Sara S. Bachman

Governing Board PhD Dean, School of Social Policy and Practice

Sara S. Bachman, PhD is Dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) at the University of Pennsylvania, where she leads the school community in its passionate pursuit of social justice. Under her direction, the School of Social Policy & Practice offers top-ranked degree programs, certificates, and dual degrees anchored by rigorous academics and world-class faculty. SP2’s transformative approach, grounded in impactful research, scholarship and community engagement, fosters the development of impactful social change agents. At Penn, Dr. Bachman also serves on the Governing Board of the Leonard Davis Institute; the Advisory Board of the Center for Addiction Medicine and Policy; and as Senior Fellow of the Center for Public Health Initiatives.

Dr. Bachman’s social policy and practice expertise focuses on health care financing and organization innovation, especially with respect to Medicaid and 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 and youth with special health care needs. She has directed multiple associated national efforts, including the Catalyst Center, the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) national center on financing health care for children and youth with special health care needs; the HRSA Health Care Delivery System Innovations for Children with Medical Complexity; and a national HRSA initiative to integrate Community Health Workers into Ryan White Care settings, among others.

Dr. Bachman currently serves on the national HRSA Maternal and Child Health Bureau Expert Steering Committee for an Examination of the Six Core Outcomes for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs in the National Survey of Children’s Health; as Policy Practice Competency Chair for the Council of Social Work Education Health Curricular Guide; and on the National Advisory Committee, Children with Medical Complexity Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network. She has been guest editor for special journal issues such as the 2017 Pediatrics supplement focused on value based purchasing for children and youth with special health care needs.

Dr. Bachman received a BA in Biology from Bucknell University, 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.