Lawrence Were, PhD candidate in Health Services Research, successfully defended his dissertation, titled “The Impact of Health Insurance on Access and Utilization of Obstetric Health Services for Pregnant Women: Evidence from Kenya.”
Tell us about your time at Brown. What did you enjoy most about being a doctoral student here?
The Brown experience has been transforming and rewarding. The interdisciplinary approach that allows for constant and regular interactions with fellow students, faculty and staff across disciplines, departments and schools including epidemiology, bio-statistics and economics enabled me to pursue and achieve my research and academic interests. I also appreciated the ease of access to faculty, especially my dissertation committee members, including my dissertation chair and academic advisor Omar Galárraga and Joseph Hogan. Also, the wealth of resources such as support for external grant applications and information services were extremely valuable, and the support from the senior administrators across the university was exceptional.
What public health issues do you hope to address through your dissertation?
I am interested in the impact of health systems reforms on health and economic outcomes specifically in developing countries. This area of research is gaining a lot of traction given shifting global and public health funding priorities. As such, my dissertation analyzed the impact of Social Health Insurance (SHI) on access to healthcare for pregnant and HIV+ women. I hope to build on this area of research and help inform healthcare financing policy reforms in the global south, especially for specialized populations that face the greatest burden of healthcare costs and limited access to health services.
What are your future plans now that you have finished your PhD?
Beginning September 1, I will join the faculty in the Health Sciences Department at Sargent College, Boston University. I look forward to this exciting opportunity.
(Distributed on August 28, 2015)