Dr. Breanca Merritt
Chief Health Equity and ADA Officer
Indiana Family and Social Services Administration
Breanca Merritt is Chief Health Equity and ADA Officer for Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration. In this role, she oversees FSSA’s Office of Healthy Opportunities by addressing social determinants of health for low-income and vulnerable Hoosiers and designing and implementing antiracist and socially equitable policy design. Prior to joining FSSA, she was the Founding Director of the Center for Research on Inclusion and Social Policy (CRISP) at the Indiana University Public Policy Institute and Clinical Assistant Professor at the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Before founding CRISP, she was a senior research analyst within the IU Public Policy Institute, served as a project manager for an NIH-funded grant at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, and as a research associate for the Project for Equity and Representation and Governance.
Dr. Merritt is an adjunct professor and community scholar in IUPUI’s Africana Studies program, a recipient of the Indianapolis Business Journal’s Forty under 40 award, a Translating Research into Practice Scholar at IUPUI. She is a board member of the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana, Hawthorne Community Center, and is a member of Indianapolis’ Continuum of Care Blueprint Council. A Louisiana native, Dr. Merritt has a Ph.D. in Health Promotion Sciences from the Hudson College of Public Health at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, her M.A. in political science from Texas A&M University, and a B.A. in journalism from the University of Oklahoma.