CHEER Investigators

Shelley White-Means, Ph.D.

Dr. Shelley White-Means, Ph.D.

Dr. White-Means is Professor of Economics in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Translational Sciences in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). She received her undergraduate training at Grinnell College and her Masters and Doctoral training at Northwestern University. Dr. White-Means previously served as Vice-Chair, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chair of the PhD program in Health Outcomes and Policy Research at UTHSC. Prior to her current appointment at University of Tennessee, she served on the faculty at Cornell University and University of Memphis. Dr. White-Means is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at UTHSC and Faculty Associate at Methodist LeBonheur Center for Health Care Economics, University of Memphis.

Dr. White-Means is a health economist with over twenty-five years of research emphasis in health disparities and access to care for ethnic minorities, women, the elderly, and other vulnerable populations. Her research emphasizes long term care for ethnic elderly, labor market implications of caregiving, and racial disparities faced by blacks and Hispanics in the utilization of medical services. Her research studies have documented the distinction between racial/ ethnic differences and racial/ethnic disparities in health care utilization, and how labor market disparities are associated with health insurance disparities.  Her current work emphasizes improving physical and mental health outcomes of residents in the 38126 zip code, and developing interventions to reduce racial disparities in breast health outcomes in Memphis. One of her recent publications is the first study to examine race and skintone preferences among pre-professional health care providers, providing a foundation for exploring the role of implicit bias in explaining racial/ ethnic disparities in health care utilization. 

Dr. White-Means provides cultural competency training for first year pharmacy students at UTHSC.  She has national and university awards for her teaching and research, including the Board of Visitor 's Eminent Faculty Award, University of Memphis and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and Merck and Co., Rufus Lyman Research Award. 

Dr. White- Means is a Past-President of the National Economic Association, a Post-Doctoral Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, and on the steering committee for the Meharry Medical College Community Health Centers, Community Networks Program. Dr. White-Means served on the board of the American Economic Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in the Economic Profession. She served as a member of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, National Advisory Committee for Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative, and currently serves on the national advisory boards for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Future of Nursing Scholars and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute’s Advisory Board for Project Achieve. 

Dr. White-Means has actively engaged in health and aging-related community planning boards and committees in the city of Memphis. She has served as Board Chair of Bluff City Christian College, Executive Committee member on the Board of Governors for Memphis Health Center, and served on two mayoral subcommittees on health. Along with prominent business leader s in Memphis, she is a graduate of Leadership Memphis. 

White-Means UTHSC Faculty Facepage:


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