The Main Line Health Center for Population Health Research (CPHR) at the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research has named Sharon Larson, PhD, executive director. CPHR is a collaboration between Main Line Health and Thomas Jefferson University’s College of Population Health (JCPH).
Dr. Larson, an expert in social and behavioral health research, program evaluation, and community-based research, comes to CPHR from Geisinger Health System, Danville, Pennsylvania, where she held positions of increasing responsibility, including chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Health Services Research. Prior to that she served as the associate director of science and division director for evaluation, analysis and quality at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
She completed her PhD at the University of Nebraska in sociology, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in psychiatric epidemiology at Johns Hopkins’ University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.
“Dr. Larson’s expertise will help guide our research in areas that are very important to the patient populations served by Main Line Health,” said George Prendergast, PhD, president and CEO of the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR), which is part of Main Line Health. “We look forward to advancing our population health research agenda under Dr. Larson’s esteemed leadership.”
In addition to her new role at Main Line Health and LIMR, Dr. Larson will have a faculty appointment at JCPH. Dr. Larson and associate CPHR director Norma Padrón, PhD, together with other JCPH faculty, will work closely with Main Line Health clinicians and researchers to continue to identify and explore the underlying social, economic and physical determinants of population health in the community.
“I am thrilled to welcome Sharon to our team, and I am confident in her ability to make a major contribution to the future of LIMR,” said David B. Nash, MD, Founding Dean of JCPH.
Dr. Larson’s research interests include the epidemiology of substance abuse and psychiatric conditions, access to care, care delivery models, and policy. She is particularly interested in health conditions that co-occur with depression. Additionally, her research focuses on health survey design, implementation and analysis.
“I am excited about the opportunity for partnering with patients, health care providers and our communities in asking and answering questions that promote good health and wellbeing,” said Dr. Larson. “I look forward to working with colleagues at Main Line Health and Thomas Jefferson University to conduct research aimed at advancing health care delivery and improving patient outcomes.”
Over the years, Dr. Larson’s research has been published in several peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research and American Journal of Preventive Medicine, as well as book chapters and government health reports. Her research has been funded by the State of Pennsylvania, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, as well as private organizations such as Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Bucknell Geisinger Research Initiative, Kohl’s Foundation and Children’s Miracle Network.