Karen Donelan

Stuart H. Altman Chair in U.S.Health Policy

Karen  Donelan's photo


Email: karendonelan@brandeis.edu
Office: Irving Schneider and Family Building (Heller School) 215
Brandeis Directory


Health Survey research
Health workforce research
Health system innovation and evaluation
Health Systems and Services Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Research
Health Teams for Older Adults, including adults with dementia and disability


  • Harvard University, School of Public Health
  • Harvard University
  • Harvard University

Karen Donelan

Stuart H. Altman Chair in U.S.Health Policy


Karen Donelan, ScD, EdM is the inaugural Stuart H. Altman Professor and Chair of US Health Policy within the Schneider Institutes for Health Policy. Dr. Donelan is a prominent survey and team scientist who has designed and conducted hundreds of national and international surveys of the experiences of patients and health professionals in health care systems, internationally, nationally and locally. Recognized for her skill in designing surveys to measure the experiences of diverse professional and patient/consumer populations, Dr. Donelan’s current and recent national projects include the health workforce changes needed to improve care for frail older adults, and assessments of care innovations for persons with complex illness, disability and dementia. These include understanding the impact of COVID-19 on the health workforce and patients in congregate housing; evaluation of innovations in payment for dually eligible Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries; improving understanding of insurance coverage for cancer survivors, and a randomized trial of a virtual clinic to improve evidence-based care for people with Down Syndrome. She has led system studies of patients and the workforce to measure diversity, equity and inclusion, teaching nationally through the Disparities Leadership Program. She is interested in informing efforts to foster cultures of respect in health systems, and in mentoring across differences

Dr. Donelan was previously a Senior Scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital in the Mongan Institute and led a Survey Research Unit in the Division of Clinical Research. She maintains affiliations there to enhance collaborations with local health systems.