Margaret Mary Downey

Margaret Mary DowneyEducation

Ph.D. (Expected May 2020)

University of California, Berkeley, School of Social Welfare
Dissertation Title: Bringing Health to Life: An Institutional Ethnography of the Social Determinants of Health and the Life Course Perspective in Maternal and Child Health
Committee: Anu Manchikanti Gómez, Ph.D. (Chair); Susan Stone, Ph.D.; Seth Holmes, Ph.D.

Research Interests

  • Health Policy & Health Inequity
  • Political Economy of Health & Healthcare
  • Professionalization of Care Work
  • Knowledge Production in the Helping Professions
  • Reproductive Health & Justice
  • Community Health Interventions

Teaching Interests

  • Public Health & Social Welfare
  • Social Welfare Policy
  • Human Behavior & the Social Environment
  • Community Organizing: Theory & Practice 
  • Qualitative Research Methods  
  • Sociology of Medicine & Healthcare
  • History & Philosophy of Social Welfare


Curriculum Vitae


Downey, M.M., Neff, J., Dubé, K. (in press). “Don’t “Just Call the Social Worker”: Training in Structural Competency to Enhance Collaboration between Healthcare Social Work and Medicine.” Sociology and Social Work: Special Issue on Structural Competency 

Downey, M.M., Gómez, A.M. (2018). “Beyond Immutable Barriers: Structural Competency and Reproductive Health.” American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, 20(3), 211-223. doi:  *selected for American Medical Association Continuing Medical Education credit curriculum

Downey, M.M., Arteaga, S., Villasenor, E., Gómez, A.M. (2017). “More Than a Destination: Contraceptive Decision-Making as a Journey.” Women’s Health Issues, 27(5), 539-545. doi:

Shapiro, V.B., Hudson, K.D., & Downey, M.M. (2017). “Institutional Expectations, Opportunities, and Interest in the Professoriate: A Mixed-Methods Examination of Satisfaction Among Doctoral Students in Social Work”. Journal of Social Work Education, 55(3), 520-534. doi:

Beidas, R.S., Stewart, R., Walsh, L., Lucas, S., Downey, M.M., Jackson, K., Fernandez, T. & Mandell, D. (2015). “Free, Brief, and Validated: Standardized Instruments for Low-Resource Mental Health Settings.” Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 22(1), 5-19. doi:

Beidas, R.S, Edmunds, J., Ditty, M., Downey, M.M. (2013). “Professional Evidence-Based Practice with Children and Adolescents.” In E. Sburlati, H. Lyneham, C. Schniering, and R. Rapee (Eds.), Evidence-Based CBT for Anxiety and Depression in Children and Adolescents: A Competencies-Cased Approach. Oxford, United Kingdom: Blackwell Publishing Limited.

Beidas, R.S., Edmunds, J., Cannuscio, C., Gallagher, M., Downey, M.M., & Kendall, P. (2012). “Therapists’ Perspectives on the Effective Elements of Consultation Following Training.” Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 40(6), 507–517. doi:

Under Review and In Preparation:

Gómez, A.M., Downey, M.M., Carpenter, E., Leedham U., Begun, S., Craddock, J., Ely, G.E. “Advancing Reproductive Justice to Close the Health Gap: A Call to Action for Social Work.” Under review, Social Work.

Arteaga, S., Downey, M.M., Freihart, B., Gómez, A.M. “’We Kind of Met In-Between’: A Qualitative Analysis of Young Couples’ Relationship Dynamics and Negotiations about Pregnancy Intentions.” Revise and resubmit, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health.

Downey, M.M. “The Social Determinants of Health and the Life Course Perspective as Interprofessional Collaboration: Lessons from an Institutional Ethnography.” In preparation for Social Service Review.

Downey, M.M. “Who, What, and Why a Family: Discourses of Family in Contemporary Social Services for Maternal and Child Health. In preparation for Social Science and Medicine.

Downey, M.M., Bennett, A., Arteaga, S. Marshall, C.J., Stern, L., Gómez, A.M. “Family Planning.” In preparation for S. Verbiest and R. Kirby (Eds.), Maternal and Child Health: Programs, Problems, and Policy in Public Health, Fourth Edition. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Downey, M.M. and Gartner, R. “Convenience Over Justice: Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Policy for Academic Student-Employees.” In Preparation for Gender and Society.


Downey, M.M. (2020, January). Bringing Maternal and Infant Health to Life: Provider Perspectives on the Social Determinants of Health Framework. To be presented at the Society for Social Work and Research annual meeting, Washington, DC.

Gómez, A.M., Adams, J., Dreyfus-Pai, P., Downey, M.M. (moderator; 2018). Reproductive Freedom in the Age of Trump: Reproductive Freedom in Action. Presented: University of California, Berkeley, School of Social Welfare 75th Anniversary Conference, Berkeley, CA.

Downey, M.M. (2016). Family Planning for Youth and Emerging Adults: A Discourse Analysis in Social Work Research. Presented: Society of Social Work and Research Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA.

Downey, M.M. and Gómez, A.M. (2016). “Iterative, Reflective, Intersectional: Implications for Integrating Qualitative Data into Contraceptive Counseling Protocols”. Presented: International Conference of Qualitative Inquiry, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Downey, M.M; Gallagher, M.; Watkins, J.; Pathak, P.; Edmunds, J.; Kendall, P.; & Beidas, R.S. (2013). “A Mixed-Methods Approach to the Intersection of Attitudes and Organizational Factors by Provider Type in Dissemination and Implementation of Evidence-Based Practice for Child Anxiety.” Presented: Seattle Implementation Research Conference, Seattle, Washington

Downey, M.M & Beidas, R.S. (2013). “Doulas to Fill the Gap: A Proposed Model of Doula Delivery of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Maternal Anxiety and Depression”. Presented: Seattle Implementation Research Conference, Seattle, Washington. *Awarded: SIRC Innovative Research Award

Downey, M.M, Beidas, R.S., Edmunds, J., & Kendall, P. (2012). The Interaction between Individual- Level and Organizational-Level Barriers on Dissemination of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Child Anxiety. Presented: National Institute of Mental Health Dissemination & Implementation Conference, Bethesda, Maryland.

Research Experience

Graduate Student in Residence
University of California, Berkeley
Institute for the Study of Societal Issues

Research Assistant
University of California, Berkeley
Sexual Health and Reproductive Equity Program
School of Social Welfare
Barriers to Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptive (LARC) Removal Study

Graduate Student Researcher
University of California, Berkeley
California Social Work Education Center
Work Experiences of Child Welfare Workers Two Years Post-MSW Graduation

Research Specialist
University of Pennsylvania
Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research
Perelman School of Medicine
Community Mental Health Interventions

Teaching Experience 


California State University, East Bay; Department of Social Work (graduate level)
Fall 2019-Spring 2020: Community-Based Research in Social Work Practice (SW 689)
Spring 2019: Introduction to Social Welfare Policy (SW 602)


University of California, Berkeley, School of Social Welfare (undergraduate level)
Summer 2018: Social Welfare Policy (SW 112)

Graduate Student Instructor

University of California, Berkeley; School of Public Health (graduate level)
Fall 2017: Theories of Health and Social Behavior (PB HLTH 203A)

University of California, Berkeley, Department of Sociology (undergraduate level)
Spring 2017 | Politics and Social Change (SOC 140)

University of California, Berkeley, Labor Center and Department of Ethnic Studies (undergraduate level)
Fall 2016 | Field Studies in Labor and Community Organizing (ES 197)

Social Welfare Practice

Research Consultant
Homeless Prenatal Program, 2016-present

Wellness Team Social Work Intern
Homeless Prenatal Program, 2014-2015

Medical Social Work Intern
California Pacific Medical Center, St. Luke's Hospital, 2013-2014

Birth Doula
Philadelphia Alliance for Labor Support, 2011-2013

Abortion Doula
Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania, 2011-2013

Grants, Awards, and Fellowships

University of California Dissertation-Year Fellowship ($27,000)
University of California, 2019-2020

Jane B. Aron Health Policy Fellow ($17,900)
National Association of Social Workers, 2018-2019

Dissertation Completion Fellowship ($18,200)
University of California, Berkeley, 2018-2019

Graduate Division Summer Research Grant ($1,000)
University of California, Berkeley, 2018

Myrtle Lytle Fellowship ($1,200)
University of California, Berkeley, 2017

Human Rights Center Fellowship ($5,000)
University of California, Berkeley Human Rights Center, 2016

Graduate Division Summer Research Grant ($4,000)
University of California, Berkeley, 2015

Innovative Research Award
Seattle Implementation Research Conference, 2013

Temple Scholar Award ($10,000)
Temple University, 2005-2009


Berkeley Unit Chair & Bargaining Team Member
University of California Student-Workers Labor Union; UAW Local 2865

Co-Founder & Co-Facilitator
Privilege, Racism, and Oppression Dialogue (PRO Dialogue) Series
University of California, Berkeley, School of Social Welfare

Doctoral Student Representative
Curriculum Committee
University of California, Berkeley, School of Social Welfare

Community Organizer
Philadelphia Alliance for Labor Support

Ad Hoc Peer Reviewer:
Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters
Women’s Health Issues


National Association of Social Workers

Society on Social Work and Research

Council on Social Work Education

Center for Ethnographic Research, University of California, Berkeley

Sexual Health & Reproductive Equity Research Program, University of California, Berkeley