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Sarah Hawley, PhD, MPH


Dr. Sarah T. Hawley is a Professor in the Division of General Medicine at the University of Michigan and a Research Investigator at the Ann Arbor VA Center of Excellence in Health Services Research & Development. She holds a PhD in health services research from the University of North Carolina and an MPH from Yale University Department of Public Health. Her primary research is in decision making related to cancer prevention and control, particularly among racial/ethnic minority and underserved populations.

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Press Kit


CBSSM acts at the premier intellectual gathering place of clinicians, social scientists, bioethicists, and all others interested in improving individual and societal health through scholarship and service.

Schedule an Interview

Members of the media interested in interviewing Center members can call the UMHS Public Relations office at 734-764-2220 between the hours 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time, or email us directly at

Fri, May 08, 2015

The vaccine appears to slow spread in those with advanced breast cancer. Sarah Hawley was quoted, "The preliminary finding that the vaccine improved progression-free survival in patients with metastatic cancer [when the disease has spread to other parts of the body] is especially exciting because of the lack of good treatments for metastatic breast cancer... If the authors can replicate this result in future trials in metastatic and non-metastatic or newly diagnosed patients, this will represent an important direction for the field of breast cancer treatment research."

PIHCD- Jacob Kurlander

Wed, February 08, 2017, 4:00pm
NCRC bldg 16 B004E

Jacob will be seeking feedback on a survey on use of proton pump inhibitors.

CBSSM Seminar: Jan Van den Bulck, PhD

Tue, November 28, 2017, 3:00pm
NCRC, Building 16, Room 266C

Jan Van den Bulck, PhD
Professor, Communication Studies

"Are the media (re-)defining how we interact with each other and with the world?

We know everything there is to know about people we have never even met. Through social media, we follow their every move. We even know their pets. Our media use interferes with healthy sleep, family meals, or even our work. Our children need levels of self-control to manage distractions that threaten their schoolwork. Or do they?"

Fri, May 08, 2015

This commentary has been signed by 159 scholars of health law, bioethics, medicine and pharmacy from U.S., Canadian, European, Australian and New Zealand institutions.

Research Topics: 

Patients’ Attitudes toward Considering Cost When Making Medical Decisions (Oct-13)

Imagine that for the last three months, you have had a very bad headache – the worst in your life – that won’t go away, even when you take aspirin. In addition to the headache you have also been feeling dizzy. Your doctor tells you that you need to get a brain scan to test whether the headache is being caused by something serious. There are two possible scans you can get: a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or a Computerized Axial Tomography (CT) scan.  The MRI provides a slightly more detailed picture and might find something that the CT misses, such as an extremely uncommon blood vessel problem, but nearly all problems serious enough to need treatment would be seen on either the MRI or the CT.

Thu, November 23, 2017

Reshma Jagsi, Director of CBSSM, was recently quoted for the Reuters Health article, "Female doctors adjust lives to accommodate home."

Research Topics: 

What We Do


Research has been the focus and the strength of the faculty members affiliated with CBSSM. Researchers have pursued groundbreaking investigations topics such as:

  • doctor-patient communication
  • psychological adaptation to disability
  • health care rationing
  • social cognition
  • decision aids to communicate risk
  • informed consent
  • deliberative democracy


An important mission of CBSSM is to extend the ethics education medical students receive at the University of Michigan. Our current curriculum efforts are focused on enriching the existing curriculum and on making instruction on medical ethics for undergraduate medical students at UM more systematic and focused. Our goal is to increase medical student interest in ethics and their competence in recognizing and resolving ethical issues. Our strategy is to weave ethics into the curriculum throughout the 4 years of training in a way that allows students to build upon what they know of ethical theory and to apply that knowledge to their clinical practice. Additionally, given CBSSM faculty expertise, our aim is to create novel ethics curriculum components that incorporate our empirical work in bioethics and our particular expertise in decision science. 


CBSSM scholars perform the basic and applied scientific research that will improve health care policy and practice, to benefit patients and their families, health care providers, third-party payers, policy makers, and the general public. In our Decision of the Month web feature, we turn a recent research finding into an interactive decision that a patient or a policy maker might face.


The Program in Clinical Ethics within CBSSM represents an expansion of existing services designed to promote a culture of patient-centered excellence by developing a comprehensive set of ethics-related activities.  The aims of this program are to: liaise with and provide support to the adult and pediatrics ethics committees; streamline clinical ethics consultation; assist with ethics-related policy development on a regular and proactive basis; organize and administer structured educational programs in clinical ethics; and coordinate empiric research with relevance to clinical ethics within CBSSM.


Check out Sarah Hawley's IHPI profile as this month's featured member here.