Sharon Belton

In May 2017, Sharon was appointed Senior Public Policy Fellow at the University of Wisconsin’s Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service. In this role, Sharon collaborates with WIPPS staff and UW faculty on projects that provide organizations with research-based analysis, strategic planning, and research design. To date, her projects for WIPPS have encompassed areas of health policy and health services, school safety, and criminal justice. She has expertise in applying social science research methods to a wide range of public policy areas, including survey and case study research methods; database design, data collection, and analysis (qualitative and quantitative); measurement, evaluation, and outcomes research; and project management.

In addition to her role at WIPPS, Sharon is a Senior Public Policy Analyst at the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is a member of WCRI’s CompScope™ multistate benchmarking team, with responsibility for Minnesota and Wisconsin. She has conducted empirical analyses of workers’ compensation public policy issues and served as a project manager on studies focused on the determinants of return to work after injury; area variations in medical practice patterns; patient outcomes assessment; multistate benchmarking; and program evaluation.

From 2001 to 2004, Sharon was Executive Director of the Wausau Health Foundation. She also served as Co-Deputy Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “Workers’ Compensation Health Initiative” at the University of Massachusetts Center for Health Policy and Research.

Sharon has a Ph.D. in public policy analysis/political science from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a B.A. in international relations and French from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.

Skills and Capabilities

Database design, data collection, and analysis (qualitative and quantitative)
Survey and focus group research methods
Case study research methods
Measurement, evaluation, and outcomes research
Project planning and management
Interpretation and communication of complex research methods for non-technical audiences

Domains of knowledge

Public policy and policy-making
American state politics and policy
Workers’ compensation and occupational health policy
Health services research (access, costs, and quality of health care)
Benchmarking, multi-unit comparisons, and case mix adjustment

Sharon Belton
Sr. Policy Fellow