Gretchen E. Alkema, PhD

Gretchen E. Alkema, PhD
Vice President, Policy and Communications

Gretchen E. Alkema serves as Vice President of Policy and Communications for The SCAN Foundation.  Prior to joining the Foundation, she was the 2008-09 John Heinz/Health and Aging Policy Fellow and an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow, serving in the office of Senator Blanche L. Lincoln (D-AR).  Dr. Alkema advised Senator Lincoln on aging, health, mental health, and long-term care policy during the 2009 health care reform debate. 

Dr. Alkema holds a PhD from the University of Southern California’s Davis School of Gerontology and was awarded the John A. Hartford Doctoral Fellow in Geriatric Social Work and AARP Scholars Program Award.  She completed post-doctoral training at the VA Greater Los Angeles Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence and was a research associate for the California Fall Prevention Center of Excellence.  Her academic research focused on evaluating innovative models of chronic care management and translating effective models into practice.  

Dr. Alkema also earned a master’s in social work with a specialist in aging certificate from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder.  As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, she practiced in government and non-profit settings including community mental health, care management, adult day health care, residential care, and post-acute rehabilitation.