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


  • HSSP 110a - Integrative Seminar on Health


  • 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.

Awards and Honors

  • Honorary Fellow, American Academy of Nursing (2020)
  • Best of 2019 Original Article Leadership Award: Journal of the American College of Cardiology (2019)
  • Team Research Award: Mass General Research Institute:Community Health Worker Intervention to Reduce Hospital Readmissions (2019)
  • Tri Service Nursing Chiefs, Uniformed Services University, Coin for Service (2016)


  • Donelan, Karen. "A randomized controlled trial of an online health tool about Down syndrome." Genetics in Medicine 23. (2021): 163.
  • Donelan, Karen. "Assessment of Stakeholder Engagement in a Down Syndrome Research Study.." J Patient Centered Care Research and Review (2021).
  • Donelan, Karen. "Beyond Burnout: Assessing the presence of well-being rather than absence of burnout in medical residents and faculty." Journal of General Internal Medicine (2021).
  • Donelan, Karen. "Breast cancer risk, worry, and anxiety: Effect on patient perceptions of false-positive screening results.." Breast 50. April (2021): 104.
  • Donelan, Karen. "Launching a resiliency group program to assist frontline clinicians in meeting the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic: Results of a hospital-based systems trial.." General Hospital Psychiatry (2021).
  • Donelan, Karen. "Physicians' Perceptions Of People With Disability And Their Health Care." Health Affairs (2021).
  • Donelan, Karen. "Piloting the use of global health measures in a Down Syndrome Clinic.." Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities (2021).
  • Donelan, Karen. "The SCARD Fellowship Policy and the Abdominal Imaging Fellowship: A Follow-up Survey After the First Year.." Academic Radiology (2021).
  • Donelan, Karen. "The role of race, ethnicity and language in patient experience of care transitions.." American Journal of Managed Care (2021).
  • Donelan, Karen. "The roles and clinical activities of registered nurses and nurse practitioners in practices caring for older adults.." Nursing Outlook (2021).
  • Donelan, Karen. "Transition to virtual clinic: Experience in a multidisciplinary clinic for Down syndrome." American Journal of Medical Genetics (2021).
  • Donelan, Karen. "Care Plans, Care Teams, and Quality of Life for People with Disabilities." Journal of General Internal Medicine (2020).
  • Donelan, Karen. "Does the addition of a child affect burnout differentially in male and female physicians?." Jounral of Internal Medicine (2020).
  • Donelan, Karen. "Physician and nurse practitioner roles in emergency, trauma, critical, and intensive care." Nursing Outlook (2020).
  • Donelan, Karen. "Top priorities for the next decade of nursing health services research.." Nursing Outlook (2020).
  • Donelan, Karen. "USDAR Study Team. Patient Characteristics and Concerns about Drug Allergy: A Report from the United States Drug Allergy Registry.." Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Practice (2020).