Kacie Dragan is a doctoral candidate in the Harvard University PhD Program in Health Policy. Her research draws on theories and methods from both economics and epidemiology to study how health systems interact with the broader social safety net to influence well-being, especially in the housing and family services sectors and among children with chronic diseases.
As a Radcliffe Graduate Student Fellow, Dragan is completing her dissertation. This work uses large healthcare data sets to examine factors influencing outcomes of those insured by Medicaid, the primary source of health coverage for low-income Americans. As healthcare providers, policymakers, and insurers turn their attention to social determinants of health, Dragan’s research aims to inform a more collaborative, agile safety net. Specifically, her dissertation papers examine the bidirectional relationship between health events and housing instability, the role of neighborhoods in shaping access to care, and the effectiveness of cross-sector policy collaborations in improving health.
Dragan received her BA from Barnard College and a master of public health from Columbia University, earning her department’s Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award. At Harvard, she has held the Harvard Medical School Fellowship in Health Policy and Insurance Research, training fellowships from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the National Institute of Mental Health, and a Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Graduate Society Summer Predissertation Fellowship. Her work has been published in Health Affairs, JAMA Health Forum, and Journal of Health Economics, among others.