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Shannon A. McMahon-Rössle

PhD, MSc

Postdoctoral Researcher

Shannon A. McMahon-Rössle is a behavioral scientist trained in quantitative and qualitative research methods, and program evaluation. Her research seeks to understand the interplay between health interventions and local contexts in an effort to understand how individuals make decisions related to careseeking for maternal, newborn and child health. Methodologically, she uses qualitative approaches to inform the design and interpretation of quantitative work. Before embarking on a career in public health, Shannon was a journalist working in Washington DC, Oregon and California. Along with disseminating information to fellow scientists via academic publications, she also tries to translate research findings into policy, and to reach lay audiences via media engagement.


2015 PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
2009 MHS, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
2004 BS, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


English, French

Honors and Awards

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (Parent F31), 2012-2015
  • New Investigator in Global Health Award from the Global Health Council, 2011
  • Johns Hopkins John Snow Award in International Health for outstanding academic achievement and demonstrated potential to enhance the effectiveness and quality of public health programs, 2008
  • Johns Hopkins Framework Award in Global Health to fund independent research in Tanzania, 2008
  • Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to Turkey 2006-2007
  • University of Illinois Brody Award for excellence in feature writing, 
  • University of Illinois Dudley McAllister Award for excellence in public policy reporting, 2004
  • Washington DC Center for Politics and Journalism scholar, 2003
  • University of Illinois Nardine Scholarship for excellence in writing, 2003


McMahon SA, Mohan D, LeFevre AE, Mosha I, Mpembeni R, Chase RP, Baqui AH, Winch PJ (2015). "You should go so that others can come"; the role of facilities in determining an early departure after childbirth in Morogoro Region, Tanzania. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. Online publication forthcoming. MS:  1025929612138939.

Chase RP, McMahon SA, Winch PJ (2015). Injury careers after blast exposure among combat veterans deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. Social Science and Medicine. Advance online publication forthcoming. Ref: SSM-D-15-00631R2.

Chebet JJ, McMahon SA, Greenspan JA, Mosha IH, Callaghan-Koru JA, Killewo J, Baqui AH, Winch PJ (2015). "Every method seems to have its problems"- Perspectives on side effects of hormonal contraceptives in Morogoro region, Tanzania. BMC Women's Health. Advance Online Publication forthcoming. MS: 5099045651410614.

Chase RP, McMahon SA, Winch PJ (2015). "Tell Me What You Don't Remember": Careseeking Facilitators and Barriers in the Decade Following Repetitive Blast-Exposure among Army Combat Veterans. Military Medicine. Advance online publication forthcoming. Ms. No. MILMED-D-14- 00471R2.

McMahon SA, George AS, Chebet JJ, Mosha IH, Mpembeni RNM, Winch PJ (2014). Experiences of and responses to disrespectful maternity care and abuse during childbirth; a qualitative study with women and men in Morogoro Region, Tanzania BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 14 (1), 268.

Greenspan JA, McMahon SA, Chebet, JJ, Mpunga, M, Urassa, DP, Winch, PJ. (2013). Sources of community health worker motivation: A qualitative study in Morogoro Region, Tanzania. Human Resources for Health, 11:52.

Scott K, McMahon S, Yumkella F, Diaz T, George A. (2013). Navigating multiple options and social relationships in plural health systems: a qualitative study exploring healthcare seeking for sick children in Sierra Leone. Health Policy and Planning, 29 (3), 292-301.

McMahon SA, George AS, Yumkella F, Diaz T. (2013). Spoiled breastmilk and bad water; local understandings of diarrhea causes and prevention in rural Sierra Leone. BMC Public Health, 13, 1172.

Bakshi S, McMahon S, George A, Yumkella F, Bangura P, Kabano A, Diaz T. (2013). The Role of Traditional Treatment on Health Care Seeking by Caregivers for Sick Children in Sierra Leone. Acta Tropica, 127 (1), 46-52.

Diaz T, George AS, Rao SR, Bangura PS, Baimba JB, McMahon SA, Kabano A. (2013). Healthcare seeking for diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia among children in four poor rural districts in Sierra Leone in the context of free health care: results of a cross-sectional survey. BMC Public Health, 13(1), 157.

McMahon SA, Caruso BA, Obure AF, Okumu F, Rheingans RD. (2011). Anal cleansing practices and fecal contamination: A preliminary investigation of behaviors and conditions in schools in rural Nyanza Province, Kenya. Trop Med Int Health. Vol.16 (12): 1536–1540.

McMahon SA, Winch PJ, Caruso BA, Obure AF, Ogutu EA, Ochari IA, Rheingans RD. (2011). 'The girl with her period is the one to hang her head' Reflections on menstrual management among schoolgirls in rural Kenya. BMC Int Health Hum Rights. 11(1):7.

Contact Information

Im Neuenheimer Feld 324
69120 Heidelberg

Phone: +49 (0)6221 56-35049
Fax:      +49 (0)6221 56-5948