Sara McLafferty



  • Ph.D., University of Iowa
  • M.A., University of Iowa
  • B.A., Barnard College, Columbia University

How do the places where we live, work and interact affect our well-being?  This question underpins my work on topics ranging from spatial mismatch to access to health care to contextual influences on health.  My current research investigates place-based inequalities in health and well-being and access to health services  for women, immigrants and racial/ethnic minorities in the United States.   An ongoing multidisciplinary project, funded by the American Cancer Society, examines the impact of inequalities in spatial and social accessibility to health services on racial disparities in prostate and colorectal cancer outcomes in Chicago.  I have also written about the use of GIS and spatial analysis methods in examining and addressing health and social issues in cities. My books include GIS and Public Health (with Ellen Cromley), A Companion to Health and Medical Geography (with Tim Brown and Graham Moon), Geospatial Analysis of Environmental Health (with Juliana Maantay), Geographies of Women’s Health (with Isabel Dyck and Nancy Lewis), and Location Strategies for Retail and Service Firms (with Avijit Ghosh). I am currently an Associate Editor of Health and Place and serve on the editorial boards of the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Geographical Analysis, and Spatial and Spatiotemporal Epidemiology.