Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Karen Pearson

Policy Associate
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Office Location

432A Wishcamper Center


(207) 780-4553


My role as a policy associate and my skills as an information specialist puts me in a unique position within the Population Health & Health Policy Program area at the Muskie School. My expertise in literature searches and information retrieval have provided valuable research support to project teams in the areas of rural health, patient safety, Medicaid managed care, long-term care, and quality improvement. Additionally, I have participated as part of the research staff on the AHRQ-funded SAFER project, conducting qualitative interviews with the Critical Access Hospital pilot teams. I conducted and published two evidence-based quality improvement policy briefs for the National Rural Hospital Flexibility Monitoring Project (Flex Program) on falls prevention programs in Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and on patient safety transfer protocols in CAHs. I am involved in research on rural emergency medical services (EMS). I directed a national project for the Flex Program on the evidence for community paramedicine using EMS personnel in rural communities, which utilized my qualitative interviewing skills and my expertise in literature searching, and was lead author on the resulting Policy Brief and Briefing Paper. I directed an evaluation project on community paramedicine for the State of Maine and co-directed a population health project for the Flex Monitoring Team, both projects utilizing qualitative analysis. I am also the project director for the annual Patient Safety Academy. 

Education: Bachelor of Arts, North Park College, Chicago; Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Master of Arts (MA), in Education, Saint Xavier University, Chicago.

Research Interests: Knowledge management, Rural health system access and delivery, Rural patient safety, Population health and health services research.