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College of Social Work

Faculty and Staff

Ana Lopez-De Fede, Ph.D

Title: Professor and Associate Director, Institute for Families In Society
College of Social Work
Phone: 803-777-5789
Office: 1600 Hampton Street, Suite 507 
Resources: Curriculum Vitae


Research Expertise 

  • Health Equity and Communities of Opportunities 
  • Public Health insurance (Medicaid and Medicare) 
  • Maternal and Child Outcomes 
  • Chronic Diseases and Access to Care  
  • Health Policy and Health Services Research 
  • Quality Improvement (Measure Development and Evaluation

I am a health services and health policy researcher focusing on low-income and minority populations in the rural south of the United States (US). My training bridges the fields of social epidemiology and psychology, reflecting the incorporation of the social and structural determinants of health throughout my work. Over the last 30 years, I have developed a body of health services and policy research with large-scale linked data sets that contribute to our understanding of the impact of changes in health policy among low-income and vulnerable patient populations. 

My training in psychology  (MA and MED Teachers College, Columbia University) and health services and health policy( Union Institute University) uniquely positions me to examine changes in health policy from the perspective of communities, families, and the holistic needs of the individual. 

As the Associate Director of the Institute for Families and Society, I direct an interdisciplinary team of 30 faculty, research associates, and graduate students dedicated to working on Medicaid and all-payer data systems in South Carolina. Now in its 21st year, our research partnership with the SC Department of Health and Human Services (Medicaid) houses a data warehouse that contains identified SC Medicaid data (i.e., eligibility, FFS claims, and encounter data) for the entire population from 1997 to the present. I have extensive experience with large data sets (specifically Medicaid-linked). Since 1997, I have served as a Principal Investigator on Medicaid technical assistance, evaluation, and policy studies with the Institute for Families in Society. In this role, this unit has become the 4th oldest university partnership in the United States, with the Medicaid agency's continuous support. 

 As a research faculty member in the College of Social Work, I contribute knowledge of Medicaid data sets, maternal and health outcomes, and community planning. As a policy and health equity researcher,  I use geospatial methods analysis and visualizations that connect individuals' health and social determinants of health. My research portfolio includes funding across federal agencies (e.g., NIH, AHRQ, PCORI, HRSA, and MIMH), foundations (e.g., RWJ, BCBS), and state agencies 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.