Health Equity/Research Interest
Megan J. Wolff is a public health historian focused on social medicine and mental health policy. At the DeWitt Wallace Institute of Psychiatry: History, Policy, & the Arts she serves as a policy researcher and seminar coordinator. She regularly produces white papers and editorials addressing the mental health impacts of inequitable practices such as incarceration of the mentally ill, the detention and separation of asylum seeking families, along with their historical origins. For several years, she has been tracking the epidemic of opioid use disorder in the United States, with particular attention to legal and legislative efforts to create a framework of accountability around profit-making entities benefitting from opioid sales.
Since graduating from the Center for History and Policy of Public Health at Columbia, I have taken a particular interest in social medicine, and the efforts of health care workers, legislators, and others to make medicine more effective by increasing equity and access to resources across society. In many ways, the goal of the revolutionaries of 1848 was self-determination, without which their patients would continue to face intractable health problems. My personal research for the past few years has involved the development of the concept of social medicine itself, and its emergence and practice in New York City (with a special focus on the social medicine program at Montefiore Hospital). At Weill Cornell Medicine, I coordinate the Policy arm of the Institute of Psychiatry, inviting speakers and publishing “fact sheet”-style white papers that address the mental health impacts of social, legal, and economic structures such as health care access, incarceration, and immigrant detention. My goals in joining with the Center for Health Equity are to expand my network of colleagues and potential collaborators, learn more about equity initiatives being undertaken nearby (and especially within my own institution), and to broaden the activities in which I may serve as an educated ally.
Senior Staff Associate in Psychiatry
Area of Expertise (Methods)
Area of Expertise (Content)
Area of interest
Community Engagement and Dissemination