Nova Bradford is pursuing a PhD in health policy because she wants to have a greater impact on the health of marginalized communities than she felt was possible as a clinician.
“As a psychotherapist, I'm often unable to address the root causes and systemic barriers impacting the mental health of marginalized people,” said Bradford, one of two new Knight-Hennessey Scholars pursuing a PhD at Stanford Health Policy.
“My goal is to use health policy research as a tool to provide evidence-based guidance for health systems and policymakers,” said Bradford, who after completing her master’s degree in social work joined Rainbow Health in St. Paul, Minn., as a psychotherapist. She’s interested in the integration of care, such as how teams, clinics and hospitals work together to provide care.
“Marginalized people are disproportionately burdened with complex or comorbid health conditions, but managing these conditions requires the collaboration between health professionals of various specialties,” Bradford said. “Health systems often lack the infrastructure to adequately coordinate these various components, leading to gaps in care. As such, my goal as a researcher is to provide the guidance for health systems to deliver cohesive and coordinated care, thereby improving health, lowering unnecessary costs, and reducing health disparities.
The other Knight-Hennessey Scholar working toward her PhD in health policy is Eliza Ennis, who also aspires to drive equitable health access and outcomes by improving system designs and sustainable policies. Before coming to Stanford, Ennis was a senior consultant at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, providing policy recommendations on safe K-12 school reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also designed global solutions to improve financing and procurement for contraceptives and developed a quantitative model to reduce iron deficiency in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
“We are thrilled to be welcoming Eliza and Nova to our health policy PhD program and are very much looking forward to working with them as they join the next generation of health policy experts,” said Corinna Haberland, director of the master’s in health policy program and administrative director of the PhD in health policy program at Stanford Health Policy.
Knight-Hennessy scholars develop expertise in their Stanford graduate programs through exposure to a wide range of disciplines and cultures. They participate in the King Global Leadership Program, which includes workshops, lectures, projects, and experiences to strengthen their leadership capabilities. Through this program, the scholars prepare to address important challenges facing the world, such as climate change, health care, government policy and education.