Assistant Professor, School of Social Policy and Practice
Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics
Meredith Doherty, PhD, LCSW is an Innovation Faculty member at the Penn Center for Cancer Care Innovation and is an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Policy and Practice. Dr. Doherty conducts mixed-method, community-engaged research to understand the relationship between economic security and health and the process through which medical financial hardship accelerates existing socioeconomic health disparities. Dr. Doherty draws upon her clinical experience as a palliative care social worker in community safety-net hospitals to develop, implement and evaluate healthcare-based social needs interventions. As an implementation scientist, she seeks to increase the delivery of evidence-based strategies to promote healthcare access and reduce cancer health disparities. Her research has focused on (1) understanding financial coping strategies and their impact on mental health and treatment adherence in cancer patients and survivors, (2) identifying and remediating barriers to medical financial assistance in the cancer care setting, (3) developing, evaluating, and implementing financial distress screening and financial navigation interventions in diverse cancer treatment settings.
Dr. Doherty is the lead investigator of the Guaranteed Income and Financial Treatment Trial (G.I.F.T.T.), the first randomized control trial of guaranteed income in the U.S. to focus on alleviating financial hardship in families facing cancer. The program will provide over 2,500 low-income Philadelphia cancer patients and their families with financial navigation and direct cash assistance and assess their impact on key clinical outcomes.