Faculty Scholars Program

Keren Ladin, PhD

Class of 2020
  • Associate Professor, Departments of Occupational Therapy and Community Health
  • Director of Research on Aging, Ethics, and Community Health (REACH Lab)
Tufts University
Scholar Project

Dr. Keren Ladin is Associate Professor in the Departments of Occupational Therapy and Community Health at Tufts University. She is Director of Research on Aging, Ethics, and Community Health (REACH Lab) at Tufts University. Her scholarly work examines questions of equitable allocation of health resources, shared decision-making, and disparities, especially for older adults and for people facing surgical decisions. Dr. Ladin has published extensively on topics related to transplantation, aging, kidney disease, and health disparities, and is an expert in mixed-methods, medical ethics, and health policy. She currently serves is Chair of OPTN/UNOS Ethics Committee. 

 Dr. Ladin’s research has been funded by the Greenwall Foundation, the Patient Centered Research Outcomes Institute (PCORI) and the National Institutes of Health. At Tufts, Dr. Ladin teaches courses in health policy, research methods, public health ethics, and health disparities.

 Dr. Ladin studied History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago. She received her masters in Population and International Health from the Harvard School of Public Health, and her PhD in Health Policy, with a concentration in ethics, from Harvard University. 


The Moral Relevance of Social Connectedness for Allocation of Scarce Health Resources

Grant Cycle: 2016-2017

Although social support is routinely assessed during transplant candidate evaluation, we hypothesize that inconsistent definitions of social support and evaluation procedures may result in unequal treatment of patients with limited support. We hypothesize that clinicians have unconscious bias in favor of more socially connectedness patients, and that this bias will be significantly associated with waitlist decisions. Clinicians may experience moral distress and cognitive dissonance, which occurs when actions (using a discriminatory criterion) do not align with values (treating all patients fairly). Perspective-taking interventions, more supportive center-level and Medicaid policies, and reforming the social support criterion may be needed to reduce this source of bias and ensure equal access to solid organ transplantation.

Grant Focus Areas

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