Aparna Soni, a doctoral candidate in business economics and public policy in the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, is one of nearly 20 scholars whose work is being supported by the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy.
The Horowitz Foundation has awarded Soni a $7,500 grant in support of her research project, “Reducing Health Disparities among People Diagnosed with Cancer: The Role of Public Health Insurance Expansions.”
This is the 20th year that the Horowitz Foundation has provided graduate education funding in the social sciences. Its highly competitive grants are among the largest available to social science students.
Other grant recipients this year also are studying timely issues, such as racial disparity in police action shootings, alleviating homelessness and immigration enforcement.
Through her research, Soni explores how policies and incentives can improve health outcomes and reduce risky behaviors in the population. This grant will support her research project assessing the impacts of public health insurance expansions on health outcomes for people with cancer.
Last year, she was the corresponding author of a research letter in JAMA Oncology which reported that the number of newly diagnosed cancer patients who were uninsured fell by one-third in the first year of implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Soni also coauthored a paper published in the American Journal of Public Health, suggesting that public health can lead to fewer cancer deaths and better outcomes for patients.
“Cancer is a leading cause of death among non-elderly Americans, and there exist large racial, geographic, and income-based disparities in cancer detection and mortality,” she said. “I hope that this research will help inform policymakers the extent to which health insurance expansions can reduce such disparities and improve outcomes for people with cancer. I am grateful to the Horowitz Foundation for their recognition and generous support of this work.”
“Aparna has been an inspiration at Kelley and beyond, through her productivity and dedication to her work on healthcare markets and policy,” said Jeff Prince, professor and chairperson of business economics and public policy. “It is wonderful to have the Horowitz Foundation acknowledge and reward the promise of her research with their generous support.”
Soni also has a Master of Arts degree in economics and a Bachelor of Arts in economics and journalism from Boston University.