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Personal profile

Research Interests

Geography of Health
Urban Geography
GIS and Spatial Analysis

Professional Information

How do the places where we live, work and interact affect our well-being?  This question underpins my work on topics ranging from spatial mismatch to access to health care to contextual influences on health.  My current research investigates place-based inequalities in health and well-being and access to health services  for women, immigrants and racial/ethnic minorities in the United States.   My ongoing work examines the impacts of increasing economic inequality and residential segregation on women's commuting times and modes and on maternal and infant health outcomes.  I also use and develop GIS and spatial analysis methods for examining health and social issues in cities and planning public health interventions. My books include GIS and Public Health (with Ellen Cromley), A Companion to Health and Medical Geography (with Tim Brown and Graham Moon), Geospatial Analysis of Environmental Health (with Juliana Maantay), Geographies of Women’s Health (with Isabel Dyck and Nancy Lewis), and Location Strategies for Retail and Service Firms (with Avijit Ghosh). I am currently an Associate Editor of Health and Place and serve on the editorial boards of Geographical Analysis, and Spatial and Spatiotemporal Epidemiology.


Ph.D., University of Iowa
M.A., University of Iowa
B.A., Barnard College, Columbia University


Office Address

Geography & GIScience
261 CAB
605 E Springfield
Champaign, IL 61820

Office Phone

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Research Output

Place and quantitative methods: Critical directions in quantitative approaches to health and place

McLafferty, S., Jan 2020, In : Health and Place. 61, 102232.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

  • Spatial access to primary care providers and colorectal cancer-specific survival in Cook County, Illinois

    Freeman, V. L., Naylor, K. B., Boylan, E. E., Booth, B. J., Pugach, O., Barrett, R. E., Campbell, R. T. & McLafferty, S. L., 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Cancer medicine.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Breast cancer staging by subtype in the Lower Mississippi Delta region States

    Zahnd, W. E., Sherman, R. L., Klonoff-Cohen, H., McLafferty, S. L., Farner, S. & Rosenblatt, K. A., Dec 2019, In : Cancer Epidemiology. 63, 101624.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Disparities in breast cancer subtypes among women in the lower Mississippi Delta Region states

    Zahnd, W. E., Sherman, R. L., Klonoff-Cohen, H., McLafferty, S. L., Farner, S. & Rosenblatt, K. A., Jun 1 2019, In : Cancer Causes and Control. 30, 6, p. 591-601 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Press / Media

    CyberGIS Center produces platform to track and help prevent COVID-19

    Shaowen Wang, Sara L McLafferty, Vincent L. Freeman & Bill Jackson


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Research