Grants

Evidence for Action grantees are conducting research to assess health outcomes and address key determinants of health, with a particular focus on improving population health and health equity. Grantee research results will help identify actionable strategies and priorities for building a Culture of Health.

Engaging Youth for Positive Change: Promoting Health Through Civic Education
Grantee Organization
Principal Investigators

Jennifer Hamilton, PhD

Scott Hays, PhD

Project Summary

The researchers are assessing how civic engagement of young people can impact health, well-being, and equity in rural communities by evaluating the impact of Engaging Youth for Positive Change (EYPC). EYPC is a civic engagement program that provides young people ages 14-19 with a systematic approach to working with local government to adopt health-promoting policies. The researchers are assessing youth outcomes and also examining the implementation of the program in EYPC classrooms to determine the cost-effectiveness. Evidence generated from this work will inform how engaging youth in rural communities with civic education can impact individual and community health.

Award Amount & Duration

$428,139 & 30 months

Grant Start Date
August 2019

Volatility, Agency, and Health: A City-Led Guaranteed Income Experiment
Principal Investigators

Stacia Martin-West, MSSW, PhD

Amy Castro Baker, PhD, MSW

Project Summary

The Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED) is the country’s first city-led guaranteed income pilot. The research team is evaluating the impacts of the additional income on a variety of outcomes – including, but not limited to, financial security, civic engagement, and health and wellness – while simultaneously anchoring policy proof of concept in the lives and perspectives of Stocktonians. The purpose of this research is to test the effects of a guaranteed income on volatility, inequity drivers, and social determinants of health. The experiment will inform forthcoming guaranteed income demonstrations and provide new knowledge to influence public discourse.

Award Amount & Duration

$678,315 & 36 months

Grant Start Date
July 2019

Geisinger Fresh Food Farmacy
Grantee Organization
Principal Investigators

John Bulger, DO, MBA

Project Summary

The researchers are investigating the effects of an innovative program, Geisinger's Fresh Food Farmacy (FFF), that "prescribes" healthy food to food-insecure diabetics and their families. Each week, participants fill their prescription at a local clinic where they receive healthy food for two meals per day over five days for everyone in their household. Participants also receive education on diabetes self-management and information about nutrition and healthy diets. This project is the first relatively large randomized controlled experiment of a food-as-medicine approach. Findings from the study will directly inform expansion of the program elsewhere in the Geisinger network and may lead to its adoption by other health systems and insurers. The study will also contribute information about the effectiveness of the program on patients, spillover effects on household members and the effects of participation on other types of wellness care.

Award Amount & Duration

$ 261,816 & 36 months

Grant Start Date
June 2019

Physical Activity and Redesigned Community Spaces (PARCS) Youth Cohort
Principal Investigators

Terry Huang, PhD, MPH, MBA

Katarzyna Wyka, PhD

Project Summary

The researchers are examining the impact of New York City’s Community Parks Initiative (CPI), a citywide park redesign and renovation, on physical activity, park usage, psychosocial and mental health, and quality of life in underserved neighborhoods. They are following up on an existing cohort of parent-child dyads drawn from intervention vs. matched control neighborhoods from CPI. This natural experiment is a unique collaboration with NYC Parks and the city-led environmental change intervention is unprecedented in scale. Findings will inform future investments in health-oriented urban design policies and offer evidence for addressing health disparities through built environment strategies.

Award Amount & Duration

$487,202 & 36 months

Grant Start Date
June 2019

Impact of Family Development Services on Family Health
Grantee Organization
Principal Investigators

Melissa Richmond, PhD

Sara Bayless, PhD

Project Summary

The researchers are determining the degree to which a scalable, community-based model of family supportive services is effective at improving family health and well-being. The intervention group receives Family Development (FD) services, which includes meetings with a FD worker to set and work towards family-driven goals using a strengths-based, family-centered approach. The study tests whether, compared to services as usual, families who have access to FD services demonstrate a) more progress towards economic security, b) increased family resiliency and supports, and c) improved health outcomes. Findings will provide information to inform statewide and national investments in FD services.

Registered on Open Science Framework (OSF): osf.io/nvxza.

Award Amount & Duration

$435,328 & 36 months

Grant Start Date
March 2019

Community Colleges and Adult Health
Principal Investigators

Benjamin Cowan, PhD

Nathan Tefft, PhD

Project Summary

The investigators are identifying the causal effect of college enrollment and attainment on health by examining how community college access modifies risky health behaviors and outcomes later in adulthood. In order to identify the causal effect of college enrollment on health behaviors, the investigators are evaluating the differential opening of new colleges and universities by state over the time period 1960-1995. Research findings will determine to what extent community college attainment affects health behaviors and outcomes, and inform decisions about policies and funding for community colleges.

Registered on Open Science Framework (OSF): osf.io/sfcxa.

Award Amount & Duration

$ 196,684 & 24 months

Grant Start Date
January 2019

Evidence-Based Strategies to Increase General Public and State Legislator Support for Policies to Fund and Enhance Early Childhood Development
Principal Investigators

Jeff Niederdeppe, PhD

Liana Winett, DrPH, MPH, MCHES

Project Summary

There is strong evidence that investments in early childhood development can shape health and well-being in later stages of life. The researchers are evaluating the effect of a messaging intervention on Making Health A Shared Value Drivers: mindsets, expectations, and civic engagement related to early childhood development. Specifically, they are developing and testing the effects of values-based policy messages to promote funding and support for early childhood education. Findings will offer insights into building the mindsets and expectations needed to address the societal conditions and contexts that produce – or inhibit – healthy childhood development for all.

Registered on Open Science Framework: osf.io/9tazx.

Award Amount & Duration

$281,392 & 18 months

Grant Start Date
December 2018

Building a Culture of Health Through the Built Environment: Adaptable Solutions to Community Well-Being
Principal Investigators

Katherine Theall, PhD, MPH

Lisa Richardson, PhD

Project Summary

The researchers are examining the effectiveness of a neighborhood blight remediation strategy in New Orleans, Louisiana on Making Health A Shared Value Drivers: well-being and health interconnectedness, sense of community and sense of safety, and civic engagement. They are also testing the causal relation between these Drivers and family and youth violence, substance use and mental health; and examining the moderating impact of additional neighborhood level buffers (e.g., fewer alcohol outlets, greater green and park space) on blight reduction efforts. Interventions that change the neighborhood environment also bring awareness to the inequities in communities that exist due to both historical and current factors and policies, particularly for people of color. Such awareness-building can set the stage for changing mindsets and larger mobilization and action to build a Culture of Health and reduce inequities. Findings from the study will provide information for neighborhood place-based policy and prevention efforts in residential urban areas.

Award Amount & Duration

$500,000 & 48 months

Grant Start Date
December 2018

Identifying Shared Values to Support an Inclusive Culture of Health around Firearms: What Communication Messages Work?
Principal Investigators

Michael Siegel, MD, MPH

Claire Boine, LLM, MPP, MA

Project Summary

Surveys reveal that the overwhelming majority of gun owners support firearm policies such as universal background checks, leading to the belief that there are shared values that can bring gun owners and non-gun owners together to engage in gun violence prevention. The researchers are developing and evaluating communication strategies to include all stakeholders in firearm violence prevention. They aim to identify the values that bridge backgrounds and perspectives and develop and test the effectiveness of different message framing strategies in changing gun policy-related attitudes and mindsets and willingness to engage in gun violence prevention. By testing the effects of a  targeted communication intervention on mindsets and civic engagement, the researchers are determining the extent to which these Making Health A Shared Value Drivers can be changed for an issue that is considered intractable. Results from this study will inform policymakers on how to create a more inclusive agreement around firearm violence prevention policies.

Registered on Open Science Framework (OSF): osf.io/hds7r.

Award Amount & Duration

$599,413 & 36 months

Grant Start Date
December 2018

Making Health A shared Value Of Youth CulturE (The HAVOYCE Project)
Principal Investigators

Dean Schillinger, MD

Cristy Johnston Limon, MBA

Project Summary

Health As a shared Value Of Youth CulturE (HAVOYCE) is a campaign to eradicate Type 2 diabetes (T2D) in youth by inspiring youth to become powerful messengers who use the art of spoken word to shift mindsets and expectations away from “shame and blame” towards "the bigger picture": reversing T2D’s social and environmental drivers. The researchers are assessing whether the HAVOYCE arts-based public health literacy program: (1) shifts mindsets and expectations towards a socio-ecological understanding of T2D and its related disparities (2) leads to a greater sense of community belonging and affiliation and (3) generates more civic engagement related to health, justice, and other socio-environmental concerns. The research focuses on capturing the effects of the intervention on Making Health A Shared Value Drivers: mindset and expectations, sense of community, and civic engagement. Findings from HAVOYCE will have local, state, and national implications for how to the arts can bridge with other sectors to improve health in underserved communities – especially for youth.

Photo credit: Bethanie Hines. 

Award Amount & Duration

$502,698 & 24 months

Grant Start Date
December 2018

Awake and Ready to Learn? A Comprehensive Analysis of School Start Times
Principal Investigators

Kevin Bastian, PhD

Sarah Fuller, PhD

Project Summary

The investigators are assessing how school start time changes impact student sleep, school engagement and achievement outcomes, and the daily schedule and interactions with school district personnel and parents. The study takes advantage of a natural event in which an urban school district in North Carolina delayed start times for district high schools and advanced start times for the district elementary schools. The investigators are conducting two complementary studies that broaden the scope of school start time research. The first study assesses the effect of changing school start times in the urban school district, and the second study assesses the impact of elementary and middle school start times on student outcomes across the entire state. Findings from this study will provide information on the resultant impact and potential unintended consequences of school start time changes.

Registered on Open Science Framework (OSF): osf.io/j78n2.

Award Amount & Duration

$193,165 & 15 months

Grant Start Date
November 2018
Results At A Glance:

Health at a Living Wage: Evidence from Natural Experiments
Principal Investigators

Mustafa Hussein, PhD

Project Summary

The goal of this project is to assess the effects of living wage (LW) policies on the health and wellbeing of low-income adults. The investigators leverage natural experiments in LW policy adoption across metro areas in two population-based, longitudinal studies: the Community Tracking Study and the CARDIA Cohort Study. Evidence generated can inform municipal policy reforms (e.g. city-wide minimum wage) that are gaining significant traction across cities as a means to improve equity in living and working conditions for their populations. The project will also demonstrate the feasibility of placing health as a front-and-center objective for social and economic policy.

Registered on Open Science Framework (OSF): osf.io/ha4v3.

Award Amount & Duration

$ 247,406 & 24 months

Grant Start Date
October 2018

Investigating a Positive Youth Development Approach to Improving Health and Educational Outcomes Among Adolescents
Principal Investigators

Sherry Barr, PsyD

Eric Jenner, MMC, PhD

Project Summary

This study investigates how a positive youth development and cross-age peer mentoring model known as Peer Group Connection can impact economically-disadvantaged students in urban high schools in New York City and rural high schools in North Carolina. This project complements and extends prior and concurrent research by exploring the potential of a positive youth development model, with an emphasis on social and emotional learning, on adolescent health and educational outcomes. Study results will increase understanding of the mechanisms through which cross-age peer group mentoring affects high school students and inform the implementation of other peer youth development programs. 

Award Amount & Duration

$ 348,295 & 24 months

Grant Start Date
August 2018

Early-Life Education and Late-Life Health: Exposure to Pre-School 1943-46 and Well-Being After Age 50
Grantee Organization
Principal Investigators

Elizabeth Mokyr Horner, MPP, PhD

Joseph Ferrie, PhD

Project Summary

The investigators are assessing the impact of preschool education on the long-term economic and health outcomes of children who were exposed to Lanham nursery schools. From 1942 through 1946 under the National Defense Housing Act of 1940, popularly known as the Lanham Act, the Federal Works Agency provided funds to local school districts to operate nursery schools. The investigators have identified the places that received Lanham funds for nursery care along with a group of control sites that did not receive the funds. The researchers are following the two groups born 1938-1948 over the entire life course to assess the impact of early-life education. Results from this study will provide more comprehensive measures of the benefits over the entire life course of exposure to early schooling opportunities; and offer guidance to policymakers in allocating resources efficiently across the lives of individuals.

Photo courtesy Kaiser Permanente Heritage Resources: Medical checkup at Kaiser Oregonship child development center, circa 1944. 

Registered on Open Science Framework (OSF): osf.io/xaz75.

Award Amount & Duration

$249,776 & 36 months

Grant Start Date
June 2018

This Is How Much It Saves You: Building a Culture of Health Through Price Disclosure
Grantee Organization
Principal Investigators

Helen Colby, PhD

Meng Li, PhD

Project Summary

In the U.S. health care system, patients often have no access to information about the original cost of medical services. The investigators are testing whether disclosing information on the original cost of preventive care can increase its perceived value and lead to increased adoption of such services. Their research focuses on four preventive health care services that generate substantial health benefits for targeted populations: 1) flu vaccination for insured adults under 65, 2) nutritional counseling for insured patients with diabetes, 3) regular dental check-ups for insured patients who under-utilize dental check-ups, and 4) annual wellness visits for insured patients who under-utilize wellness visits. The research results will expand the horizon of public health campaigns by introducing additional marketing tools for public health messaging and inform non-profits, insurers, and government entities on how to invest time and funding into promoting preventive care.

Award Amount & Duration

$156,230 & 18 months

Grant Start Date
March 2018

Changing School Start Times: Impact on Student, Family, Teacher, and Community Health
Grantee Organization
Principal Investigators

Lisa J. Meltzer, PhD

Amy Plog, PhD

Project Summary

The research team is conducting a multi-year, broad-based evaluation of how changing school start times impacts health and well-being for students in a diverse district in suburban Denver, Colorado. This study takes advantage of a natural experiment where the district changed school start times, with high school students starting at 8:20 a.m. (70 minutes later), middle school students starting at 8:50 a.m. (40-60 minutes later), and elementary schools starting at 8:00 a.m. (60 minutes earlier). The investigators are evaluating the impacts of the policy on the entire complex system that includes students in all grade levels, parents, school staff, and the greater community, utilizing quantitative data, contextual qualitative data, and community-based outcomes. The results of this project will be used to inform policymakers at the district, state, and national level about the community-wide impacts of changing school start times.

Award Amount & Duration

$402,568 & 33 months

Grant Start Date
February 2018

Impact of Greening on Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) in Low-Income Miami Neighborhoods
Principal Investigators

Scott Brown, PhD

Jose Szapocznik, PhD

Project Summary

The research team is examining the impact of greenness and greening interventions (tree plantings) on cardiovascular disease (CVD) diagnoses. The study takes advantage of a natural experiment to increase greenness in low-income neighborhoods in Miami-Dade County. The investigators are using a prospective, longitudinal quasi-experimental design to study the impact of block-level greenness exposure on CVD outcomes in low-income Miami-Dade Medicare beneficiaries. The study findings can inform advocacy efforts, policy decisions, and resource allocation with respect to greening programs.

Award Amount & Duration

$382,500 & 36 months

Grant Start Date
February 2018

Providing Legal and Social Services to Address the Needs of Health Care Super-Utilizers: Thinking Outside the Box
Principal Investigators

Hongmei Wang, PhD

Ann Mangiameli, JD

Project Summary

The research team is assessing the impact of legal services provided to health care super-utilizers through a medical-legal partnership (MLP) by Health, Education & Law Project, Legal Aid of Nebraska and the Nebraska Medical Center on their health and health care use. The investigators are conducting a randomized controlled trial to examine whether the provision of social and/or legal services through MLP to address the social and legal needs of these healthcare super-utilizers will improve their health outcomes and reduce medical care utilization and expenditure. The study findings will provide evidence for a holistic and interdisciplinary approach to alleviate inequality in health and health care for underserved and low-income patients, as well as strengthen integration of health services and systems.

Award Amount & Duration

$536,316 & 36 months

Grant Start Date
January 2018

A Comprehensive Approach to Tobacco Policy in the Age of E-Cigarettes
Principal Investigators

Abigail Friedman, PhD

Project Summary

The research team is estimating the impact of combustible cigarette (CC) and electronic cigarette (EC) policies on the selection and use of tobacco products. To further population health, tobacco regulations should serve two aims simultaneously: reducing tobacco use overall and leading those who do use to choose lower risk tobacco products over higher risk ones. The investigators are studying how several different types of tobacco policies currently being implemented at state and local levels impact both EC and CC use. Findings from this work will better equip regulators to make evidence-based policy decisions that account for both the policies’ different effects on CC versus EC use, and these products’ different risk profiles.  

Award Amount & Duration

$337,679 and 36 months

Grant Start Date
February 2018
Results At A Glance:

The Impact of Childhood Nutrition Assistance on Child Health and Well-Being: Lessons from WIC
Principal Investigators

Marianne Bitler, PhD

Janet Currie, PhD

Project Summary

The research team is developing estimates of the causal effects of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) on infant and child outcomes. The investigators focus on the effects of WIC on children after they are born, spillover effects from targeted children to other family members who are not directly eligible for the programs, and on the effects of changes to the composition of the WIC food package and delivery of program benefits (e.g., changes from an identifiable voucher to an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card). This research will inform policy makers about a broader range of effects WIC may have on child and family health, well-being, and nutrition.

Award Amount & Duration

$340,000 & 36 months

Grant Start Date
January 2018

Immigration Enforcement and Birth Outcomes: Evidence from North Carolina
Principal Investigators

Marcos Rangel, PhD

Christina Gibson-Davis, PhD

Project Summary

This research team is estimating the effects of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activities, specifically 287(g) programs and Secure Communities, on the maternal and infant health of Mexican-born immigrant mothers in North Carolina. The investigators are exploring how immigration enforcement activities affect the health and well-being of immigrant mothers and their newborns, and if changes in birth outcomes arise due to changes in maternal behaviors and access. Results from this study will provide a quantification of the likely human impact of both anti-immigrant sentiment and more direct policies that target undocumented populations and their communities, and, more generally, will inform policies that seek to mitigate or remediate disadvantage generated before birth.

Award Amount & Duration

$ 136,139 and 18 months

Grant Start Date
December 2017

The Impact of State Immigration Enforcement and Public Health Insurance Policies on the Health Outcomes of Children of Immigrants
Principal Investigators

Heather Koball, PhD

James Kirby, PhD

Project Summary

The research team is examining the effect of immigration enforcement policies, including restricting driver’s licenses for unauthorized immigrants, and public health insurance expansions on health outcomes among children of unauthorized and legal immigrants. Beginning in the early 2000s, states diverged in their levels of cooperation with federal immigration enforcement and their approaches to expanding public benefits to immigrants. The study takes advantage of the patterns of state immigration policy variations to measure the health impacts of different policy approaches to immigration regulation. In contrast to the punitive actions some states have taken for unauthorized status, many states have reduced federal restrictions on health insurance access by allowing legally present and, in some cases, unauthorized immigrants, access to state-funded public health care coverage. The analysis focuses on variation in receipt of preventive health care among children of immigrants across all 50 states and the District of Columbia from 2000-2016. Results will inform policymakers, public health officials, and state departments of health about the effects of these state policies and the potential consequences they pose to public health.

Award Amount & Duration

$127,424 and 18 months

Grant Start Date
December 2017

Tenant-Based v. Project-based Housing Assistance: Evidence from a Housing Assistance Lottery
Principal Investigators

Ingrid G. Ellen, PhD

Robert Collinson, MA, MPP

Project Summary

The project team is studying the effect of tenant-based housing vouchers and public housing programs on the health outcomes of vulnerable individuals and families. The study takes advantage of a natural experiment in which a unique housing assistance lottery produced random offers of public housing or housing vouchers to a subset of wait-list households. Researchers are estimating both the independent and comparative effects of each program to learn about the relative effects of tenant-based versus project-based housing assistance on health. They are also incorporating detailed neighborhood characteristics and administrative data on homelessness to explore the mechanisms through which housing quality might affect health. Results will inform policymakers, public housing authorities, and public health practitioners about whether project-based or tenant-based subsidies are better at supporting the health of low-income children and adults and the trade-off between these approaches.

Award Amount & Duration

$ 60,674 and 24 months

Grant Start Date
September 2017

Developing the PROMIS-Preference Score for Monitoring Population Health Outcomes
Grantee Organization
Principal Investigators

Janel Hanmer, MD, PhD

Project Summary

The Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS®) are the next-generation health measures for clinical, research, and population health uses. The project team developed a summary PROMIS-Preference (PROPr) score that combines information from 7 PROMIS domains. They are now estimating crosswalks between PROPr and other summary measures of health. A crosswalk uses the score from one measure to predict another measure’s score, allowing the synthesis of information across surveys and studies. The investigators are also validating PROPr to measure the impact of social determinants of health (SDoH). Compared to existing summary scores, this new measure is expected to better detect the impact of SDoH, improve evaluation of the health effects of upstream interventions, and inform the prioritization of future interventions.

Award Amount & Duration

$ 333,055 and 34 months

Grant Start Date
August 2017

The Impact of Waiting Periods on Food Choice Decisions
Principal Investigators

Andy Brownback, PhD

Alex Imas, PhD

Michael Kuhn, PhD

Project Summary

The project team is examining how introducing waiting periods into the decision-making process affects the food purchasing choices of SNAP recipients. Investigators are particularly focusing on various ways in which subsidies for healthy foods could be distributed in order to optimize both the effective promotion of healthy consumption and the preservation of choice for participants. Results from the study will provide guidance on how policy-makers might enhance food-assistance programs to achieve different program goals.

Award Amount & Duration

$ 198,940 and 18 months

Grant Start Date
June 2017

Exploring the Effects of Wage on the Culture of Health in Early Childhood Education Centers
Principal Investigators

Jennifer Otten, PhD, RD

Project Summary

Investigators are evaluating how wage and wage changes might affect the culture of health in early childhood education (ECE) settings —a setting typically characterized by low wages. The researchers are examining how changes to state and city minimum wages affect the health of ECE providers, and how ECE provider health relates to the quality and healthfulness of the ECE environment. The study is designed to compare minimum wage changes over time in Seattle, WA, and South King County, WA, to the control city, Austin, TX. Results will provide insights about how labor regulations relate to health and health-promoting behaviors, particularly minimum wage, and a better understanding of how investing in ECE and the ECE workforce might influence the health of the next generation.

Award Amount & Duration

$729,500 & 36 months

Grant Start Date
April 2017

Health Impacts of Social Policies to Expand Economic Opportunity in Underserved Populations
Principal Investigators

Atheendar Venkataramani, MD, PhD

Alexander Tsai, MD, PhD

Project Summary

The investigators are examining the causal physical and mental health effects of three types of economic opportunity policies targeted predominantly toward underserved populations: the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, affirmative action bans, and small business set-asides. Researchers will also assess the importance of economic mediators by examining impacts of these policies on employment, education, and income. Resulting evidence will provide insight into how social sector policies influence health behaviors and outcomes, and inform federal, state and local policy direction.

Award Amount & Duration

$368,575 and 24 months

Grant Start Date
April 2017

Health Benefits of Low-Income Weatherization: Evidence for Action
Grantee Organization
Principal Investigators

Bruce Tonn, PhD

Project Summary

The investigators are evaluating the health impacts of the Extreme Energy Makeover (EEM) program – designed to improve energy efficiency in low-income homes through weatherization. The researchers are assessing how improving dwelling quality impacts health as well as energy cost savings. They are also examining how the resulting energy cost savings affect household budgets and expenditures on health and well-being. This project will create a database of the characteristics, health impacts, and costs and savings of weatherization. The database and findings from the study will inform optimization of low-income energy efficiency and healthy housing programs, particularly in moderate and hot-humid climate zones.

Award Amount & Duration

$190,130 and 36 months

Grant Start Date
February 2017

Denver Pay for Success Initiative: Supportive Housing and Health Outcomes
Grantee Organization
Principal Investigators

Sarah Gillespie, MPA

Devlin Hanson, PhD

Project Summary

The research team is estimating the impact of a supportive housing intervention on homeless individuals who cycle in and out of jail, detoxification centers, and emergency medical services. The study’s treatment group is receiving case management services and deeply subsidized, permanent housing in project-based and scattered-site units. Along with Medicaid claims data, the investigators are evaluating inmate health records, filling an existing gap in the evidence base on health interventions for a frequent jail reentry population. Results will inform stakeholders, policymakers, and practitioners seeking to understand how investments in supportive housing may drive outcomes across multiple sectors.

Award Amount & Duration

$400,000 and 36 months

Grant Start Date
February 2017

Stable Schedules Study to Promote Low-Income Worker Health and Well-Being
Grantee Organization
Principal Investigators

Joan Williams, JD

Susan Lambert, PhD

Saravanan Kesavan, DBA

Project Summary

This is the only workplace experiment to examine the health and well-being effects of a shift to more stable schedules in hourly retail jobs. The project team has completed a cluster-randomized experiment in which stores rather than individuals were randomly assigned to control and treatment conditions. The scheduling intervention took a comprehensive approach by targeting improvements to schedule stability, predictability, adequacy, and control. Results will inform policymakers, businesses, and academic researchers on how to reduce avoidable health disparities for low-income hourly retail workers.

Award Amount & Duration

$188,420 and 18 months

Grant Start Date
February 2017

Evaluating the Food is Medicine Approach on Health
Grantee Organization
Principal Investigators

Jean Terranova, JD

Seth A. Berkowitz, MD, MPH

Kevin C. Cranston, MDiv

Liisa M. Randall, PhD

Project Summary

The home delivery of medically tailored meals (MTM) - an approach called "Food is Medicine" - offers a convenient, healthy, and medically optimized diet for the severely ill. The project team is evaluating the impact of MTM programs on health care expenditures, inpatient hospitalizations, and emergency department visits in severely ill and nutritionally vulnerable adults. Results will inform policy discussions about partnerships between social services and health care organizations, addressing the fundamental causes of adverse health outcomes for the severely ill who are high utilizers of health care.

Photo by Kate McElwee.

Award Amount & Duration

$358,040 and 30 months

Grant Start Date
December 2016
Results At A Glance:

Leveraging School Environments to Shape Social Networks and Improve Adolescent Health-A Randomized Trial of a Social Networks Intervention
Principal Investigators

Rebecca Dudovitz, MD, MSHS

Project Summary

The research team is evaluating the impact of Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) – a college preparatory curriculum targeting students in the academic middle – on students’ academic performance and health outcomes. Investigators will explore whether and how AVID changes peer networks and relationships with teachers, whether those changes lead to improvements in academic and behavioral outcomes and, if so, what the relative importance of peer versus adult network changes are. In addition to examining the effects of AVID on participants, the researchers will examine how exposure to AVID impacts the academic achievement and health of high-performing non-AVID peers. These results will help guide school and health policy and will serve as a foundation for future social network interventions. 

Award Amount & Duration

$ 400,000 and 30 months

Grant Start Date
November 2016

The Medicaid Fee Bump: Increased Reimbursements to Primary Care Providers and Health Care Utilization Among Dual-Eligibles with Chronic Conditions
Principal Investigators

Hye-Young Jung, PhD

Mark Aaron Unruh, PhD

Project Summary

The project team is exploring how the Medicaid primary care fee bump affected the health and costs for beneficiaries with chronic conditions who are covered by both Medicare and Medicaid. The investigators are evaluating whether higher reimbursements to providers for primary care services led to better care and lower overall health care costs for this patient population. The results of the study will provide evidence about whether higher reimbursements to primary care providers are likely to make health care for dual-eligibles more equitable compared to the broader Medicare population.

Award Amount & Duration

$279,750 & 18 months

Grant Start Date
August 2016

Breaking Down Barriers to Preventive Care: The Impact of Prenatal Care Expansion to Immigrant Women in Oregon
Principal Investigators

Jens Hainmueller, PhD

Duncan Lawrence, PhD

Maria Isabel Rodriguez, MD, MPH

Jonas Swartz, MD, MPH

Project Summary

The project team is examining the causal effect of access to prenatal care for immigrant women on maternal and infant health outcomes and state economic impacts. The investigators are comparing undocumented and recently arrived immigrant families before and after the staggered implementation of Oregon’s Citizen Alien Waived Emergent Medical (CAWEM) Plus program, which provides access to prenatal Medicaid services for undocumented women. Results will help inform state-level policy and access to prenatal services for immigrant families. 

Award Amount & Duration

$70,150 & 12 months

Grant Start Date
August 2016

Worksite Wellness: A Field Experiment on Participation Incentives & Selection into Wellness Programs
Principal Investigators

David Molitor, PhD

Damon Jones, PhD

Julian Reif, PhD

Laura Payne, PhD

Project Summary

The project team is conducting a randomized controlled trial to examine the effect of workplace wellness programs on health, medical utilization, and well-being.  Investigators will particularly focus on the role of incentives and peer effects in influencing self-selection into worksite wellness programs, and whether these programs differentially attract certain employees over others. Results will help identify ways in which leveraging various types of financial or social incentives might generate cost savings within the existing design of wellness programs.

Award Amount & Duration

$ 200,000 and 18 months

Grant Start Date
July 2016

Overlooked Health Implications of Water Policy during Drought and Extreme Temperature Events
Principal Investigators

Kurt Schwabe, PhD

Bruce Link, PhD

Mindy Marks, PhD

Project Summary

The project team is assessing whether there is a causal effect of adverse weather events on indicators of population health, and if water policy affects the strength of the link between adverse weather conditions and health. To conduct this research the investigators are creating a dataset that will include health measures, indices of drought and extreme temperature, and water policy measures, parts which will be publicly available for future research. Resulting evidence will encourage and inform water policy that considers the health consequences of drought and extreme temperature alongside other impacts in the development of wise and equitable plans for the distribution of scarce water resources.

Award Amount & Duration

$ 284,700 and 24 months

Grant Start Date
July 2016

Building a Culture of Health around Firearms - The Relationship between Social Gun Culture, Gun Ownership, Firearm Policy, and Firearm Violence
Principal Investigators

Michael Siegel, MD, MPH

Project Summary

The research team is developing a new framework for the study of firearm violence within the context of gun culture. The investigators will define gun culture and develop methods by which to measure and analyze its effect on gun violence. The team is expanding a multistate-level database on gun ownership, firearm policy, and firearm mortality, and examining the inter-relationship among these factors and gun culture. Results will provide new data to enable public health practitioners to identify strategies for addressing and reducing firearm violence. 

Award Amount & Duration

$486,500 and 30 months

Grant Start Date
July 2016

The Intergenerational Effects of the Criminal Justice System on Children’s Health
Grantee Organization
Principal Investigators

Elizabeth Gifford, PhD

Lindsey Eldred Kozecke, JD 

Project Summary

The research team is examining how parents’ interactions with the criminal justice system affect children’s health and well-being outcomes.  Specifically, the investigators will analyze over a decade’s worth of North Carolina statewide administrative data to explore whether and how the presence of children in a defendant’s life affects sentencing decisions, and if those decisions impact children’s experiences with the foster and health care systems. Results of the research will help improve understanding about what factors affect variation in sentencing, and may inform efforts to reform mandatory sentencing guidelines, particularly when a child is involved.

Award Amount & Duration

$315,939 and 36 months 

Grant Start Date
June 2016

Harnessing Healthy Stress Eating to Reduce Disparities
Principal Investigators

A. Janet Tomiyama, PhD

Project Summary

The research team is conducting a randomized controlled trial to determine if “comfort eating” actually does reduce stress; and, if so, if eating healthy food can produce the same stress-relieving effects as eating less healthy foods. This is the first randomized, controlled experiment testing the causal effects of comfort eating on physiological stress markers. Results could inform the design of nutrition interventions for chronically stressed individuals and families.

Award Amount & Duration

$46,000 and 24 Months

Grant Start Date
June 2016

A Multisector Solution to Build a Culture of Health among Food Insecure Populations in Dallas County
Principal Investigators

Sandi Pruitt, PhD

Tammy Leonard, PhD

Project Summary

The research team is working to expand the reach, scope, validity, and availability of The Hunger Center Longitudinal Database. They are also evaluating an ongoing, large-scale natural experiment of a shift in charitable food distribution to a community-based model. Their work will strengthen the evidence base for understanding health among food insecure populations and inform local, regional, and national efforts to ensure efficient and equitable food distribution.

Award Amount & Duration

$460,700 and 30 Months

Grant Start Date
April 2016

Worksite Health Interventions in Public Schools, Teacher Health, and Student Academic Performance
Grantee Organization
Principal Investigators

Hangsheng Liu, PhD

John Engberg, PhD

Project Summary

The research team is leveraging existing data from an urban public school system in Tennessee to determine if locating a health clinic onsite and managing chronic conditions improve teacher health, retention, and productivity. They are also examining if this will in turn impact student academic performance. Findings from this study could have a significant impact on the valuation of similar interventions in all sectors. 

Award Amount & Duration

$251,100 and 18 months

Grant Start Date
March 2016

Seattle's Yesler Terrace Redevelopment: Addressing the Impact of Multi-Sector Strategies on Redevelopment Plans and Community Health
Principal Investigators

Stephanie Farquhar, PhD, MA

Roxana Chen, PhD, MPH

Maria Ursua, MURP, MPA

Project Summary

The research team is conducting a mixed method study to evaluate the impact of the Yesler Terrace Redevelopment Project on resident and community health and well-being. Yesler Terrace is a publicly subsidized housing community of low-income, ethnically diverse residents owned and operated by Seattle Housing Authority. Resulting evidence may provide guidance on strategies for redeveloping communities while retaining cultural and community vibrancy and minimizing displacement of residents. 

Photo courtesy of the Seattle Housing Authority.

Award Amount & Duration

$451,000 and 30 months

Grant Start Date
February 2016
Results At A Glance:

Using litigation to increase PE policy compliance in California: Impact and unintended consequences
Principal Investigators

Kristine Madsen, MD, MPH

Hannah Thompson, PhD, MPH

Project Summary

The research team is researching the impact of a recent lawsuit against 37 non-PE compliant school districts in California on PE quality and quantity, and potential resulting unintended consequences. The researchers are conducting a qualitative study to assess districts’ and schools' perceptions of the lawsuit. They are also quantifying the impact of PE litigation on cardiovascular fitness among a diverse group of elementary students across California. The findings should inform future strategies to improve compliance with PE laws and improve student health.

Award Amount & Duration

$147,193 & 30 months 

Grant Start Date
February 2016

Helping Smokers Quit: Crossing Boundaries Across Medicaid, Public Health, and Other Sectors
Principal Investigators

Leighton Ku, PhD, MPH

Brian Bruen, PhD

Project Summary

The research team is analyzing the relation of state tobacco use cessation efforts, other tobacco policies and individual characteristics on the smoking and quitting behavior of Medicaid smokers. If successful, evidence will demonstrate how stronger state Medicaid efforts to promote tobacco cessation lead to reductions in smoking and higher quit rates. Additionally, the research will highlight which policies have the most robust effects on smoking behaviors.

Award Amount & Duration

$199,520 and 12 months

Grant Start Date
February 2016

Multiple Chronic Conditions and Population Health
Principal Investigators

John Mullahy, PhD

Project Summary

Dr. Mullahy is examining the use of Multiple Chronic Conditions (MCCs) data as an indicator of individual and population health, functioning, and well-being. He is assessing whether this data can be used to establish metrics that will describe the status of, disparities in, and trajectories over time of population health. These metrics could serve as the foundation for the development of innovative approaches for using this readily available data source to evaluate changing patterns in population health. Researchers, clinicians, policymakers, and other stakeholders would then be better equipped to address MCCs and improve public health and health equity.

Award Amount & Duration

$199,200 and 24 months

Grant Start Date
January 2016

The EARN-Health Trial: Intervening on economic determinants of health
Principal Investigators

Sanjay Basu, MD, PhD

Project Summary

The research team is evaluating an EARN intervention that encourages financial saving among low-income US adults to see if improved financial security impacts mental health and health behaviors. Measured outcomes include self-reported overall health, health-related quality of life, alcohol and tobacco use, depression symptoms, financial stress, optimism and locus of control, and spending and savings behaviors. Evidence generated during this project will be used to develop new insights into how intervening on inadequate financial savings can influence population health and health equity and address a critical upstream economic determinant of health.

Award Amount & Duration

$97,300 and 24 months

Grant Start Date
January 2016
Results At A Glance: