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Alina Schnake-Mahl, ScD, MPH

Alina Schnake-Mahl headshot

Assistant Professor
Health Management and Policy
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ScD, Public Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
MPH, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
BA, Health: Science, Society and Policy; and Politics, Brandeis University


Alina Schnake-Mahl, ScD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the Urban Health Collaborative and the Department of Health Management and Policy at Drexel's Dornsife School of Public Health. She is a social epidemiologist and health services researcher, and her primary research interest is in the social and political determinants of health inequities. Her current work aims to identify the compositional and contextual features of places — including neighborhood factors, social policies, and governance structures — that are associated with health disparities. Her policy work focuses on occupational- and housing-related social policies. She uses a combination of descriptive and causal methods to identify and inform policies and interventions that can mitigate health inequity.

She received an NIH K01 career development award to examine neighborhood and policy determinants of disparities in influenza and COVID-19 acute care utilization. Dr. Schnake-Mahl earned a ScD and MPH in social epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Before joining the faculty, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative, and previously worked in applied population health research and evaluation.

Research Interests

  • Infectious Disease
  • Health Disparities
  • Health and Place or Built Environment
  • Urban Health
  • Data Analysis Methods
  • Health Services Research
  • Health Policy


Schnake-Mahl A, Jahn J, Purtle J, Bilal U. Considering multiple governance levels in epidemiologic analysis of public policies. Social Science and Medicine, 2022,

Schnake-Mahl A, Pomeranz J, Sun N, Headen I, O’Leary G, Jahn J. Forced Birth and No Time Off Work: Mapping Abortion Access and Paid Family Leave Policies. American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Schnake-Mahl A, Mullachery P, Kolker J, Skinner A, Raifman J, Diez Roux AV, Bilal U. Higher COVID-19 Vaccination and Narrower Disparities in US cities with Paid Sick Leave Compared to Those Without. Health Affairs, In Press

Schnake-Mahl A, Mullachery P, Li R, Purtle J, Diez Roux AV, Bilal U. Heterogeneity in Disparities in Life Expectancy Across US Metropolitan Areas. Epidemiology, In Press

Bilal U, Mullachery P, Schnake-Mahl A, Rollins H, McCulley E, Kolker J, Barber S, Diez Roux A. Spatial Inequities in COVID-19 Vaccination in 15 Large US Cities. AJE,

Schnake-Mahl A, O’Leary G, Mullachery P, Kolker J, Diez Roux A, Bilal U. Evaluating indoor dining closures and re-opening on COVID-19 rates in large US cities using a quasi-experimental design. Epidemiology. 2021 (12),

Schnake-Mahl A, Bilal U. Schnake-Mahl and Bilal Respond to structural Racism and COVID-19 Mortality in the US, AJE. 2021, 190(8):1447-1461

Schnake-Mahl A, Sommers BD, Waters MC, Subramanian SV, Arcaya M. “Effects of gentrification on health status after Hurricane Katrina.” Health and Place. 2019, doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2019.102237

Schnake-Mahl A, Sommers B. "Health Care in the Suburbs: A National Analysis of Suburban Poverty and Health Care Access.” Health Affairs. 2017, 36(10):1777-1785. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2017.0545

Arcaya M, Schnake-Mahl A, Binet A, Shannon S, Super-Church M, Vedette G, The HNS study team. “Community change and resident needs: designing a Participatory Action Research study in Metropolitan Boston.” Health & Place. 2018, 52:221-230.