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Selena E. Ortiz
Associate Professor of Health Policy and Administration and Demography
  • Health Policy and Administration - HPA
  • Graduate Faculty
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  • B.A., The University of California, Berkeley
  • M.P.H., The University of Arizona
  • Ph.D., The University of California, Los Angeles
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Office Address
601L Donald H. Ford Building
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802
Professional Experience

Selena E. Ortiz, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Administration at The Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Ortiz’s 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.

Dr. Ortiz is a faculty affiliate of the Center for Health Care and Policy Research (CHCPR), the Population Research Institute (PRI), the Rock Ethics Institute, and the School of Public Policy at Penn State. 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 E. Ortiz, Ashton Verdery, & Jonathan Daw. Racial/Ethnic and Prior Willingness Disparities in Potential Living Kidney Donors’ Self-Assessed Responses to Advancing American Kidney Health Regulation. BMC Public Health, 2021, 20(1971): 1-11.
  • Selena E. Ortiz, Joel E. Segel, & Linh Tran. Health Savings Plans and Disparities in Access to Care by Race and Ethnicity. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2021, 61(2): 149-310. 
  • Selena E. Ortiz, Gary J. Adler. Jr., & Bobbie L. Johannes. Economic Elites and Support for Housing Affordability Policy: How a Housing-Health Belief Matters. Political Behavior. 2020.

View all publications on Google Scholar.

View Penn State Pure research profile.