Whitney Zahnd, Ph.D.


Portrait of Whitney Zahnd of the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

Title(s): Assistant Professor
Department: Health Management and Policy
Office: N240 CPHB
Phone: (319) 467-4402
Social: Twitter feed

Whitney Zahnd, PhD, is a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy in the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa. Her research employs health services research and social epidemiological approaches to address rural cancer disparities across the continuum and to ameliorate disparities in access to health care services. Currently, she serves as the deputy director of the RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis, co-chair the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network’s rural cancer workgroup, secretary of the Iowa Rural Health Association board, and chair of the Journal of Rural Health editorial board.

Dr. Zahnd teaches graduate-level courses in healthcare organization and policy and research methods. She enjoys working with students inside and outside the classroom and through the Advancing Cancer and Rural Equity (ACRE) lab. Her goal is to help students meet their individual academic and professional goals and to help prepare them for careers that ensure our healthcare and public health systems are equitable, effective, and efficient. She also currently serves as the faculty advisor for the Student Association for Rural Health at Iowa.

Prior to joining the University of Iowa faculty, Dr. Zahnd completed post-doctoral training and served as research faculty at the Rural & Minority Health Research Center at the University of South Carolina and worked as a master’s trained researcher at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. She has extensive rural health services research experience working in both schools of medicine and public health settings. She received her bachelor’s degree in microbiology and master’s and doctoral degrees in community health, all from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Healthcare Organization and Policy
  • Primary Data and Mixed Methods
  • Seminar in Health Policy

Research Interests

  • Rural health
  • Cancer disparities
  • Access to care
  • Social determinants of health
  • Social epidemiology
  • Geographic information systems/spatial statistics