SPOKANE, Wash. — A national expert in disability policy issues is joining the department of health policy and administration at WSU Spokane.

“My work explores the ways in which health services and policies help or hinder the independence of people with disabilities and chronic illness,” assistant professor Jae Kennedy explained.

Kennedy received a Ph.D. in health services and policy analysis from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1996. He comes to WSU Spokane from the University of Illinois, Champaign. Kennedy has published more than 20 articles in various professional journals, on topics including drug affordability among adults with disabilities, unmet need for home and community based long-term care, job discrimination, racial disparities in vocational rehabilitation, and the research and policy challenges presented by an aging population.

Kennedy began his disability research 14 years ago at the World Institute on Disability, an international think tank founded by key leaders of the independent living movement.

“Working alongside people with significant disabilities, I soon realized that public policies are about real people facing serious problems,” says Kennedy. “Consequently, I don’t have a lot of patience for political grandstanding. A lot of our programs and policies are based on unsubstantiated assumptions about the needs and desires of people with disabilities and their families. Responsive programming requires accurate and detailed population data about disability, and my work helps provide that information.”

Kennedy has received several research awards, including one of the highest honors in the field of disability studies, a Mary E. Switzer Distinguished Research Fellowship. He has received research support from agencies including the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, and the Social Security Administration.

“WSU Spokane is poised to become a center of excellence in biomedical and health services research, and I am very pleased to bring my family and research program to the Inland Northwest,” Kennedy said.

“The Washington State University Department of Health Policy and Administration welcomes the appointment of Dr. Jae Kennedy, a nationally prominent researcher in disability policy and care-giving services for Americans with disabilities,” says Winsor Schmidt, chair of the department. “Dr. Kennedy strengthens the world-class standing of the department and the university in health and disability policy, and nicely complements Spokane’s reputation in disability and rehabilitation services.”

About the Department of Health Policy and Administration

The graduate program in health policy and administration in the College of Pharmacy at Washington State University Spokane is one of only 69 health services administration programs accredited by ACEHSA in North America. (News release online, May 18, 2000: www.wsu.edu/NIS/releases3/bc124.htm)

ACEHSA is the Accrediting Commission on Education for Health Services Administration. Accreditation by ACEHSA is the most important assurance that a graduate program meets the quality standards developed by the profession and the health services industry. With this recognition of its quality, the HPA program is one of the top four health administration programs in the 14-state Western region comprised of Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. It is the only such program in the region to be admitted to the Western Regional Graduate Program, which allows students from these states to enroll at Washington resident tuition rates. (News release online, July 13, 2000: www.wsu.edu/NIS/releases3/bc128.htm)

About Washington State University Spokane

Washington State University Spokane is the urban campus of WSU, a land-grant research university founded in 1890. The campus features advanced studies in health sciences, the design disciplines, education, business, criminal justice, and engineering. WSU is ranked by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as a research extensive and doctoral-granting university.

Web sites:
Department of Health Policy and Administration: www.hpa.spokane.wsu.edu
WSU Spokane: www.spokane.wsu.edu
News release on recent research by Kennedy: “Drug Costs a Barrier to Prescription Compliance for People with Disabilities,” wsunews.wsu.edu/detail.asp?StoryID=3139