Kara Zivin


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Professional Title

Professor of Psychiatry, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Health Management and Policy


Health Management and Policy
Michigan Medicine
Obstetrics & Gynecology
School of Public Health


Dr. Zivin joined the faculty at University of Michigan in 2006. Her scholarly niche is at the intersection of behavioral health, public health, and public policy. She serves as a mentor to trainees ranging from undergraduates to junior faculty members. She served as the chair of the Behavioral Health Services Research Interest Group at AcademyHealth, and was a senior advisor on behavioral health integration for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She conducts mixed methods research and large policy evaluations.


  • MFA, writing (creative nonfiction), Vermont College of Fine Arts
  • Postdoctoral fellowship in pharmaceutical policy, Harvard Medical School
  • PhD, health policy, Harvard University
  • MS, health policy and management, Harvard School of Public Health
  • MA, international economics and conflict management, Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies
  • BA, international relations, Johns Hopkins University

Research interests:

  • Impact of health policies on diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes of behavioral health conditions (mental health and substance use) 
  • Predictors and health outcomes including mortality associated with treatment of behavioral health conditions in vulnerable populations, including women in the perinatal period, older adults, and Veterans
  • Bidirectional relationships between depression and employment outcomes including burnout, productivity, disability, and retirement
  • Cost-effectiveness of behavioral health treatment in primary care and specialty mental health settings (integrated care)
  • Longitudinal assessments of depression status and treatment adherence in large clinical, epidemiological, and population based studies

Research Interests

Michigan Medicine
qualitative research
quantitative research