Yinuo (Shirley) Zhang

Shirley is a rising senior at Washington University in Saint Louis. She majors in Mathematics and Economics, and hopes to pursue graduate studies in economics after graduation.

During this summer, Shirley is working with Dr. Himes and research team of Dr. McHugh. Dr. Himes’ project is about characterizing disparities across various diseases and risk factors among U.S. adults. The overall goal of this project is to measure disparities in various diseases and understand factors associated with them among U.S. adults. Using Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data, which includes county-level data for various diseases, gender, race, income, education, BMI, smoking status, and environmental exposures collected via phone surveys, we will conduct exploratory and regression analyses to identify relationships among variables of interest.

In Dr. McHugh’s project, Shirley will have an opportunity to contribute to a substantial body of research documenting the impact of nursing on patient outcomes in the U.S. and abroad that has impacted clinical practices, managerial decisions, and public policies to improve healthcare outcomes, including for vulnerable populations. These projects include: 1) an evaluation of nurse-to-patient ratio legislation in Queensland, Australia, with important policy questions; and 2) work on a unique longitudinal dataset to study patient outcomes and nursing outcomes over time.