Arrianna Planey

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FOCUS
Arrianna is a health geographer whose dissertation examines dimensions of health care access in the United States with an emphasis on audiologists (hearing and balance specialists). As the U.S. population ages and hearing and balance disorder prevalence rises, there is a growing shortage of audiologists. The resulting inequitable spatial distribution of providers is associated with high rates of untreated hearing and balance disorders, which are linked to fall risk among older adults. Arrianna uses spatial analytic, spatial epidemiological, and qualitative methods to examine the political economy of health care systems and their effects at multiple scales—from the state level to the space of the clinic. Ultimately, she aims to make a case for health care policy that ensures access to services indispensable to the well-being of elderly and disabled people.

MORE ABOUT ARRIANNA
Arrianna is a deaf-blind geographer who switched from a clinical audiology (AuD) program back to the social sciences (Geography) to address the effects of health policy on dimensions of health care access for disabled and aging populations. She previously studied Political Science (University of Chicago) and History (U.C. Berkeley).

DISSERTATION GRANT AWARDEE — FEBRUARY 2019
A Multi-Scale Spatial & Political Economic Analysis of Health Policy, Provider Location Decisions, and Access to Audiology Services

This project seeks to analyze hearing health care workers in the United States and the ways in which structural, top-down pressures shape their spatial behavior and practice, which cumulatively affects the availability and accessibility of their services. Specifically, this project examines audiologists, focusing on how their scope of practice and autonomy as professionals are constrained by health policy at the federal and state levels and the broader political economy of inter-professional practice in health care, all of which hinge on the classification of audiologists as non-medical ‘non-physician’ care providers.

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