Jessica Davis is a rising senior at the University of Pennsylvania. She majors in Health and Societies with a concentration in Health Care Markets and Financing. She is also minoring in Survey Research and Data Analytics and intends to pursue an MPH after she completes her undergraduate studies.
Born and raised in Manchester, England, Jess had only ever lived in a country that operated with a universal health care system. Upon arriving at Penn however, she was exposed to the privatized U.S. health system and fascinated by the size and complexity of U.S. health care. Through her major and research experiences, she has had the opportunity to explore her interests in how the social determinants of health impact on the health behaviors and outcomes of various populations–especially those with serious illnesses and life-threatening conditions.
This summer, Jess is working on two different projects as a SUMR Scholar. Half her research time is spent working under the direction of Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health and Professor of Anthropology, Dr. Fran Barg. At the Mixed Methods Research Laboratory (MMRL), Jess is working on multiple projects that all draw upon the principles of implementation science and qualitative research methods. She is evaluating how provider behaviors and tendencies can be optimized to effectively meet the needs of patients and families dealing with severe illnesses and conditions.
For the other half of her SUMR research, Jess is working with Clinical Innovation Manager of the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation, Dr. Krisda Chaiyachati. In this study, she is looking at ways to improve treatment outcomes for cancer patients by addressing their social needs.
Both SUMR projects are complementary to the research Jess worked on during her sophomore summer in Penn’s Nursing School. As part the Penn Undergraduate Research Mentoring (PURM) program, she worked with Senior LDI Fellow, Dr. Salimah Meghani, on a project that looked at cancer pain management issues and interventions. During the academic year, Jess is the captain of the Penn Women’s Varsity Squash Team. She is also Vice President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and volunteers as a CURF Research Peer Advisor.