Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Population Health and Health Policy

Jennifer Dunbar Lenardson, M.H.S.

Research Associate I


432B Wishcamper Center

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 228-8399

Jennifer Lenardson is a research associate at the Muskie School of Public Service, conducting qualitative and quantitative research across a range of rural health policy topics. Jennifer’s research interests focus on access to care for people who face barriers because of where they live, their health status, the type of services they need, and other social and demographic characteristics. As a data analyst, she is currently examining the impact of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion on rural and urban residents, as well as federal and state policies on rural residential care facilities. Recently completed projects include the analysis of national data to examine rural and urban differences in prevalence of high deductible health plans and patterns in children’s access to mental health care. Prior to joining the USM Muskie School, she was a policy analyst for the Project HOPE Center for Health Affairs.


  • Master of Health Science in Health Policy, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University


Datesort descending Title Type
2006 Quality and Performance Improvement Grant Activities under the Flex Program Report
2007 Maine's Rural Health Challenges Report
2007 Distribution of Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities Across the Rural-Urban Continuum Report
2007 State Initiatives Funded by the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Grant Program Research and Policy Brief
2008 Understanding Changes to Physician Practice Arrangements in Maine and New Hampshire Report
2008 Distribution of Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities Across the Rural-Urban Continuum [Research & Policy Brief] Research and Policy Brief
2008 The Community Benefit and Impact of Critical Access Hospitals: The Results of the 2007 CAH Survey [Policy Brief] Research and Policy Brief
2008 The Community Benefit and Impact of Critical Access Hospitals: The Results of the 2007 CAH Survey [Briefing Paper] Report
2008 Developing Indicators to Document the Community Impact of Critical Access Hospitals Research and Policy Brief
2008 Use of Mental Health Services by Rural Children Working Paper
2009 Rural Children Don't Receive the Mental Health Care They Need Research and Policy Brief
2009 Profile of Rural Health Insurance Coverage: A Chartbook Book/Monograph
2009 Health Insurance Profile Indicates Need to Expand Coverage in Rural Areas Research and Policy Brief
2009 Availability, Characteristics, and Role of Detoxification Services in Rural Areas Research and Policy Brief
2009 Few and Far Away: Detoxification Services in Rural Areas Research and Policy Brief
2010 Access to Mental Health Services and Family Impact of Rural Children With Mental Health Problems Working Paper
2010 Mental Health Problems Have Considerable Impact on Rural Children and Their Families Research and Policy Brief
2011 How Does The Rural Food Environment Affect Rural Childhood Obesity? Journal Article
2012 Adolescent Alcohol Use: Do Risk and Protective Factors Explain Rural-Urban Differences?
2012 Health Care Access and Use Among the Rural Uninsured Journal Article
2012 Substance abuse and use in rural America Book Chapter
2013 Rural Children Experience Different Rates of Mental Health Diagnosis and Treatment Research and Policy Brief
2013 Patterns of Care for Rural and Urban Children with Mental Health Problems Research and Policy Brief
2014 Substance Use and Abuse in Rural Areas Book Chapter

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Dr. Ziller to speak on Rural Implementation and Impact of Medicaid Expansions

The impact of the ACA Medicaid expansion on health care coverage and access in rural areas is largely unknown and will depend on the different state policy contexts in which the expansions are implemented and on existing system capacity. Understanding how many rural residents are likely to become newly eligible for Medicaid under the ACA, as well as their characteristics and health status, will provide important information to aid policymakers in structuring outreach and enrollment strategies and ensuring that the healthcare infrastructure and delivery systems in rural areas can address the needs of these individuals.

On March 18th, Dr. Ziller, Deputy Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center at the University of Southern Maine, will present via a SHARE webinar, nationally representative information identifying rural-urban differences among low-income non-elderly adults (18 to 65) in the following areas:

  • Medicaid eligibility, pre-ACA
  • Medicaid participation, pre-ACA
  • New Medicaid eligibility in 2014

Dr. Ziller will also analyze the characteristics associated with any rural-urban differences in the above areas. Characteristics to be considered include age, gender, employment, education, income, Census region, health status, current relationship to primary care provider, primary care supply, and FQHC availability.

This webinar is based on Dr. Ziller's research under a State Health Access Reform Evaluation (SHARE) grant to inform federal and state implementation of the ACA Medicaid expansion by estimating the size and characteristics of the rural population likely to be newly eligible.
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