Mary Joan Roach, PhD

Mary Joan RoachTITLE

Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, CWRU
Research Scholar, Center for Health Care Research & Policy


As an Urban and Medical Sociologist, Dr. Roach takes a population perspective in her research with a special interest in how social characteristics and structure determine the health and well-being of groups living with traumatic injuries. Her research has primarily focused on persons with traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI).  Dr. Roach uses mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative methods including large electronic health record databases) to evaluate ways to improve health care and outcomes for persons with a disability. 

A main interest of hers has been to engage and include patients, clinicians and community organizations in all phases of the research process. A recent example of this was a pilot project on preventative health behaviors of persons with SCI. This project was born out of focus group discussions with persons with SCI, a non-profit community organization for persons with a disability (Linking Employment Abilities and Potential), physiatrists specializing in spinal cord injury, and the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the National SCI Association. 



American Sociological Association
American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine


  • Long-term functional and quality of life outcomes for persons with traumatic injuries.  
  • How race, ethnicity, age and neighborhood environmental factors combine to influence health outcomes of persons with a disability.
  • Leveraging Administrative and patient reported outcomes to improve health and quality of life for persons with a disability.
  • The relationship of Internet and broadband access for persons with a disability and ability to manage chronic health conditions.


MetroHealth System
2500 MetroHealth Dr.
Rammelkamp, R222A
Cleveland, OH 44109
Phone: 216-778-8781
Email: [email protected]