Susan J. Shaw

University of Massachusetts Amherst Associate Professor of Community Health Education Susan Shaw
Associate Professor
306 Arnold House

Area(s) of Specialization: 

Racial and ethnic health disparities, structural racism and health, gender and sexuality, community-based and participatory research, qualitative and ethnographic methods, health literacy, medication adherence, chronic disease management and prevention

Research Description: 

My research takes a mixed-methods approach to investigating the structural and contextual factors that produce health disparities. I use community-responsive and participatory research methods to understand the effects of social inequality on health. I seek to contribute to these research findings to community-driven responses to gaps in care and disparities in health status. With colleagues at the University of Arizona and Caring Health Center, I am MPI on a new NIH-funded R01 intervention study that tests the effectiveness of a pharmacist-community health worker partnership to improve medication adherence among low-income, minority patients with hypertension. This intervention builds on and implements findings from our previous research, the RxHL study (1R01HL120907), which investigated the relationships among health literacy, cultural health beliefs, and medication adherence. My research and teaching interests include racial and ethnic health disparities, gender and sexuality, access to health care, and the subjective experience of medication adherence.

As Director of the Center for Community Health Equity Research (CCHER), I aim to advance our understanding of health equity, cultivate equitable research partnerships with communities, and contribute to programs that increase the participation of people from underrepresented groups in health professions research and training programs. For more information about CCHER, please visit our webpage.

Publication List: 

PubMed Search Link

Key Publications: 

S.J. Shaw, J.D. Korchmaros, C. Huebner Torres, M.S. Totman, J.K. Lee. 2019. The RxHL Study: Community Responsive Research to Explore Barriers to Medication Adherence. Health Education Research 34(6): 556–568.

S. Shaw. 2018. The pharmaceutical regulation of chronic disease among the U.S. urban poor: An ethnographic study of accountability. Critical Public Health 28(2): 165-176. 

S. Shaw. Governing How We Care: Contesting Community and Defining Difference in U.S. Public Health Programs. Temple University Press, 2012.

S. Shaw, J. Armin, C. Huebner Torres, K. Orzech, J. Vivian. 2012. Chronic Disease Self-Management and Health Literacy in Four Ethnic Groups. Invited paper for special health literacy supplement of Journal of Health Communication 17(S3): 67-81.

S. Shaw. 2010. The Logic of Identity and Resemblance in Culturally Appropriate Health Care. Health 14(5): 523-544.

S. Shaw. 2006. Public Citizens, Marginalized Communities: The Struggle for Syringe Exchange in Massachusetts. Medical Anthropology 25(1):31-64.