Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) and Portland State University (PSU) School of Public Health

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Walter Dawson

Assistant Professor Health Management & Policy (HMP) and Health Systems & Policy (HSP)


Dr. Walter Dawson, DPhil, has a volunteer secondary faculty appointment in the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health as an Assistant Professor in the Health Systems Management & Policy (MPH and PhD) programs. In this SPH role his work includes teaching courses, mentoring students, and collaborating on research with primary faculty members.

His research focuses on the public policy implications of Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias including the financial impact on families and the public programs that finance care. His specific research interests include global health policy, long-term services and supports financing, Medicare and Medicaid, and interventions to better support people living with dementia including improved cognitive screening and dementia detection.

Dr. Dawson has extensive direct experience in national and state-level public policy including serving as staff at the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging.

In addition to his work as a faculty member in SPH, Dr. Dawson has an affiliation is with the Department of Neurology in the OHSU School of Medicine, and for the PSU Institute on Aging, he is the PI for the Evaluation of the Behavioral Health Initiative for Older Adults and People with Disabilities, Oregon Health Authority, 2019-2021. He is also a Senior Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health with the Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI) at the University of California, San Francisco.

Education, Degrees
B.A., University of Portland, 2004
M.Sc., London School of Economics, 2006
M.Sc., University of Oxford, 2008
D.Phil, University of Oxford, 2013

Awards and Honors

  • 2015: Fulbright Scholar, Canada