interested in quantifying the social, behavioral, clinical, and organizational factors that affect quality of, and access to, healthcare. 

Her research focuses primarily on cancer outcomes, with particular emphasis on understanding and reducing health disparities. At UNC, she serves as a departmental resource for simulation modeling, ‘big data’ analytics, comparative effectiveness research (CER), and cancer outcomes and disparities-focused research. 

Dr. Wheeler is especially knowledgeable and well-versed in using economic, epidemiologic, and systems modeling to support better healthcare decisions, and she is adept in handling and analyzing complex datasets. For example, her funded research has used SEER-Medicare data, state cancer registry data linked to all payer claims data, Carolina Breast Cancer Study (CBCS) cohort data, and healthcare workforce data, among other datasets.

Over the past five years, Dr. Wheeler has led, among other studies, a CDC-funded study (Co-PIs: Wheeler and Pignone) which uses a novel simulation model to understand behavioral economics of colorectal cancer screening in low income populations, and an American Cancer Society (ACS)-funded study (PI: Wheeler) examining racial variation in endocrine therapy (ET) use among early stage breast cancer patients and developing a behavioral intervention to optimize ET adherence. 

Representative Courses

HPM 772 Techniques for the Economic Evaluation of Health Care | Syllabus

HPM 769 Cancer Outcomes Research Seminar (formerly HPM 890 sec. 06)

Research Activities
  • Using mathematical modeling and systems thinking to address complex health services questions
  • Applying methods for comparative and cost effectiveness research
  • Using social epidemiology in health disparities research
  • Measuring health outcomes using large population-based datasets
  • Understanding and informing medical decision making
  • Understanding and improving access to care
  • Cancer
  • Health disparities/health equity
  • Social epidemiology
  • Health behavior
  • Health care delivery
  • Health policy
  • Medical decision making
  • Women's health
Key Publications

Racial/Ethnic and Socioeconomic Disparities in Endocrine Therapy Adherence in Breast Cancer: A Systematic Review. K Reeder-Hayes, M Roberts, S Wheeler (2015). American Journal of Public Health.

Regional variation in colorectal cancer testing and geographic availability of care in a publicly insured population. Wheeler, Stephanie B, Tzy-Mey Kuo, Ravi K Goyal, Anne Marie Meyer, Kristen H Lich, Emily Gillen+, Seth Tyree, Carmen Lewis, Trisha M Crutchfield, Christa E Martens, Florence Tangka, Lisa C Richardson, and Michael P Pignone (2014). Health & Place. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2014.07.001, 29.

Cancer care research in North Carolina: the state of the state. Wheeler, Stephanie B, and Ethan Basch (2014). North Carolina Medical Journal. PMID: 25046088, 75(4), 248-252.

Effects of distance to care and rural or urban residence on receipt of radiation therapy among North Carolina Medicare enrollees with breast cancer. Wheeler, Stephanie B, Tzy-Mey Kuo, Danielle Durham++, Brian Frizzelle, Katherine Reeder-Hayes, and Anne-Marie Meyer (2014). North Carolina Medical Journal. PMID: 25046086, 75(4), 239-246.

Endocrine therapy initiation among Medicaid-insured breast cancer survivors with hormone-receptor positive tumors. Wheeler, Stephanie B, Racquel E Kohler++, Katherine Reeder-Hayes, Ravi K Goyal, Kristen H Lich, Ching-Ching Lin, Alexis Moore, Timothy W Smith, Cathy L Melvin, and Hy Muss (2014). Journal of Cancer Survivorship. doi: 10.1007/s11764-014-0365-3, 8(4), 603-10.


BA (Honors), Theatre, College of Charleston, 2003

BS (Honors), Biology, College of Charleston, 2003

Master of Public Health, Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, 2007

PhD, Health Policy and Management, UNC-CH, 2010