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Carrie Henning-Smith

Associate Professor in Division of Health Policy and Management, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

About Carrie

Henning-Smith’s research focuses on aging, disability, housing and living arrangements, disparities in physical and mental health outcomes, access to care, and long-term services and supports. She is especially interested in making connections between the social determinants of health and policy interventions to improve the quality of lives of older adults and individuals with disabilities. Henning-Smith additionally serves as the Deputy Director of the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center, and Director of Graduate Studies for the School of Public Health Health Equity Minor. Her work has been widely cited in federal and state policy documents, as well as in national and international media outlets.

In the News

"GOP Policies Will Hurt Access to Long-term Care in Rural Areas," Carrie Henning-Smith, The Hill, March 17, 2017.
"Ignoring the Needs of Mothers and Babies at a Cost to Society - and the Economy," Carrie Henning-Smith (with Linda Naval), The Hill, March 14, 2017.
Carrie Henning-Smith's research on high rate of health issues in the LGB community discussed by Kristina Busch, "LGB Adults Expect to Need Care as They Age," Minnesota Daily, September 30, 2015.
Interview on elder care Carrie Henning-Smith, CBS Minnesota, January 8, 2015.
"Middle-Aged Americans Unrealistic about Their Future Health-Care Needs, U of M Study Finds," Carrie Henning-Smith, Interview with Susan Perry, MinnPost, January 6, 2015.
Carrie Henning-Smith's research on expectations about long-term care use among middle-aged Americans discussed by Jason Millman, "Why You Shouldn't Count on Your Family Members to Take Care of You When You're Old," Washington Post, January 6, 2015.
"Americans Aged 40 to 65 Underestimate Future Health Care Needs," Carrie Henning-Smith, Interview with Todd Wilson, KSTP 5 Eyewitness News, January 5, 2015.


"Barriers to Nursing Home Care for Non-Elderly Rural Residents" (with Katy Kozhimannil and Shailendra Prasad). Journal of Applied Gerontology (2017).

Identifies unique challenges to finding appropriate long-term care for adults younger than 65 in rural areas. Uses data from 23 semi-structured interviews with rural hospital discharge planners in five states.

"Later-Life Disability in Environmental Context: Why Living Arrangements Matter" (with Tetyana Shippee and Benjamin Capistrant). The Gerontologist (2017).

Finds that older adults differ in their risk of functional decline by both their living arrangement (who they live with and what type of housing they live in) and their amount of accumulated wealth. Identifies where older adults with disabilities live and that comprehensive interventions to reduce disability progression should consider household, social, and environmental context, as well as wealth.

"Quality of Life and Psychological Distress among Older Adults: The Role of Living Arrangements" Journal of Applied Gerontology (2014).
Argues that older adults living alone or with others have lower quality of life and more psychological distress than those living with a spouse only. Also argues that women living with others are at greater risk of worse quality of life and serious psychological distress than men.
"Expectations about Future Use of Long-Term Services and Supports Vary by Current Living Arrangement" (with Tetyana Shippee). Health Affairs 34, no. 1 (2015): 39-47.
Demonstrates that middle-aged adults vastly underestimate their future needs for long-term services and supports and that expectations about needing care, as well as predicted sources of care, vary by one’s current living arrangement.
"Delayed and Unmet Need for Medical Care among Publicly Insured Adults with Disabilities" (with Donna McAlpine, Tetyana Shippee, and Michael Priebe). Medical Care 51, no. 11 (2013): 1015-1019.
Argues that respondents with a disability were more likely to experience difficulties accessing timely medical care than persons without disabilities and that persons with disabilities reported multiple barriers to health care, especially structural barriers, such as making a timely appointment and accessing transportation.
"Stigma, Discrimination, or Symptomatology Differences in Self-Reported Mental Health between U.S.-Born and Somalia-Born Black Americans" (with Tetyana Shippee, Donna McAlpine, Rachel Hardeman, and Farhiya Farah). American Journal of Public Health 103, no. 5 (2013): 861-867.
Examines differences in self-reported mental health between Black Americans born in the U.S. versus in Somalia. Argues that Somalia-born adults were more likely to report better mental health than U.S.-born Black Americans and also reported lower levels of discrimination, higher levels of stigma toward mental illness, and lower levels of depressive symptoms.