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Alison Laffan

Pronouns: She/Her

Principal Research Scientist
Alison implements and evaluates health care and public health programs focused on aging populations and health equity.

Alison is a principal research scientist in the Health Sciences department who manages projects for AHRQ, CDC, PCORI, CMS and private foundations. Her work focuses on the health and well-being of aging and reducing health disparities. She projects have included research on hospital acquired conditions, dementia, diabetes, and disabilities.

Alison leads research projects studying health care delivery innovations and public health programs designed to improve health, increase patient safety, improve health care quality, and achieve health equity. She manages work with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services supporting them in implementing their Health Equity Framework. In addition, she led work supporting federal and local efforts to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable populations including nursing home residents and racial and ethnic minorities.

Prior to joining NORC, she served as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Policy Fellow, in the HHS office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response where she coordinated policy for public health emergency preparedness and response across federal stakeholder agencies and international partners. Earlier in her career Alison managed a federally funded clinical research program at Johns Hopkins University focused on sleep and sleep disorders.



Johns Hopkins University


Johns Hopkins University

Honors & Awards

Science and Technology Policy Fellow | 2010 - 2012


Project Contributions

AHRQ Safety Program for Telemedicine

Improving patient safety in the telemedicine environment


Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

AHRQ’s National Nursing Home COVID-19 Coordinating Center

Connecting AHRQ’s nursing home safety initiatives and the nursing home quality improvement community


Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Reducing Health Disparities Through Quality Improvement

Helping to embed health equity into Medicare and Medicaid services


Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Office of Minority Health

COVID-19 Traveler Management Gap Analysis and Landscape Scan

Identifying gaps and proposing solutions to reduce the public health risks of travel


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention