Marian Jarlenski

Associate Professor
University of Pittsburgh

Marian Jarlenski, PhD, MPH, is a health services researcher and policy researcher whose work aims to advance knowledge about how to improve pregnancy health outcomes. Her research uses two primary approaches. First, her work employs large real-world data to elucidate the association between exposures and outcomes, particularly in cases where exposures cannot be randomized. Second, her work uses implementation science methods to test the implementation and effectiveness of interventions to instill evidence-based practices in sustainable ways in healthcare systems. Dr. Jarlenski is an expert in Medicaid policies and programs and has led a range of research on focusing on substance use disorders in pregnancy and postpartum among low-income populations, and the effects of state Medicaid policies on the health of women and children. Currently, she leads NIH-funded research projects to investigate how to improve pregnancy outcomes for persons with opioid use disorders. Additionally, Dr. Jarlenski collaborates on other research and quality improvement projects to improve pregnancy care and outcomes. Her goal is to conduct high-quality research that will advance health and health equity. 


The burdens of racist policies have produced vastly worse pregnancy and birth outcomes for Black and Native populations relative to White populations in the United States. Because state Medicaid programs are the largest single payer for pregnancy care in the country, changes to Medicaid policies are an important way to implement structural interventions to promote racial equity.