Institute for Families in Society

Faculty and Staff

Nathaniel Bell

Title: Director of Research and Evaluation
Department: IFS/IHPR
Institute for Families in Society
Phone: 803-576-6781
Becky Wilkerson

(PhD, Geography, Simon Fraser University)
Nathaniel Bell is the Director of Research and Evaluation within the Division of Integrated Health and Policy Research at the Institute for Families in Society. He is a tenured faculty member of the College of Social Work. His research examines how individuals access health care, what contexts shape the treatments they receive, and what happens to patients because of where they live and how far they must travel to obtain care. The main reason for intersecting these broad concepts is that it leads to value-added knowledge about whether the services delivered to consumers are accessible and of high quality. From comparative studies and an understanding of why services are not accessible, it becomes possible to organize, finance, and deliver care more effectively. Much of Nathaniel’s research seeks to improve healthcare services for underserved, low-income, vulnerable communities with decreasing provider access.

Nathaniel began his scientific career at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, studying place-based measures of socioeconomic deprivation as tools for healthcare policy and health promotion. As a post-doctorate at the University of British Columbia, he worked at Vancouver General Hospital and the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation, examining outcomes of trauma care as well as how trauma systems perform, ensuring access to definitive life-saving care for rural populations. At the University of South Carolina, Nathaniel has expanded on this work through numerous collaborations with clinicians and health services scientists studying social and spatial risk factors that shape health outcomes related to cancer care, reproductive health care, trauma, and other conditions. He uses this information to promote promising clinical and health policy interventions. Nathaniel is also co-Chair of the Trauma Services Research Council at Prisma-Richland Hospital.