Celebrating 20 Years of Inspiring the Next Generation of Health Services Researchers

Lorraine Dean, ScD, SUMR '01

Lorraine Dean, ScD, SUMR '01

One of the first seven SUMR scholars during the program's first two years, Lorraine Dean, was a good example of the program's potential. "My SUMR experiences ended up leaving a handprint on virtually every stage of my career since 2001," said Dean, ScD, now an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dean became interested in health care during high school when she witnessed an aunt's terminal experiences with cancer and began thinking about medicine as a potential career. Accepted to the University of Pennsylvania as a first-generation college student, she remembers arriving there "clueless" about what the health care field was really like and took first-year courses in a pre-med track. A faculty advisor suggested she might be interested in applying to the new SUMR program at LDI focused on health delivery research rather than medicine. She did, was accepted, and became immersed in a subject she had previously known nothing about: health services research. After graduating Penn in 2005, she won a William J. Fulbright scholarship for a health services research project in Venezuela. In 2010, she graduated from Harvard with a Doctor of Science degree in Epidemiology and returned to Penn as a faculty member. She also returned to the LDI SUMR program she had once been part of as a mentor and instructor before moving on to her current position at Johns Hopkins. She still sometimes visits Penn to lecture and encourage SUMR scholars.