Susan McKernan

Title & Affiliation
Senior Research Fellow Health Policy Research Program
Associate Professor Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry


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

Dr. McKernan is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health and currently serves as a member on that organization’s Board of Directors. She is trained as a health services researcher and has received several NIH Loan Repayment Awards for her health disparities research. Dr. McKernan’s research is committed to identifying and reducing oral health disparities – especially among rural populations and socioeconomically disadvantaged children. A primary theme of her research is the intersection between geography, dentist workforce, and access to dental care.

Research Interests

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