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Sandra C. Quinn

Chair, Family Science and Senior Associate Director, Maryland Center for Health Equity

Dr. Quinn is Professor and Chair of the Department of Family Science and Senior Associate Director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity, School of Public Health at the University of Maryland. She is engaged in research related to the COVID-19 and influenza vaccines specifically focused on vaccine acceptance among African Americans and other communities of color, and crisis and emergency risk communication with a specific focus on minority populations.


SPH | Room 1142L

(301) 405-8825

Areas of Interest

Core Faculty

Vaccine attitudes and behavior; crisis and emergency risk communication; health equity; minority participation in research; social media and vaccine narratives

Dr. Quinn is an experienced, senior researcher. She is currently co-PI on an MPowering the State grant, Predicting and Improving COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance Among African Americans during the Coronavirus Pandemic. She is also Principal Investigator (with S. Thomas) for the Prince George’s County team and a member of the Working Committee on a Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative grant, “The Community’s Role in an Equitable and Effective COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout” (Schoch-Spana and Brunson, PIs).

Working with colleagues from Family Science, Dr. Quinn served as Principal Investigator on a contract from the Maryland Health Care Commission for a legislatively mandated Study of Mortality Rates of African American Infants and Infants in Rural Areas in Maryland. She was Principal Investigator (w. D. Broniatowski) on a recently completed National Institute of General Medical Sciences/NIH grant, Supplementing Survey-Based Analyses of Group Vaccination Narratives and Behaviors Using Social Media. She was Principal Investigator (with S. Thomas) on a National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities/NIH Center of Excellence in Race, Ethnicity and Health Disparities Research. Within the COE, she was the Principal Investigator on a mixed-methods study, Uncovering and Addressing Cultural Beliefs behind Vaccine Racial Disparities, both completed in late 2017. She was also the Principal Investigator on two FDA-funded studies: 1) Public Attitudes Toward Medical Countermeasures and 2) Investigating Factors Associated with Participation of Racial & Ethnic Minority Populations in FDA Regulated Research.

Dr. Quinn was also Principal Investigator (with Thomas) of a Grand Opportunity grant from the Office of the Director, NIH: “Bioethics Research Infrastructure Initiative: Building Trust between Minorities and Researchers”. As the Principal Investigator of a CDC funded study, Public Attitudes Toward H1N1 Influenza, she led two national surveys during the H1N1 influenza pandemic, becoming the first to examine public attitudes toward emergency use authorizations for drugs and vaccines and to test an empirical model of disparities in exposure, susceptibility and access to care during a pandemic. As Principal Investigator, she also conducted a CDC-funded qualitative study of communication between postal workers and public health professionals during the 2001 anthrax attack.

Dr. Quinn was also a co-investigator and member of the Mentor Training Core of the NIH-funded, National Research Mentoring Network. She is currently a member of the NIH-funded, COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN) expert panel on older adults, the Maryland SARS CoV-2 Vaccine Technical Advisory Group, and the National Minority Quality Forum’s CDC COVID and Influenza Vaccination Cooperative Agreement. She was an appointed member of a National Academies of Science Committee on Evidence-Based Practices for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response (2018-2020).

PhD, Health Education

1993, University of Maryland

M.Ed., Counseling

1977, The American University

BS, Social Welfare

1972, Virginia Commonwealth University


FMSC 606: Ethnic Families and Health

FMSC 879: Preparing Future Faculty and Professionals

2019 *Ann Nolte 2019 Writing Award for our publication, Weaponized Health Communication: Twitter Bots and Russian Trolls Amplify the Vaccine Debate, in the American Journal of Public Health

2016-2021 Fellow, Fulbright Senior Specialist Program Roster

2006-2011 Fellow, Fulbright Senior Specialist Program Roster

2010 Fulbright Senior Specialist Grantee, Universidade de Fortaleza, Brazil

2006-2007 Selected Fellow, 2006-2007, Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program for Women

2005 Health Education Mentor Award, Society for Public Health Education

  1. QUINN, S. and Andrasik, M. Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy in BIPOC Communities — Toward Trustworthiness, Partnership, and Reciprocity. New England Journal of Medicine. March 31, 2021. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp21031
  2. QUINN, S., Jamison, A., & Freimuth, V.S. Communicating Effectively About Emergency Use Authorizations and Vaccines during the COVID-19 Pandemic. American Journal of Public Health. 2021 Mar;111(3):355-358. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2020.306036. Epub 2020 Nov 25. PMID: 33237801; PMCID: PMC7893369.
  3. Schoch-Spana, M., Brunson, E. K., Long, R., Ruth, A., Ravi, S. J., Trotochaud, M., Borio, L., Brewer, J., Buccina, J., Connell, N., Hall, L. L., Kass, N., Kirkland, A., Koonin, L., Larson, H., Lu, B. F., Omer, S. B., Orenstein, W. A., Poland, G. A., Privor-Dumm, L., QUINN, S., … White, A. (2020). The public's role in COVID-19 vaccination: Human-centered recommendations to enhance pandemic vaccine awareness, access, and acceptance in the United States. Vaccine, S0264-410X(20)31368-2. Advance online publication. PMCID: PMC7598529 PMID: 33160755
  4. QUINN, S., Lama, Y., Jamison, A., Shah, V., & Freimuth, V. Willingness of Black and White Americans to Accept Vaccines in Development: An Exploratory Study using National Survey Data. American Journal of Health Promotion. December 2020 online ahead of press.
  5. Jamison, A., Broniatowski, D.A., QUINN, S., Smith, M.C., Malik, A., Parikh, K. & Dredze, M. Adapting and Expanding a Typology of Vaccine Misinformation for Twitter. American Journal of Public Health. 2020;110:S331-S318.
  6. QUINN, S., Jamison, A., An, J., Freimuth, V., Hancock, G. & Musa, D. Breaking Down the Monolith: Understanding Flu Vaccine Uptake among African Americans. Social Science and Medicine: Population Health. April 2018. 4: 25-36.
  7. Jamison, A., QUINN, S., & Freimuth, V. “You don’t trust a government vaccine”: Narratives of Institutional Trust and Influenza Vaccination among African American and White Adults. Social Science & Medicine. 2018. 221: 87-94.
  8. QUINN, S., Jamison, A., Freimuth, V., An, J., Hancock, G. & Musa, D. Exploring Racial Influences on Flu Vaccine Attitudes and Behavior: Results of a National Survey of African American and White Adults. Vaccine. 2017. 35: 1167–1174
  9. Freimuth, V., Jamison, A., An, J., Hancock, G & QUINN, S. Determinants of Trust in the Flu Vaccine for African Americans and Whites. Social Science & Medicine. 2017: 193. 70-79.