Investigator in Health Services, Policy and Practice


Portia Y. Cornell, Ph.D., is an investigator in the Department of Health Services, Policy, and Practice at the Brown University School of Public Health in Providence, Rhode Island. She is also a health research specialist at the Center of Innovation for Long-Term Services and Supports at the Providence Veterans Administration Medical Center.

Dr. Cornell studies the effects of health care policy on the care of older adults. She is interested in how health systems can best support older adults to live with dignity and independence in care settings that meet their needs, and she uses econometric methods to draw causal inference from observational data. She is currently the principal investigator of a partnered evaluation of the impact of social workers in Veterans Administration primary care teams on Veterans' health care outcomes. She is a 2020-2021 Resource Center for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) scientist, receiving support from the USC Schaeffer Center for a pilot project to study racial segregation and disparities in assisted living. Dr. Cornell also has investigated nursing home quality, assisted living markets and policy, and long-term care insurance. Her research has been published in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Health Economics, Health Services Research, and Health Affairs.

She received her undergraduate degree from Duke University, her master of science in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her doctoral degree in health policy from Harvard University.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas