Sarah Bachman, Dean of School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania

Sara S. Bachman, PhD

  • Dean

3701 Locust Walk, Caster Building
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6214
  • office: 215.898.5512
  • fax: 215.573.2099

Research Interests

Health and social policy

Social work leadership and education

Health equity

Financing for vulnerable populations including children, youth and adults with complex health and social need conditions

Sara S. Bachman, PhD is Dean of the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. In this capacity she leads the school as it offers top-ranked degree programs, certificates, and dual degrees anchored by rigorous academics and world-class faculty. The school’s transdisciplinary research and extensive field placements bring deep opportunity for students to learn and grow, empowering them to passionately pursue social innovation, impact, and justice. Dr. Bachman’s social policy and practice expertise focuses on health care financing and organization innovation, especially alternative payment strategies. She has over twenty years’ experience with health policy research and program evaluation in the areas of health care finance, health reform, social work, health equity, and state health policy for individuals with disabilities or complex health and social conditions, including children with special health care needs. She has conducted extensive program evaluation and research to improve equity, access, quality, and financing of health and support services for adults, youth and children with serious and long-term health care needs including individuals with chronic and conditions, disabilities, mental health problems, substance abuse problems and complex health conditions. Her work is conducted in transdisciplinary teams that include members of the target community. Dr. Bachman is a national leader in developing and implementing financing and reimbursement strategies that support the delivery of family centered, coordinated, continuous, community-based services for children, youth and transitioning young adults who have special health care needs. She previously served as the Principal Investigator (PI) of the Catalyst Center, HRSA’s national center on financing health care for children and youth with special health care needs, the Co-Principal Investigator of the HRSA funded project “Health Care Delivery System Innovations for Children with Medical Complexity” and as PI of a Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health project focusing on financing care coordination. Dr. Bachman was also PI of a national HRSA initiative to integrate Community Health Workers into Ryan White Care settings. Dr. Bachman has evaluated health reform initiatives using data from the Massachusetts Survey of Insurance Status and was Co-Principal Investigator of a project to examine the specific role of the Commonwealth Connector in the Massachusetts health reform initiative. She has written extensively on financing of care for children with special health care needs and has directed multiple projects with this focus, including serving as a co-editor of a special issue of Pediatrics focused on Value Base Purchasing for children and youth with special health care needs. Dr. Bachman received a MS in Epidemiology from the University of Massachusetts School of Public Health, and PhD in Health Policy from the Florence Heller School at Brandeis University where she was a Pew Health Policy Fellow.

Selected Publications

Drainoni, M.L., Baughman, A., Bachman, S.S., Bowers Sword, R., Davoust, M., Fortu, K., Ni, P., Rojo, M.C., Wolfe, H. & Martinez, L.S. (Forthcoming). Integrating Community Health Workers into HIV Care Teams: Impact on HIV Care Outcomes. Journal of HIV/AIDS & Social Services.

Thomas, M. M. C.*, Mehta, A. J., Murphy, J.S., Childs, E., Sena, B. F., Dimitri,N.*, Dooley, D.P., Kane, J ., Shen, A., Barros, E., Reid, M. and Bachman, S.S. (2020). Associations Between Public Housing Residency and Health Behaviors in a Cross-Sectional Sample of Boston Adults. Housing Policy Debate. 30 (3), 335-347.

Hirschi, M.*, Wangari Walter, A., Wilson, K.*, Jankovsky, K.*, Dworetzky, B., Comeau, M. & Bachman, S.S. (2018). Access to care among children with disabilities enrolled in the MassHealth CommonHealth buy-in program.  Journal of Child Health Care.

Marcus, R., deGroot, A., Bachman, S. S., Chisolm, N., Qaudri, Y., Cabral, H., & Rajabiun, S. (2018). Longitudinal determinants of housing stability among people living with HIV/AIDS experiencing homelessness. American Journal of Public Health. 108 (S7): S552-S560.

Bachman, S. S. (2017). Social work and public health: Charting the course for innovation. American Journal of Public Health. 107 (S3): S220.

Bachman, S. S., Wachman, M., Manning, L., Cohen, A.M., Seifert, R.W., Jones, D.K., Fitzgerald, T., Nuzum, R. & Riley, P. (2017). Social work’s role in Medicaid reform: A qualitative study. American Journal of Public Health. 107 (S3): S250-S255.

Louis, C.J., Bachman, S.S., Roby, D.H., Melby, L & Rosenbloom, D.L. (2017). The transformation of community hospitals through the transition to value-based care: Lessons from Massachusetts. The American Journal of Accountable Care. 5(4):26-30.

Bachman, S.S., Comeau, M., & Long, T. (2017). Statement of the Problem: Health reform, value based purchasing, and children and youth with special health care needs.  Pediatrics. 139 (Supplement 2):  S89-S98.

Ellis, R.P., Bachman, S.S., & Tan, H.R.* (2017). Refining our understanding of value based insurance design and high cost-sharing on children.  Pediatrics. 139 (Supplement 2): S136-S144.

Weinstein, Z.M.*, Kim, H.W., Cheng, D.M., Quinn, E., Hui, D., Labelle, C.T., Drainoni, M.L., Bachman, S.S., & Samet, J.H. (2017). Long-term retention in office based Opioid treatment with Buprenorphine. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 74:65-70.

Akobirshoev, I.*, Bowser, D., Parish, S.L., Thomas, C. & Bachman, S.S. (2017). Does parental health insurance mediate the relationship between parental uninsurance and insured children’s health outcomes?  Evidence from a U.S. national survey.  Health and Social Work. 42(2): e68-e76.

* Denotes student author.

Bachman, S.S. (2018). Resource Development and Funding. In S. Verbiest (Ed.), Translating Life Course Theory into Practice. Washington, DC: APHA Press.

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