Raina MerchantMD, MSHP, FAHA
Director

Raina Merchant serves as the director of the Penn Medicine Center for Digital Health, an associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, co-director of the Penn National Clinical Scholars Program and a senior fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics.  She has secondary appointments in the Department of Internal Medicine and Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care. She is a member of the editorial board of JAMA.

Raina attended Yale University for her undergraduate degree, the University of Chicago for Medical School, and the University of Pennsylvania for a Masters of Science in Health Policy Research and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program. 

Her work is at the intersection of digital media and health. She has specifically conducted projects evaluating health behaviors and communication on digital platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Instagram, and Google.  

One of Raina's projects involves “banking language” through the development of a unique longitudinal database of social media data merged with health record data. Much of her work also bridges new technologies in the field of cardiovascular health and resuscitation science. In this context, she is the director of the MyHeartMap Challenge, a social media and crowdsourcing project aimed at improving (automated external defibrillator) AED access and awareness by engaging the public to serve as citizen scientists. 

Raina is currently funded by the NIH and has over 100 peer-reviewed publications in journals such as NEJM, JAMA, Circulation, and Health Affairs. Her work has been featured in Wired, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal and others. She was recognized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as one of 10 young investigators likely to have a significant impact on the future of health and healthcare in the U.S.