Ellen-Marie Whelan, Ph.D.

Chief Population Health Officer
Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Fellowship Profile

Fellowship Year: 2003-2004
Fellowship Placement: Senate Minority Leader's Office Daschle (D-SD)
Sponsoring Institution: John Hopkins University
Disciplines / Professions: Health Services Research, Nursing, Public Health


Ellen-Marie Whelan, N.P., Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor with a joint appointment with the School of Nursing and the Urban Health Institute at the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Whelan received her Bachelor’s degree at Georgetown University and a Master’s in Nursing and Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Heath as a primary-care policy fellow. While at Penn, Dr. Whelan was active in community-based interdisciplinary projects and in 1991 became one of the first nurse practitioners in Pennsylvania to obtain direct Medicaid reimbursement. During this process she established a pediatric primary care clinic in a community center in West Philadelphia. For this effort, she was awarded the Secretary’s Award for Innovations in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in 1995, presented by Donna Shalala, Secretary of Health and Human Services. Dr. Whelan currently teaches in the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. Her research has continued to examine how Academic Health Centers interact with their surrounding communities. Through her appointment with the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute, she has worked with all sectors of the University to understand how to better serve the East Baltimore community. Dr. Whelan conducted a thorough assessment of access-to-care issues for the residents of East Baltimore, focusing especially on the uninsured and questions of racial and ethnic disparities in health care. She speaks nationally on academic–community partnerships, safety-net providers, and primary care.