From her first introduction into the world of economics, Dr. Shelley I. White-Means knew she had found something special. The field opened doors for her, and provided her with a tool she could use to better understand the world around her. Now with more than three decades of experience as a health economist, Dr. White-Means has thrived as she worked to both deepen her understanding of her craft and spread the knowledge she gained to others. She has been a professor of economics in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Transnational Sciences at the College of Pharmacy within the University of Tennessee Health Science Center since 2004, and is mostly responsible for working with first year pharmacy students. Her research interests lie in health disparities, the economics of aging, the cost of care giving, minority health, and health care utilization.
Before engaging in her current line of work, Dr. White-Means accrued experience as a professor at the University of Memphis and an assistant professor at Cornell University. From 2004 to 2009, she was a member of Mustard Seed Inc., and from 2002 to 2005, she was the board chair of the Bluff City Christian College. Further, she was the board director and member of the executive committee at the Memphis Health Center from 1994 to 2003.
Some of the highlights of Dr. White-Means’s career thus far include being the recipient of the Rufus Lyman Best Paper Award through the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy in 2009, and a grantee of the National Academy of Social Insurance and the Rockefeller Foundation between 2008 and 2009 and the Department of Health and Community Services for the state of Tennessee between 2004 and 2005. She was further honored to be selected for the Excellence in Teaching Award for the College of Graduate Heath Sciences from the Student Government and Faculty Senate at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, the Cost Caregiving Grant from the Retirement Research Foundation, and the Health & Economic Productivity Grant from the Milbank Foundation. Additional accolades include being named the convocation speaker of Spelman College in 2000 and being featured in the 64th edition of Who’s Who in America.
Dr. White-Means prepared for her endeavors by completing postdoctoral work on the economics of aging at Harvard University and in applied gerontology at the Gerontological Society of America and by graduating from Leadership Memphis. She also earned a PhD in economics and a Master of Arts in economics from Northwestern University in Illinois, and a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Grinnell College in Iowa. She joined prominent professional organizations like the American Economic Association, ISPOR, the National Academy of Social Insurance, and the National Economic Association, for which she served as president in 1996, to remain on top of developments.