Stearns chosen for Health and Aging Policy Fellowship

September 21, 2011


Dr. Sally Stearns

Dr. Sally Stearns

Sally Clark Stearns, PhD, professor of health policy and management at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been selected as a Health and Aging Policy Fellow. The fellowship program provides opportunities for professionals in health and aging to receive the experience and skills necessary to make a positive contribution to the development and implementation of health policies that affect older Americans.

Fellows are selected each year through a national competition based on their commitment to health and aging issues, leadership potential, and interest in impacting policy.

Beginning in October, Stearns will spend one year in Washington, D.C., working in the Office of Health Policy at the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) in the Department of Health and Human Services. She will work on issues related to Medicare and health care reform.

Trained as a health economist, Stearns’ areas of expertise include comparative effectiveness research, economic evaluation, Medicare, nursing home use and staffing, and health care use at the end of life. Her current research focuses on health outcomes and resource use for Medicare beneficiaries. She is principal investigator for the Cardiovascular Outcomes Research Center, which is funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute as part of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study.

Stearns, who also is a senior research fellow at UNC’s Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, said she believes the fellowship will enable her to learn about critical processes for moving research into policy at the state and federal levels.

“I also hope the year will provide an opportunity to concentrate on a specific policy issue that improves the quality of life for elders in a meaningful way,” she said.

UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: Ramona DuBose, director of communications, (919) 966-7467 or