Dr. Morgan Shields is an Assistant Professor at Washington University in Saint Louis, Brown School, where she researches the quality and accountability of behavioral healthcare and teaches graduate-level courses in research methods and health policy. She directs the IDEAL (Inclusive, Dignified, Equitable and Effective, Accountable, and Loving) Lab, which identifies strategies for providing patient-centered care. Dr. Shields' research seeks to identify implementation strategies to improve the use of evidence-based practices, with a focus on patient-centeredness and equity. She is particularly focused on identifying policies (e.g., payment, regulations) to motivate and support quality improvement in behavioral health care.
Dr. Shields is one of few people studying the quality of inpatient psychiatry. Her research identifying disparities in quality performance at the Veterans Health Administration led to internal investigations by the Deputy Under Secretary for Health and Organizational Excellence. In 2019, the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health revamped its critical incident monitoring system in response to Dr. Shields’ research. Her analyses highlighting the systematic exclusion of psychiatric patients from national measurement of patient experience has prompted action from federal entities to address this discrimination. Dr. Shields also serves as an expert in related legal cases.
Dr. Shields received training in implementation science and community-academic research through an NIMH T32 postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. She has a Ph.D. from Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management, where she was an NIAAA T32 fellow and a Harvard Kennedy School Rappaport Public Policy fellow, and an M.Sc. from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Shields publishes in outlets such as Health Affairs, Medical Care, and the JAMA Network.