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Edith C. Kieffer

Professor Emerita of Social Work

Edith C. Kieffer

Professor Edith C. Kieffer, MPH, Ph.D., University of Michigan School of Social Work, conducts research addressing health and health care disparities. She has extensive experience planning, conducting and analyzing data from qualitative formative research and intervention research studies in community and health care settings, including randomized clinical trials. Using community-based participatory research (CBPR) approaches, she and collaborators have evaluated the effectiveness of Detroit-based community health worker (CHW) programs in improving the health of pregnant and postpartum women (NIH/NIDDK – Healthy Mothers on the Move) and people with, and at risk for, type 2 diabetes (NIH/NIDDK - Community Health Worker Diabetes RCT for Latinos and CDC – The REACH Detroit Partnership). These studies resulted in significant improvements in dietary behaviors, depressive symptoms, glucose control, diabetes-related distress and other positive outcomes.

Kieffer is a co-Investigator for the evaluation of the Healthy Michigan Plan Medicaid expansion. She is leading qualitative studies around Michigan that explore the experiences of beneficiaries and health care providers, and the impact of Medicaid coverage, including its requirements and incentives, on access to and use of care, beneficiary health and other outcomes.

Kieffer is a founding steering committee member and directs grants supporting the Michigan Community Health Worker Alliance, which is promoting sustainability of CHW programs and careers through policy change and workforce development. She teaches courses in health care policies and services and health ethics. She is affiliated with the Detroit Community Academic Urban Research Center, the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation, and the Michigan Center for Diabetes Translational Research.

Research Interests/Focus

Ethnic and geographic disparities in health and health services; maternal and child health; multi-level community-based intervention research to promote prevention of diabetes and its complications.


Year Degree   School
1991 PhD Medical Geography University of Hawaii
1978 MPH Maternal & Child Health & Health Svcs Admin & Planning University of Hawaii
1973 BS Social Sciences with Certificate in Ethnic Studies University of Oregon


Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) Detroit Partnership
Michigan Community Health Worker Alliance

View all publications by Edith C. Kieffer »

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