Heather Klusaritz, PhD, MSW

Heather Klusaritz, PhD, MSW, is Co-investigator on the UPenn PRC Philadelphia Health Leadership Institute. Dr. Klusaritz is the Associate Director of the Center for Population and Community Health and adjunct faculty in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, the Director of Community Engagement for the Center for Public Health Initiatives and a lecturer at the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. She has over a decade of clinical social work practice with underserved populations and her research focuses on access to health care for marginalized populations and the design of health systems to eliminate disparities in health access and outcomes. This interest encompasses evaluating health system design characteristics that exacerbate structural inequities for marginalized populations and create barriers to primary care. A second area of research interest is best interprofessional (IPE) educational practices for medical students and other healthcare providers to ensure a workforce adequately prepared to practice in the post-ACA environment. Dr. Klusaritz works collaboratively with multiple community partners throughout West Philadelphia to improve the health of underserved communities. She has served as a faculty advisor for the United Community Clinics in West Philadelphia for the past decade, recently completed an assessment and planning study for a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in the Parkside community, and is the co-founder of Service Link, a program where trained undergraduate and medical students connect patients to critical social welfare benefits, help navigate health system access, and medical-legal advocacy. She received her MSW and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy & Practice.