Alina Denham, Ph.D.

Alina Denham, PhD


Alina Denham, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine 

Core Faculty, Program in Public Health



PHONE: 631-216-8653


Connect with Dr. Denham on Google Scholar

Dr. Denham is a health policy researcher whose research expertise lies in Medicaid policy, healthcare access among marginalized populations, and health equity. She uses a range of advanced quantitative methods and large administrative healthcare datasets to address pressing policy questions and guide health policy with the goal of maximizing access to health care and well-being of underserved individuals and families. Dr. Denham has published across a range of health policy and public health journals including Addiction, Social Science and Medicine, JAMA Network Open, The American Journal of Managed Care, The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, and Health Economics, Policy, and Law, among others.


  • Ph.D., Health Services Research and Policy, University of Rochester (2021)
  • M.Sc., International Management of Health Systems, University of Liverpool (2014)

Academic Interests:

Health policy; Medicaid policy; health equity; racism in healthcare; healthcare access; Medicaid managed care; substance use disorder; quality of administrative health data; conceptual model development; antiracist pedagogy.

Professional Memberships:

  • Academy Health
  • The American Society of Health Economists

Research Interests:

Dr. Denham's substantive research has examined the use of the emergency department as a safety net in Medicaid, the impact of the ACA Medicaid expansions on coverage, and trends and factors in drug overdose mortality. She is particularly interested in how Medicaid managed care may advance health equity or exacerbate existing disparities in health outcomes and patient experiences. Dr. Denham's methodological work has addressed data quality and measurement issues in large administrative datasets. Specifically, she has published on drug overdose measurement in hospital discharge data and multiple cause of death data from the CDC. Her recent methodological work involves addressing issues with data quality in Medicaid managed care encounter data (T-MSIS) and Medicare Advantage data.

Select Publications:

Denham A, Hill E, Raven M, Mendoza M, Raz M, Veazie PJ. 2023. Is the Emergency Department Used as a Substitute or a Complement to Primary Care in Medicaid? Health Economics, Policy, and Law.

Veazie PJ, Denham A. 2021. Understanding How Psychological Factors Relate to Seeking Medical Care Among Older Adults Using a New Model of Care Seeking. Social Science and Medicine, 281.

Boslett A, Denham A, Hill EL. 2020. Using Contributing Causes of Death Improves Prediction of Opioid Involvement in Unclassified Drug Overdoses in U.S. Death Records. Addiction, 115(7): 1308-1317.

Boslett A*, Denham A, Hill EL, Adams MCB. 2019. Unclassified Drug Overdose Deaths in the Opioid Crisis: Emerging Patterns of Inequity. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 26(8-9): 767-777. * co-first authors.

Denham A, Veazie PJ. 2019. Did Medicaid Expansion Matter in States with Generous Medicaid? The American Journal of Managed Care, 25(3): 129-134.