Selena E. Ortiz

Selena E. Ortiz

Selena E. Ortiz

Gregory H. Wolf Professor of Health Policy & Administration
601L Donald H. Ford Building


B.A., The University of California, Berkeley
MPH, The University of Arizona
Ph.D., The University of California, Los Angeles


Selena E. Ortiz is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Administration in Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development. Her research focuses on addressing health disparities and improving health equity within the context of chronic disease and the social determinants of health. Her work does this in two ways: first, by examining health and social policy formation and, second, by examining access to health services and outcomes. Dr. Ortiz incorporates diverse methodologies, including semi-structured interviews, qualitative and quantitative content analysis, topic modeling, population-based online survey experiments, and diverse econometric methods. The unique stamp of her work, which has been published in Public Health Reports, Preventive Medicine, the American Journal of Public Health, Medical Care, Social Science & Medicine, and JAMA, is its theoretical focus on identifying processes of health inequity from policy formation to implementation.

In addition to being affiliate faculty in the Rock Ethics Institute, Dr. Ortiz is a faculty affiliate of the Center for Health Care and Policy Research (CHCPR), the Population Research Institute (PRI), and the School of Public Policy. She is also a research fellow at the FrameWorks Institute in Washington, D.C., and is an active member of AcademyHealth, the Interdisciplinary Association of Population Health Science (IAPHS), and the American Public Health Association (APHA). Currently, Dr. Ortiz serves as the chair of APHA’s Ethics Section.

Prior to her appointment at Penn State, Dr. Ortiz was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies and a non-resident fellow at the ASH Center for Democracy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She received her PhD from the UCLA Jonathan & Karin Fielding School of Public Health in 2013. Dr. Ortiz also earned a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from the Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of California Berkeley. She is a member of the Alpha Nu Chapter of Delta Omega, the National Public Health Honor Society.


Selena Ortiz