Julia Berenson’s research focuses on the social determinants of health from a policy lens. My work spans broad areas of health and social policy, identifying the social determinants of health that impact health and health equity, and the social policies that can create healthier and more equitable communities.
Julia Berenson, M.Sc., M.Phil., is a Social Policy Analysis and Economics PhD student, focusing on health policy under the guidance of Dr. Carmela Alcántara and Dr. Peter Muennig. Julia’s research focuses on the social determinants of health from a policy lens. Her work spans broad areas of health and social policy, examining the social determinants of health that impact health and health equity, and identifying the social policies that can create healthier and more equitable communities. In her dissertation, Julia is examining relative inequalities in health across U.S. states, and assessing the impact of state-level, evidence-based social policies on relative inequalities in health across U.S. states. Previously, Julia completed a Masters in Health Policy jointly awarded by the London School of Economics and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and received a Bachelors of Arts in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to her academic pursuits, Julia has worked for leading health organizations in managing research and programs focused on strengthening health systems and supports for vulnerable populations. Most recently, as a Senior Consultant for the World Health Organization in Cambodia, she managed in-country implementation of a project to advance health equity. Julia’s research and policy analysis informed the development of a routine system for health equity monitoring currently used by the Cambodia Ministry of Health. Previously, Julia worked in the United States (U.S.) for the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health, New York Academy of Medicine, Commonwealth, and Center for Health Care Strategies where she developed and managed research and programs focused on health issues pertinent to vulnerable populations, including health disparities, social determinants of health, Medicaid, safety net health systems, and chronic disease prevention and health promotion. She has also had the opportunity to publish her research and policy recommendations, including in the peer-reviewed journal Health Affairs. In recognition of her health services research and policy, Julia received the Alice S. Hersh Student scholarship award from AcademyHealth and has served on expert panels organized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, AcademyHealth, WHO, Office of Minority Health, Columbia University, and others, focused on health inequalities, social determinants of health, and policies to promote health equity.