Vanessa earned her MSW from the University of Louisville, and previously earned a B.S. in Sociology from the University of Evansville with a minor in Psychology. Prior to starting her studies at the University of Illinois, Vanessa worked for two years as a licensed social worker at an accountable care organization in Nashville, TN. Here, Vanessa worked as a liaison to area skilled nursing facilities and as an integrated care clinician with Medicare recipients and dialysis patients. She also has previous experience working with Federally Qualified Health Centers and colon cancer prevention.
Vanessa’s research interests include health policy aimed at reducing health disparities and improving social determinants of health and end of life concerns. Additionally, Vanessa is interested in mental health outcomes, coping strategies, and perceptions of death and dying among persons experiencing chronic illness.