Sara Karon

Sara Karon

Senior Health Policy Scientist


PhD, Health Policy and Aging, Florence Heller School, Brandeis University
MS, Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, Harvard University
BA, Psychology, Bryn Mawr College

Sara Karon is an expert in health policy research focused on supports and services, and quality of life for people with disabilities. She is skilled in both quantitative and qualitative methods of study. Qualitative work includes environmental scans; development, implementation, and analyses of surveys and interviews; community-based participatory research; and conducting focus groups and technical expert panels. Her quantitative work draws upon many sources of data, including Medicaid and Medicare claims data and data from assorted surveys, to understand the needs and experiences of people with disabilities and chronic health care needs.

Currently, Dr. Karon directs our contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) to provide Analyses of Behavioral Health, Aging, and Disability Policy and Data. Through this contract, she is responsible for coordinating multiple research projects on a range of topics, including dementia. She is co-Investigator of a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) to develop person-centered quality measures and improve performance of home- and community-based services. She also directs RTI's work to support implementation of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Independence at Home demonstration project.

Dr. Karon is the lead developer of PEONIES, a cutting-edge approach to identifying and using person-driven outcomes to develop plans of care that incorporate informal, formal, and other community sources of care, and to measure quality of life and quality of care for people with disabilities of all types. Data produced from PEONIES supports targeted quality improvement strategies at the individual and systems levels.

Dr. Karon joined RTI in 2013. She is a member of AcademyHealth, the American Public Health Association, and the Gerontological Society of America.

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