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Julie Ward

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Health, and Society Public Policy Studies

Office Hours

Tuesdays 10:30am-12pm or by appointment.


  • PhD, Johns Hopkins University
  • MN, University of Washington
  • BSN, University of Washington
  • BA, University of Oregon





Dr. Ward’s research focuses on opportunities and strategies to improve public health and safety systems for the prevention of violence and violence-related trauma in community spaces. Her recent studies have explored public health leaders’ experiences of pandemic-related workplace violence, public support for firearm policies, perceptions of firearm-related public safety, views of minoritized gun owners, and fatal and nonfatal shootings by police.

Dr. Ward completed her PhD in Health & Public Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in affiliation with the Center for Gun Violence Solutions. She also holds a Master of Nursing in Community Health Systems and Occupational & Environmental Health from the University of Washington, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Washington, and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the University of Oregon Clark Honors College.

Prior to joining Vanderbilt, Dr. Ward was Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing at Oregon Health & Science University, where she taught concepts of population health, health equity, epidemiology, and health promotion over the life-course. Her research and teaching are informed by more than a decade of experience in clinical and community-based nursing roles in emergency services, occupational health and wellness, injury prevention, and program design and management.


Representative publications

Ward, J. A., McGinty, E. E, Hudson, T., Stone, E. M., Barry, C. L. Webster, D. W., Crifasi, C. K. (2022). Reimagining public safety: Public opinion on police reform and gun violence prevention by race and gun ownership in the United States. Preventive Medicine, 165(2022), 107180.

Doucette, M. L., Ward, J. A., McCourt, A., Webster, D. W., Crifasi, C. K. (2022). Officer-involved shootings and concealed carry weapons permitting laws: Analysis of Gun Violence Archive data, 2014-2020. Journal of Urban Health, 99, 373-384.

Crifasi, C. K., Ward, J. A., Fitch, K. V., Ranapurwala, S. (Under review). The state of firearm policy research in the United States.

Ward, J. A., Cepeda, J., Jackson, D. B., Johnson, O., Webster, D. W., & Crifasi, C. K. (Under review). Epidemiologic analysis of fatal and nonfatal shootings by police in the United States, 2015-2020.