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Ph.D., Population, Health and Place, University of Southern California
M.S., Public Health, Johns Hopkins University
B.A., Biology with a minor in Public Policy, Swarthmore College

Lois Park, Ph.D., is a 2022 graduate of the Program in Population, Health and Place (PHP).

She studied barriers to maternal health care utilization in Malawi under the guidance of a dissertation committee with Dr. Yao-Yi Chiang (co-chair), Dr. Meredith Franklin (co-chair), Dr. Emily Smith-Greenaway, and Dr. Paul Marjoram. Her goal was to characterize self-reported barriers to health care among rural Malawian women with the aim of better understanding how these barriers are related to objective measures. This work also sought to demonstrate improved spatial methods of linking nationally-representative population health surveys and facility surveys to contribute health system perspectives in analyses of individual health outcomes.

Her research demonstrated that self-reported barriers are shown to reflect objective measures of their correlates. Using an innovative spatial linking method, she showed that women who report distance to be a major barrier to health care do, in fact, live farther from health facilities. Her research also showed that perceiving barriers to care modifies the utilization of pregnancy health care. Finally, her worked showed that women who report experiencing poor health system readiness live in areas of reduced skilled health provider density compared to those who do not report experiencing poor health system readiness.

Dr. Park presented various stages of her research at the International Cartographic Conference in Tokyo (ICC 2019) and in Florence (ICC 2021), both times receiving scholarships from the International Cartographic Association (ICA) and the US National Committee to the ICA.

Prior to joining the PHP program, she held a research faculty appointment in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she also obtained a Master of Science in Public Health degree. There, she participated in large-scale evaluations of reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition programs in Africa. She also developed curriculum for and facilitated trainings to strengthen evidence-based decision-making for health programs and policies within the governments of Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, and Tanzania.

Dr. Park is joining the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an Evaluation Fellow.