Denise Lillvis


Denise Lillvis.

Denise Lillvis


Denise Lillvis


Research Topics

Child health services research; children and youth with special health care needs; pediatric trauma; implementation science; health politics; public health governance

Overview Publications


Denise Lillvis, PhD, joined the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health as an assistant professor in July 2022. Dr. Lillvis is a current recipient of the UB Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA)-linked KL2 Mentored Career Development Award.

Dr. Lillvis is a health services researcher that specializes in health policy and implementation. In 2017, she received her PhD from the University of Michigan, conferred by both Health Services Organization & Policy, and Political Science. While her earlier work focused on childhood immunization policy, she has developed expertise in pediatric trauma through her work with Buffalo’s John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital and UB’s Department of Surgery. Based on her training, Dr. Lillvis bring a social scientist lens to her research, whether it be an examination of the implementation of an immunization waiver program at the state level, a study of physician professional statements against gun violence, or an exploration of patterns of physical trauma in children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN).

In her research and teaching, Dr. Lillvis draws from her experiences outside of academia. Prior to pursuing her doctorate, she served as an associate, and then executive, director of a national patient advocacy nonprofit organization. While living in Southeast Michigan, she served as a board member of FernCare Free Clinic, where she helped secure funding and form partnerships with health care professionals to open the clinic’s doors. Earlier in her career, she worked for TCC Group, a management consulting firm that provided services for nonprofits, foundations and corporate philanthropies.


  • PhD, health services organization & policy and political science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • MA, public administration, Fels Institute of Government, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • BA, honors major in history, minor in political science, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pa.

Professional Training

  • NRSA post-doctoral fellow, Primary Care Research Institute, Department of Family Medicine, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, N.Y.

Professional Affiliations

  • AcademyHealth, 2011-present
  • American Political Science Association, 2013-present
  • American Public Health Association, 2017-present
  • Pediatric Trauma Society, 2020-present