Darcy Freedman, PhD, MPH

Mary Ann Swetland Professor of Environmental Health Sciences
Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences
School of Medicine
Mary Ann Swetland Center for Environmental Health
School of Medicine
Core Faculty
Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods
School of Medicine
Secondary Faculty
Division of General Medical Sciences
Center for Community Health Integration
School of Medicine
Secondary Faculty
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences
Faculty Associate
Schubert Center for Child Studies
Population and Cancer Prevention Program
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

An applied population health scientist and community psychologist, Dr. Darcy A. Freedman is nationally recognized for her contributions to community nutrition. She brings a trans-disciplinary background to her research agenda, developing policy and systems-level interventions to promote health equity by addressing the complex interplay between public health and the environment. Since joining Case Western Reserve University in 2013, she has successfully grown a research program focused on the intersection of health equity and community nutrition. Dr. Freedman’s technology, FM Tracks, is now the gold-standard method used nationally to evaluate healthy food incentive programming. She regularly advises and testifies to inform federal, state, and local nutrition policy.

Teaching Information

Courses Taught

Introduction to Population Health
Dissemination and Implementation Science for Health Promotion
Health Behavior and Prevention Seminar

Research Information

Research Interests

  • Food Access Interventions (e.g., farmers’ markets, community gardens, food policy)
  • Community-engagement and Civic Participation
  • Public Health Literacy
  • Primary Prevention of Chronic Disease (e.g., Obesity, diabetes, cancer)
  • Nutrition and Food Security

Research Goal

  • Reduce chronic disease trends and inequities through efforts to promote healthy community environments.

Professional Memberships

Society for Community Research and Action, Co-Chair of Community Health Interest Group
American Public Health Association, Food and Nutrition Interest Group
NIH, Community Level Health Promotion Study Section (Standing Member) (2017-2021)
Pew Charitable Trusts, Expert Panelist, National Health Impact Assessment Evaluation
Ohio Department of Health, Public Health and Health Services Block Grant Advisory Council
Co-Chair (elected), Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition


View more publications on the PubMed website

Recent Publications

Publishing impact 

Metrics from Web of Science/publons and Scopus/SciVal: 

  • H-index: 19
  • Total publications: 64
  • Total citations: 1,523
  • Publications in top-tier journals: 28%
  • Collaborative publishing national/international: 96%/4% 

Editorial roles:

  • International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition, and Public Health
  • Social Work Research


Doctor of Philosophy
Community Research and Action
Vanderbilt University
Graduate Certificate
Women’s and Gender Studies
Vanderbilt University
Master of Public Health
Behavioral Sciences
Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health
Bachelor of Arts
Miami University

Additional Information

Contributions to science:

  • Food systems and health
  • Implementation and dissemination science for health promotion
  • Community systems science for environmental health equity
  • Participatory research methodologies

Active grants:

  • Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, Michael & Susan Dell Family Foundation, National Dairy Council, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Steven J. McHale Family Foundation, Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, Saint Luke’s Foundation: Modeling the Future of Food in Your Neighborhood Study
  • NIH/NIDA: Optimizing Healing in Ohio Communities: National HEALing Communities Study
  • NIH/NCI: Speeding Research Tested Interventions-FreshLink Ambassadors
  • NIH/NCATS: Cleveland Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative 
  • NIH/NIDCR: Multi-level Interventions to Reduce Caries Disparities in Primary Care Settings
  • NIH/NIMHD: Involving communities in delivering and disseminating health disparity interventions (Center for Reducing Health Disparities). 
  • NIH/NIA: Modeling and Forecasting Atherosclerotic Risk: A Complex Systems Approach (NEO-CARE). 
  • NIH/NIDDK T35: The Case Medical Student Summer Research Program (MSSRP)
  • CDC: CWRU Prevention Research Centers for Healthy Neighborhoods
  • USDA: Harvesting Health in the Heartland through Statewide Nutrition Incentive Program Expansion
  • USDA: Building capacity for obesity prevention

Student and mentee totals, over Case Western Reserve University career/full academic career:

  • Master’s: 5/7    
  • PhD: 8/12              
  • PhD graduates’ current careers: 
    • Marywood University, Department of Social Work, Assistant Professor
    • University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, Post-doctoral fellow
    • Center for Health Services and Policy Research, University of South Carolina Research Associate
    • University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Assistant Professor
    • University of Missouri, School of Social Work, St. Louis, Assistant Professor
    • School of Medicine Consultation Center at Yale University, Postdoctoral Fellow
    • CWRU Mary Ann Swetland Center for Environmental Health, Postdoctoral Scholar