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Shannon Wu, December 2017 Scholar of the Month

Meet Shannon – December 2017 Scholar of the Month

Posted: 12.07.17

Shannon Wu is pursuing a PhD in Public Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Shannon is specializing in Informatics and Health Services Delivery and plans to graduate in May of 2019. Shannon was especially drawn to the Baltimore region due to the proximity to the policy arena in Washington, DC, as well as the opportunity to learn firsthand the struggles of obtaining adequate healthcare from populations in Baltimore.

After graduation from Princeton University in 2013, Shannon began her career as a Senior Consultant with IBM. Shannon credits her experience there with motivating her to understand and direct the transformation of health information technology. In her own words, “My time at IBM provided me a solid foundation in informatics and data infrastructure in the pharmaceutical industry, but I did not understand how information and data could be transferred safely and used by providers to improve care for patients. I saw the dynamic technological shift occur in one private sector of healthcare but realized that other institutions such as small medical practices or safety-net providers were given limited policy guidance and financial incentives to invest in technological advancements. A large digital divide was beginning to occur within the healthcare field, and I became eager to explore ways to heal this divide systematically and methodologically.”

Shannon is a recipient of the Hal Cohen Endowed Scholarship at Central Scholarship. CareFirst established the fund to honor the incredible legacy of Dr. Cohen, a renowned health care economist. The fund helps students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees in healthcare policy, healthcare financing, or economics.

In addition to her formal studies, Shannon meets weekly with an elderly couple in Baltimore who are dependent on welfare and live in an underserved neighborhood of the city. Through these home visits Shannon has been able to see firsthand how the healthcare and social welfare system impacts families, especially the elderly and other particularly vulnerable populations.