Susan H. Babey, PhD, is a senior research scientist and a co-director of the Chronic Disease Research Program at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research as well as an Academic Researcher in the Department of Health Policy and Management, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Her research focuses primarily on the prevention of chronic health conditions. She has examined the social and environmental determinants of health, health disparities, and access to care for historically marginalized populations. She has co-authored multiple publications examining the factors that influence access to health care, health behaviors such as physical activity and dietary behavior, and health outcomes such as obesity and diabetes. These publications include both scholarly manuscripts published in peer-reviewed journals as well as research briefs targeted at policy-makers and community groups. This work has informed policy through legislative testimony and press interviews.
Babey is currently leading research examining the links between health and civic engagement; access to care for marginalized populations, including sexual minorities, immigrants, and those who participate in public programs for food and medical care; and is also engaged in research involving disaggregating race and ethnicity data and the promotion of data equity. Other recent projects include a qualitative study identifying barriers to care experienced by those with metastatic breast cancer, an evaluation of place-based obesity prevention strategies for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and research that produced state and county-level modeled estimates of the prevalence of prediabetes in California.
Babey has served as a member of the following committees: the Physical Activity Technical Advisory Committee for the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and the Strategic Growth Council; the Adolescent Technical Advisory Committee and the Child Technical Advisory Committee for the California Health Interview Survey; the California Obesity Prevention Evaluation Task Force for the California Obesity Prevention Program, California Department of Public Health; the Steering Committee for the Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax Health Impact Assessment conducted by Community Health Councils; the Active Transportation Expert Panel meeting convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the Policy Subcommittee of the California Task Force on Youth and Workplace Wellness.
Prior to joining the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, Babey was an adjunct assistant professor in the Psychology Department at the University of West Florida. Babey earned her doctorate in psychology from UC Santa Barbara with a special area focus on social psychology.