Health Policy

Susan McKernan

  • Senior Research Fellow in Residence, Health Policy Research Program
  • Associate Professor, Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry


Susan McKernan is a diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health. In 2010, she was awarded the University of Iowa L.B. Sims Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award. She completed a PhD in in oral science in 2012, focusing on health services research. McKernan is currently involved in the Public Policy Center’s evaluation of Iowa’s Medicaid expansion, focusing on health care workforce adequacy and utilization of preventive health services. Her other research projects explore barriers to dental care among health disparity populations and longitudinal monitoring of state dentist workforce.

Research Interests

  • Health workforce distribution
  • Behavior models of health care utilization
  • Access to dental care for vulnerable populations
  • GIS in oral health research

Educational Background

  • PhD, Oral Science, University of Iowa, 2012
  • MS, Dental Public Health, University of Iowa, 2009
  • DMD, University of Florida, 2004