Sarah Gollust PhD » Public Health Administration and Policy (PHAP)

Research Interests:Public opinion and news media influence in health policy; health disparities; childhood obesity; ethical issues in public health practice and policy.

Associate Professor, Health Policy & Management

Address Division of Health Policy & Management 420 Delaware Street SE, 15-232 PWB MMC 729 Minneapolis MN 55455 United States Work Phone: 612-626-2618
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Dr. Gollust is a social scientist studying the intersections of communication, politics, and health policy. Her work examines the processes through which health information gets translated into the media, shapes public attitudes and opinions, and influences the health policy process. By describing the political, social, ethical, and psychological factors that moderate this process – and often pose as barriers – her research yields insight into how communication to the public and policymakers can be more effective. She has applied this research approach to several important public health challenges, including policies to address obesity, health disparities, the Affordable Care Act, and cancer screening and prevention. She weaves this expertise into her teaching in public health ethics and health policy analysis. From 2008 to 2010 she was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Ph.D., Health Services Organization and Policy, University of Michigan, 2008
  • B.A., Biology, Wesleyan University, 2001


Ethics, Health Communications, Obesity, Policy / Politics

Professional Experience:

  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar, University of Pennsylvania, 2008-2010
  • Bioethics Fellow, National Institutes of Health, 2001-2003


  • McKnight Land-Grant Professor, 2014-2016
  • Rackham Pre-doctoral Fellowship, University of Michigan, 2007-2008
  • Regents Fellowship, University of Michigan School of Public Health, 2003-2006
  • National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Intramural Research Award, 2003
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 2001

Selected Publications:

  • Barry CL, Kennedy Hendricks A, Gollust SE, Niederdeppe J, Bachhuber MA, Webster D, McGinty EE.  Understanding Americans’ Views on Opioid Analgesic Abuse. Addiction. 2016;111(1):85-93.
  • Gollust SE, Rahn W. The Bodies Politic: Chronic Health Conditions and Voter Turnout in the 2008 Election. Journal of Politics, Policy, and Law. 2015;40(6):1115-55
    Nagler RH, Fowler EF, Gollust SE. Covering Controversy: What Are the Implications for Women’s Health? Women’s Health Issues. 2015; 25(4):318-21.
  • Wolfson J, Gollust SE, Niederdeppe J, Barry CL. The Role of Parents in Public Views on Strategies to Address Childhood Obesity in the United States. Milbank Quarterly. 2015; 93(1): 73-111.
  • Fowler EF, Gollust SE. The Content and Effect of Politicized Health Controversies. In “The Politics of Science: Political Values and the Production, Communication, and Reception of Scientific Knowledge,” ed. Elizabeth Suhay and James N. Druckman, The ANNALS of of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 2015; 658 (1): 155-171.
  • Niederdeppe J, Gollust SE, Barry CL. Inoculation in Competitive Framing: Examining Message Effects on Policy Preferences. Public Opinion Quarterly. 2014; 78(3): 634-655.
  • Gollust SE, Barry CL, Niederdeppe J, Baum L, Franklin Fowler E.  First Impressions: Geographic Variation in Media Messages During the First Phase of ACA Implementation.  Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. 2014; 39(6):1253-62.
  • Gollust SE, Kite H, Callanan RA, Weisman SR, Benning SJ, Nanney MS. Use of Research Evidence in State Policymaking for Childhood Obesity Prevention in Minnesota. American Journal of Public Health. 2014; 104(10):1894-900.
  • Grande D, Gollust SE, Pany M, Seymour J, Goss A, Kilaru A, Meisel Z. Translating Research For Health Policy: Researchers’ Perceptions And Use Of Social Media. Health Affairs. 2014; 33(7): 1278-85.
  • Jou J, Niederdeppe J, Barry CL, Gollust SE. Strategic Messaging for Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxation: Lessons from Recent Political Campaigns. American Journal of Public 2014; 104: 847-853.
  • Gollust SE, Barry CL, Niederdeppe J. Americans’ Opinions about Policies to Reduce Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages. Preventive Medicine. 2014; 11(63C): 52-57.
  • Kite H, Gollust SE, Callanan RA, Weisman SR, Benning SJ, Nanney MS. Uses of Research Evidence in the State Legislative Process to Promote Active Environments in Minnesota. American Journal of Health Promotion. 2014; 28(3 Suppl): S44-6.
  • Gollust SE, Cappella JN. Understanding Public Resistance to Messages about Health Disparities. Journal of Health Communication. 2014; e-published 1/13/14.
  • Gollust SE, Dwyer A. Ethics of Clinician Communication in a Changing Communication Landscape: Guidance from Professional Societies. Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monograph. 2013; 2013(47): 147-52.
  • Gollust SE, Niederdeppe J, Barry C. Framing the Consequences of Childhood Obesity to Increase Public Support for Obesity Prevention Policy. American Journal of Public Health. 2013; 103(11): e96-102.
  • Gollust SE. Obesity in Red and Blue: Understanding the Associations between Politics and Obesity. Preventive Medicine, 2013; 57(5): 436-7.
  • Barry CL, Brescoll V, Gollust SE. Framing Childhood Obesity: How Individualizing the Problem Affects Public Support for Prevention. Political Psychology. 2013; 34(3): 327-349.
  • Gollust SE, Attanasio L, Dempsey AM, Benson A, Fowler EF. “Policy Matters” – Political and News Media Factors in Shaping Public Awareness of the HPV Vaccine. Women’s Health Issues. 2013; 23(3): e143-51.
  • Niederdeppe J, Gollust SE, Jarlenski M, Nathanson A, Barry CL. News Coverage of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxes: Pro- and Anti- Tax Arguments in Public Discourse. American Journal of Public Health. 2013; 103(6): 392-8.
  • Niederdeppe J, Bigman CA, Gonzales AL, Gollust SE. Communication about Health Disparities in the Mass Media. Journal of Communication. 2013; 63: 8-30.
  • Barry CL, Niederdeppe J, Gollust SE. Framing the Debate over Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxes: Results from a 2011 National Public Opinion Survey. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2013; 44(2):158-163.
  • Barry CL, Gollust SE, Niederdeppe J. Are Americans Ready to Solve the Weight of the Nation? New England Journal of Medicine. 2012; 367(5): 389-91.
  • Gollust SE, Eboh I, Barry CL. Picturing Obesity: Analyzing the Social Epidemiology of Obesity Conveyed through U.S. News Media Images. Social Science and Medicine. 2012. 74:1544-1551.
  • Fowler EF, Gollust SE, Dempsey AF, Lantz PM, Ubel PA. Issue Emergence, Evolution of Controversy and Implications for Competitive Framing: The Case of the HPV Vaccine. International Journal of Press/Politics.2012; 17(2): 169-189.
  • Gollust SE, Lynch J. Who Deserves Health Care?  Effects of Causal Attributions and Group Cues on Public Attitudes about Responsibility for Health Care Costs. Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law. 2011; 36(6): 1061-95.
  • Grande D, Gollust SE, Asch DA. Polling Analysis: Public Support for Health Reform Was Broader Than Reported and Depended on How Proposals Were Framed.  Health Affairs 2011; 30(7):1242-9.
  • Barry CL, Jarlenski M, Grob R, Schlesinger M., Gollust SE. News Media Framing of Childhood Obesity. Pediatrics 2011; 128(1):132-45.
  • Gollust SE, Gordon ES, Zayac C, GriffinG, Christman MF, Pyeritz RE, Wawak L, Bernhardt BA. Motivations and Perceptions of Early Adopters of Personal Genomics: Perspectives from Research Participants. Public Health Genomics 2012; 15(1):22-30.
  • Lynch J, Gollust SE.  Playing Fair: Fairness Beliefs and Health Policy Preferences in the United States. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law.  2010; 35(6): 849-87.
  • Gollust SE, Lantz PM, Ubel PA. Images of Illness: How Causal Claims and Racial Associations Influence Public Preferences for Diabetes Research Spending.  Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law.  2010; 35(6): 921-59.
  • Gollust SE, Dempsey AM, Lantz PM, Ubel PA, Fowler EF.  Controversy Undermines Support for State Mandates on the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine.  Health Affairs 2010; 11: 2041-2046.
  • Gollust SE, Lantz PM, Ubel PA. The Polarizing Effect of News Media Messages about the Social Determinants of Health. American Journal of Public Health 2009; 99(12): 2160-7.
  • Gollust SE, Lantz PM. Communicating Population Health: Print News Media Coverage of Type 2 Diabetes. Social Science and Medicine 2009; 69(7): 1091-8.
  • Baum NM, Gollust SE, Goold SD, Jacobson PD.  Ethical Issues in Public Health Practice in Michigan.American Journal of Public Health. 2009; 99(2):369-74.