Susan Zimmermann, Ph.D.

Medical Sociology/Family Faculty


  • Postdoctoral Fellowship in Mental Health Services Research, 1997-1999
  • Rutgers University, Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research
  • Ph.D., Medical Sociology, Brown University, Providence, RI, 1996
  • M.A., Sociology, Brown University, Providence, RI, 1993
  • B.A., Sociology, Colby College, Waterville, ME 1988

Professional Background

Susan Zimmermann, Ph.D., completed her doctorate in Sociology at Brown University. She has written many articles in the areas of women’s health and medical sociology. She previously worked as a Research Associate at Dartmouth’s Psychiatric Research Center in Lebanon, NH. She coordinated a study at the VA hospital in White River Junction that focused on interventions for elder veterans with mental health and alcohol-related problems. She is a parent of an adolescent with Down syndrome and autism spectrum disorder. Over the past 16 years, she has been actively involved in the disability community on a volunteer basis. She co-founded Best Buddies NH, a non-profit organization that fosters friendships between individuals with and without disabilities throughout New Hampshire schools. She has volunteeredat the New Hampshire Healing Sport Association in Sunapee, NH where she coached children and adults with a wide-range of neurodevelopmental and physical disabilities skiing in the winter and kayaking in the summer.

Susan is passionate about learning from others by conducting in-depth interview-based research. In 2016, she began interviewing mothers who have children with disabilities. Her goal is to analyze these interviews and write a book about mothers’ shared experiences. In 2018, she became co-chair of a working group through ABLE-NH called “Disability Diagnostic Dialogues,” a small group of educators, health care providersand advocates who are committed to improving the ways in which medical teams deliver disability diagnoses to parents.


The NH and ME Leadership in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program (NH-ME LEND) is a collaboration among Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, the College of Health and Human Services at the University of New Hampshire, and the Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies/UCED at the University of Maine-Orono. The purpose of NH-ME LEND is to improve the health of children and youth with neurodevelopmental disabilities by preparing leaders to enter the field of maternal and child health.