Jarlenski receives 2019 John D. Thompson Prize for Young Investigators


Congratulations to Marian Jarlenski for being named the recipient of the 2019 John D. Thompson Prize for Young Investigators!

Jarlenski was presented with this award at the AUPHA Annual Meeting in New Orleans in June. This award is used to recognize young faculty who have received their PhD within the past six years for their contributions to the research literature in the field of health services. Emphasis is placed on the significance of the investigator’s research, the theoretical grounding of their work, their overall productivity, their status as an intellectual leader, the quality of the journals they have published in, and their contribution to education within the field.

During her acceptance speech, Jarlenski spoke about some of the motivations that brought her to focus her research on mothers with substance use disorders who are currently on Medicaid. She spoke on the theme of the evening, resilience, and how resilience is defined as a person’s ability to cope with acute and chronic stressors. She stated that resilience is a factor that has been recognized both in the development and within the treatment of substance use disorder, and how within her research she seeks to try to improve access to and quality of care for pregnant women in order to reduce some of these stressors. “Because in this country, we ask poor women to shoulder the burden of a lot of chronic stressors.” She thanked Mark Roberts, the department chair, Julie Donohue, leader of the Medicaid Research Center, Everette James, director of the Health Policy Institute, and her mentor Lisa Bodnar, vice chair of research within the epidemiology department.

Jarlenski has established a focus on obstetrics health services research within the department. She has been widely published in both clinical and health services research literature and is currently PI on a NIDA-funded R01 that is investigating how to improve access to and quality of treatment for pregnant women with opioid use disorder. She continues this work in the University of Pittsburgh’s Medicaid Research center, where she focuses on pre- and post-partum care, with a particular emphasis on mothers with substance abuse disorders.

Jarlenski received her undergraduate degree at Otterbein College. Following this she went on to pursue an MPH at the Yale School of Public Health and a PhD in Public Health at Emory University. She went on to become an Assistant Professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In addition to her prolific academic career, she has additional experience in policy work as a legislative assistant and staff writer.

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