Jessica Sharac

Research Scientist, Department of Health Policy and Management, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University
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About Jessica

Jessica Sharac, PhD, MSc, MPH is a Research Scientist with the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative and the Department of Health Policy and Management at George Washington University. She conducts research on community health centers, women’s health and family planning, and behavioral health.


In the News

Research discussed by Michael Tomasky, in "Texas: Where Crazy Gets Elected," The Daily Beast, February 26, 2014.


"Using Payment Reform Strategies to Strengthen Family Planning Services at Community Health Centers," (with Sara Rosenbaum, Peter Shin, and Susan F. Wood), January 2015.

Argues that coupling tools such as CMS’s Innovation Accelerator Program with up-­­front investments from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), state Medicaid agencies and health centers are ideally positioned to work together to improve the scope and quality of family planning services for health center patients at all points along the health care continuum, beginning with preconception care and continuing throughout the childbearing cycle. 

"Assessing the Potential Impact of State Policies on Community Health Centers’ Outreach and Enrollment Activities," (with Peter Shin, Julia Zur, Carmen Alvarez, and Sara Rosenbaum), Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative and George Washington University, December 31, 2013.

Uses data from a nationwide survey to examine the early outreach and enrollment efforts of 606 community health centers across the United States. In states with restrictive policies toward the Affordable Care Act implementation (defined as both opting out of the Medicaid adult expansion and adopting Navigator laws), health centers are confronting significantly greater outreach and enrollment challenges compared to health centers in states that have fully implemented the law through Medicaid expansion and without outreach and enrollment restrictions.

"Assessing the Potential Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Uninsured Community Health Center Patients: A Nationwide and State-by-State Analysis," (with Peter Shin and Sara Rosenbaum), Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative and George Washington University, September 30, 2013.
Compares the impact of health reform by Medicaid expansion on community health centers and patients. The researchers estimate that more than 5 million health center patients would have gained coverage had all states participated in a sweeping Medicaid expansion.
"Community Health Centers in an Era of Health Reform: An Overview and Key Challenges to Health Center Growth," (with Peter Shin, Carmen Alvarez, and Sara Rosenbaum), Kaiser Family Foundation, February 28, 2013.

Provides a current snapshot of health centers and discusses recent developments that can be expected to have a significant impact on health center growth in the coming years.

"The Role of Community Health Centers in Providing Behavioral Health Care" (with Peter Shin and D. Richard Mauery). The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research 40, no. 4 (2013): 488-496.
Describes advantages of community health centers as behavioral health-care providers because they serve a majority low-income population and are located in medically underserved areas. It also describes their expanded role in providing behavioral health care expected under health reform due to increased patient capacity and increased insurance coverage.
"Deteriorating Access to Women’s Health Services in Texas: Potential Effects of the Women’s Health Program Affiliate Rule," (with Leighton Ku, Lara Cartwright-Smith, Erika Steinmetz, Julie Lewis, and Peter Shin), Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative and George Washington University, September 30, 2012.
Shows how Planned Parenthood affiliates are the dominant providers of care in the Women’s Health Programs in their markets, serving between half and four-fifths of the WHP patients in the five market areas of Texas we examined. The facilities in those areas would need to expand their capacity by two- to five-fold in order to absorb the patients now being served by Planned Parenthood.
"An Early Assessment of the Potential Impact of Texas’ 'Affiliation' Regulation on Access to Care for Low-income Women ," (with Peter Shin and Sara Rosenbaum), George Washington University, May 2012.

Provides an initial assessment of the implications for low-income women of Texas’ “affiliation regulation,” which would bar Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) clinics from participating in the Texas Women’s Health Program (WHP). Argues that the affiliation rule may jeopardize family planning, cancer screening, and preventive health care for approximately 52,000 women currently served by PPFA clinics under the WHP.