Funded Projects

Evidence for Action (E4A) grantees are conducting research to assess health outcomes and address key determinants of health, with a particular focus on improving population health and racial equity. Grantee research results will help identify actionable strategies and priorities for building a Culture of Health.

Traffic in New York City
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Principal investigators
Akhgar Ghassabian, MD, PhD
Lorna Thorpe, PhD, MPH
Project summary
The New York State (NYS) Legislature has authorized a traffic congestion pricing plan for Manhattan, which will allow fees to be placed on vehicles driving in Manhattan streets and roadways south of and including 60th Street. The project team will evaluate the impact of this landmark congestion pricing policy, scheduled to go into effect in early 2022, on air quality, health outcomes, and the extent to which the policy affects racial and economic inequities among residents in the study areas.
Start date
Award amount
$473,157
Duration
48 months
See Project Details
Black man wearing a white cap, glasses, black vest, and charcoal shirt smiling while riding the bus
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Principal investigators
Carrie S. Cihak, MA, BA
Krisda H. Chaiyachati, MD, MPH, MSHP
David Phillips, PhD, MA, BA
Project summary
In October 2020, King County Metro Transit launched a subsidized annual transit pass program to provide transit passes to people with incomes ≤80% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) who are also enrolled in qualifying State cash benefit programs. The project team is evaluating the impact of King County’s subsidized annual pass program on health and well-being. The team will look specifically at outcomes by race to understand whether the impacts of the subsidized annual pass are racially equitable. Photo by Ned Ahrens, King County Metro.
Start date
Award amount
$447,996
Duration
24 months
See Project Details
Image of a line of people holding hands - artistic rendering with shadowy figures.
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Principal investigators
Wendy Epstein, JD
Christopher Robertson, JD, PhD
David Yokum, JD, PhD
Project summary
The project team is exploring if new marketing of existing insurance offerings prompt uninsured individuals – with an emphasis on the young and healthy – to purchase health insurance. This would be the first empirical project to explore whether generosity framing could enhance insurance uptake.
Start date
Award amount
$388,244
Duration
24 months
See Project Details
Transgender flag draped over the back of a person at a pride festival
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Principal investigators
John Strang, PsyD
Anna van der Miesen, MD
Project summary
This grant was awarded through E4A’s special Call for Proposals: Approaches to Advance Gender Equity From Around the Globe. The project team is investigating core components of the Netherlands’ (NL) Gender Affirming Care Policy (GACP) to determine which components might be best adapted for and implemented in U.S. settings.
Start date
Award amount
$249,868
Duration
30 months
See Project Details
Image of a masked woman holding a sign with text: We care, do you?
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Principal investigators
Suresh Naidu, PhD
Adam Reich, PhD
Project summary
The project team is evaluating the causal impact of labor organizing on health and labor market outcomes in the health care sector. In partnership with a labor union, the investigators plan to randomize efforts to unionize health care facilities and implement mixed methods data collection around these efforts to obtain the first ever randomization-based causal effects of labor organizing within the health care sector.
Start date
Award amount
$412,830
Duration
48 months
See Project Details
Red San Deigo light rail train at a stop on a sunny day and palm trees.
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Principal investigators
Katie Crist, PhD, MPH
James Sallis, PhD
Project summary
The project team is evaluating longitudinal changes in multiple health, economic, and environmental outcomes over a 3-year COVID recovery period and in the context of a new light rail transit (LRT) line, called the Mid-Coast Trolley, among 465 UC San Diego (UCSD) staff. The primary aim is to evaluate change in objectively measured total and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), travel mode, and vehicle miles traveled (VMT).
Start date
Award amount
$547,844
Duration
36 months
See Project Details
Image of a two-armed scale with vegetables and fruits on the left hand side and colorful pills on the right hand side.
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Principal investigators
Chima Ndumele, PhD
Project summary
The research team aims to examine whether changes in SNAP eligibility impact patterns of health service use and health outcomes among Medicaid beneficiaries. To do this, the team will construct a novel data linkage of administrative Medicaid and SNAP datasets to evaluate two natural experiments that lead low-income families to acquire or lose SNAP benefits.
Start date
Award amount
$396,311
Duration
30 months
See Project Details
Image of children playing on playground equipment.
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Principal investigators
Chris Lim, PhD
Project summary
The project team is investigating the health and other impacts of the New York City (NYC) Schoolyards to Playgrounds (S2P) program, a partnership between the NYC Departments of Education and Parks and the Trust for Public Land (TPL), that renovates and opens schoolyards to the public as playgrounds. They aim to measure the impact of the program on the academic performance and health of NYC students and to assess differential impact based on level of investment.
Start date
Award amount
$303,972
Duration
36 months
See Project Details
African women smiling
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Principal investigators
Jessica Dalpe, LMSW
Jhumka Gupta, ScD, MPH
Project summary
This grant was awarded through E4A’s special Call for Proposals: Approaches to Advance Gender Equity From Around the Globe. The investigators are evaluating the feasibility and acceptability of adapting an internationally developed women’s protection and empowerment intervention – Economic and Social Empowerment (EA$E) – for forcibly displaced populations (FDPs) in Phoenix, AZ to address the unique challenges women and households face in achieving gender equity. The project team is testing: 1) What programmatic components from EA$E are perceived (or not perceived) as acceptable, appropriate, and feasible by US-based FDPs; 2) Why are some programmatic components perceived as acceptable (or not acceptable) for US-based FDPs; and 3) What are the barriers and facilitators to implementing an adapted version of EA$E by International Rescue Committee’s US-based offices. Findings will lead to the formulation of data-informed recommendations for adapting EA$E for US-based FDPs. Image credit: Heidi Chase, International Rescue Committee. 
Start date
Award amount
$244,784
Duration
24 months
See Project Details
3 elderly women standing together
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Principal investigators
Joanne Yoong, PhD
Project summary
This grant was awarded through E4A’s special Call for Proposals: Approaches to Advance Gender Equity From Around the Globe. Drawing on the RE-AIM framework, the investigators are exploring the potential for deployment of the Citi-Tsao Financial Education Program, a 12-week group-based intervention, for women in the U.S. The investigators will develop detailed recommendations for the potential adaptation of this program to a low-income U.S. setting, examining implications for design modifications and targeting of beneficiaries and stakeholders.
Start date
Award amount
$228,554
Duration
30 months
See Project Details
Woman looking at a phone
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Principal investigators
Laura Boudreau, MSc, PhD
Sylvain Chassang, MA, PhD
Ada González-Torres, MSc, PhD
Project summary
This grant was awarded through E4A’s special Call for Proposals: Approaches to Advance Gender Equity From Around the Globe. The investigators are conducting a cluster randomized control trial to study an innovation to an independent grievance reporting and resolute system (the Helpline) – the incorporation of a reporting escrow. The researchers will randomly assign garment factories in Bangladesh to: 1) the Helpline’s status quo system or 2) to the Helpline’s status quo system plus a reporting escrow. The researchers also aim to vary the design of the reporting escrow across factories. The researchers are evaluating the escrow’s effects on reporting of labor issues, including sexual harassment, and on workers’ mental well-being, as well as its effects on factories’ internal capacity to resolve issues and on worker absenteeism. The team will also explore whether the reporting escrow changes perceived social norms and acceptability of different behaviors on workers, and in the longer term, reduces the actual incidence of labor issues. Evidence from this study could substantially improve the design of reporting escrow systems and increase the probability of take-up and success in the U.S.
Start date
Award amount
$225,484
Duration
24 months
See Project Details
Pregnant woman sitting on park bench
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Principal investigators
Angelica Meinhofer, PhD
Project summary
The research team is evaluating how different prenatal substance use policies (PSUPs) impact (1) how systems, such as child welfare, criminal justice and healthcare providers, respond; (2) maternal substance use and healthcare behaviors; and (3) maternal and newborn health. The researchers are also examining whether the policies have differential impact based on the mother’s race and ethnicity.
Start date
Award amount
$149,443
Duration
18 months
See Project Details
Storefront window with "Closed until further notice" sign in window due to COVID
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Principal investigators
Julia Raifman, ScD
Project summary
The team is expanding a comprehensive, publicly available COVID-19 U.S. State Policy database – CUSP. The CUSP database is free to access and documents the dates of health and social policies in the wake of COVID-19 and its economic ramifications in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The researchers will continue to expand the database to track COVID-19 social safety net policies and health care policies.
Start date
Award amount
$299,713
Duration
18 months
See Project Details
Students smiling and running towards camera thru a school corridor
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Principal investigators
Ezra Golberstein, PhD
Project summary
The research team is assessing what happens when K-12 schools adopt a School-Based Mental Health (SBMH) services model, where schools partner with an external mental health services agency to directly place licensed mental health clinicians inside schools. Leveraging a staggered adoption of SBMH across K-12 public schools in Minnesota between 2005-2017, the team will study whether SBHC services affect a range of mental health and human capital outcomes for children and adolescents. The team will further investigate whether effects vary in subgroups of children and adolescents who are at higher risk of mental health problems.
Start date
Award amount
$189,751
Duration
21 months
See Project Details
students and teacher in classroom
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Principal investigators
Parissa Ballard, PhD, MA
Alison Cohen, PhD, MPH
Project summary
The researchers are conducting a randomized controlled trial evaluating an “action civics" program – Generation Citizen (GC) –  that offers a school-based civic engagement intervention. The researchers are testing the causal effects of GC on (1) changes in civic engagement and sense of community and (2) subsequent health and wellbeing among disadvantaged middle and high school students. They are also testing whether the relations between GC and health and wellbeing depend on (a) adolescents’ background characteristics, (b) experiences in GC, and (c) experiences in society, and if psychological and social mechanisms (psychological empowerment, meaningful contribution, social connectedness, and civic readiness) explain relations between participating in GC and health and wellbeing outcomes. Evidence generated from this study will inform how best to implement policies and interventions to support both civic development and health among disadvantaged adolescents.
Start date
Award amount
$415,288
Duration
36 months
See Project Details
Young woman looking at her phone
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Principal investigators
Adam Reich, PhD
Hana Shepherd, PhD
Project summary
The project team is conducting a randomized control trial (RCT) among people working in low-wage, precarious retail jobs to evaluate the impact of a new form of online organizing – facilitated discussion groups – on physical and emotional well-being, as well as health-related workplace engagement. Using a customized version of the mobile app WorkIt, developed as a resource for low-wage workers by the non-profit organization United for Respect, the researchers will test the relative effect of a facilitated discussion group compared to an online group that receives health-related information only.
Start date
Award amount
$513,650
Duration
36 months
See Project Details
A mother and father looking at their newborn
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Principal investigators
Jennifer Heissel, PhD, MPP
Project summary
The research team is leveraging unique U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) policies and the DoD’s robust administrative records to examine whether parental support policies, such as maternity and paternity leave and subsidized childcare improve parents’ health outcomes. To study whether these policies can improve parental health, the researchers take advantage of changes to DoD parental supports available to active duty parents. For parents, access to maternity and paternity leave changed at different times, while childcare access depended on location, allowing researchers to interact these policies with one another to estimate if any benefits are multiplicative – or if they offset each other. Findings from this study will shed light on whether and how particular policies support parents’ health – and if and how patterns differ based on parental characteristics.
Start date
Award amount
$273,058
Duration
36 months
See Project Details
hands breaking a cigarette in half
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Principal investigators
Hongying (Daisy) Dai, PhD
Project summary
Raising the minimum legal age of tobacco sales to 21 (T21) is among a small number of low-cost, population-level interventions that may significantly delay youth tobacco initiation and reduce smoking prevalence. The overarching goal of this study is to develop a community data-driven policy framework in order to 1) optimize the effects of T21 and 2) reduce policy-related health disparities.
Start date
Award amount
$233,688
Duration
24 months
See Project Details
Teen looking at a computer
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Principal investigators
Christina Stacy, PhD
Project summary
The project team is conducting a randomized control trial (RCT) to test the impacts of both a conditional and unconditional monetary payment with the explicit goal of addressing youth at-risk of engagement in the criminal justice system. The first component of the intervention is a youth violence prevention program that involves an after-school curriculum followed by subsidized employment. The second component of the intervention is a weekly cash subsidy that is meant to reduce the barriers that youth face to both participating in programming and to living a healthy life with minimal justice system interaction.
Start date
Award amount
$436,244
Duration
33 months
See Project Details
A smiling little girl holding a teddy bear while parents move boxes
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Principal investigators
Sandra Newman, PhD, MUP
Charles Scott Holupka, PhD
Project summary
The project team is testing whether assisted housing affects children's healthy development by reducing family housing cost burden, and/or by improving their housing and neighborhood conditions. A nationally representative sample of children ages 0-12 in 1997 who lived in assisted housing are followed into adulthood and their outcomes are compared to those of a comparison group of children who were eligible for but did not live in assisted housing.
Start date
Award amount
$295,016
Duration
30 months
See Project Details
Group of people giving thumbs up
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Principal investigators
Jennifer Hamilton, PhD
Scott Hays, PhD
Project summary
The project team is 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). Engaging Youth for Positive Change is a civic engagement program that provides young people ages 14-19 with a systematic approach to working with local governments 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.
Start date
Award amount
$428,139
Duration
30 months
See Project Details
Mayor - Jasmin Mural
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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 (GI) pilot. The project 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, as well as to what degree GI acts as a financial vaccine to help people weather unexpected shocks.
Start date
Award amount
$678,315 (COVID supplement: $285,692 started August 2020)
Duration
36 months (COVID supplement: 18 months started August 2020)
See Project Details
Group of women sitting on park bench with young child
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Principal investigators
Terry Huang, PhD, MPH, MBA
Katarzyna Wyka, PhD
Project summary
The project team is 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.
Start date
Award amount
$487,202
Duration
36 months
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Women shopping produce at food pantry
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Principal investigators
John Bulger, DO, MBA
Project summary
The project team is 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. Evidence generated will 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.
Start date
Award amount
$ 261,816
Duration
36 months
See Project Details
Family sitting together talking with family doctor
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Principal investigators
Melissa Richmond, PhD
Sara Bayless, PhD
Project summary
The project team is determining the degree to which a scalable, community-based model of family supportive services is effective at improving family health and wellbeing. 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.
Start date
Award amount
$435,328
Duration
36 months
See Project Details
Young college students in lecture
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Principal investigators
Benjamin Cowan, PhD
Nathan Tefft, PhD
Project summary
The project team is 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.
Start date
Award amount
$196,684
Duration
24 months
See Project Details
Man holding practice target talking with child
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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 project team is 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.
Start date
Award amount
$599,413
Duration
36 months
See Project Details
Teacher and pre-schoolers with arts & crafts
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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 project team is 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.
Start date
Award amount
$281,392
Duration
18 months
See Project Details
Bicycle leaning on stop sign at street corner
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Principal investigators
Katherine Theall, PhD, MPH
Lisa Richardson, PhD
Project summary
The project team is 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; as well as examining the moderating impact of additional neighborhood level buffers (e.g., fewer alcohol outlets, greater green and park space) on blight reduction efforts.
Start date
Award amount
$500,000
Duration
48 months
See Project Details
Young African American woman passionately speaking into a microphone on stage.
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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 project focuses on capturing the effects of the intervention on Making Health A Shared Value Drivers: mindset and expectations, sense of community, and civic engagement.
Start date
Award amount
$502,698
Duration
24 months
See Project Details
Children in school uniforms ready for school standing in front of parents
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Principal investigators
Kevin Bastian, PhD
Sarah Fuller, PhD
Project summary
The project team assessed 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 took 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 district elementary schools.
Start date
Award amount
$193,165
Duration
15 months
See Project Details
A balanced scale with money on one side and a family on the other
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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 project team is leveraging natural experiments in LW policy adoption across metro areas in two population-based, longitudinal studies: the Community Tracking Study and the CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) Cohort Study. The project will demonstrate the feasibility of placing health as a front-and-center objective for social and economic policy.
Start date
Award amount
$247,406
Duration
24 months
See Project Details
Female students talking on a couch
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Principal investigators
Sherry Barr, PsyD
Eric Jenner, MMC, PhD
Project summary
The project team investigated how a positive youth development and cross-age peer mentoring model known as Peer Group Connection impacted economically-disadvantaged students in urban high schools in New York City and rural high schools in North Carolina. This project complemented and extended 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.
Start date
Award amount
$348,295
Duration
24 months
See Project Details
Old image of teacher with students (1940's)
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Principal investigators
Taletha Derrington, PhD
Joseph Ferrie, PhD
Project summary
The project team is 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 team has identified the places that received Lanham funds for nursery care along with a group of control sites that did not receive the funds. The team is following the two groups born 1938-1948 over the entire life course to assess the impact of early-life education. Photo courtesy of Kaiser Permanente Heritage Resources: Medical checkup at Kaiser Oregonship child development center, circa 1944.
Start date
Award amount
$249,776
Duration
36 months
See Project Details
Stethoscope
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Principal investigators
Helen Colby, PhD
Meng Li, PhD
Project summary
In the U.S. healthcare system, patients often have no access to information about the original cost of medical services. The investigators tested whether disclosing information on the original cost of preventive care increased its perceived value and led to increased adoption of such services. Their research focused on four preventive healthcare 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 checkups for insured patients who under-utilize dental checkups, and 4) annual wellness visits for insured patients who under-utilize wellness visits.
Start date
Award amount
$156,230
Duration
18 months
See Project Details
young teens walking down high school corridor
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Principal investigators
Lisa J. Meltzer, PhD
Amy Plog, PhD
Project summary
The project team conducted 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 took 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).
Start date
Award amount
$402,568
Duration
33 months
See Project Details
hands holding a cigarette and vaporizer
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Principal investigators
Abigail Friedman, PhD
Project summary
The project team estimated the impact of combustible cigarette and electronic cigarette 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 team studied how several different types of tobacco policies implemented at state and local levels impacted both electronic cigarette and combustible cigarette use.
Start date
Award amount
$337,679
Duration
36 months
See Project Details
Impact of Greening
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Principal investigators
Scott Brown, PhD
Jose Szapocznik, PhD
Joanna Lombard, MArch
Project summary
The project team examined the impact of greenness and greening interventions (tree plantings) on cardiovascular disease (CVD) diagnoses. The study took advantage of a natural experiment to increase greenness in low-income neighborhoods in Miami-Dade County. The team used 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.
Start date
Award amount
$382,500
Duration
36 months
See Project Details
Doctor and patient shaking hands
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Principal investigators
Hongmei Wang, PhD
Ann Mangiameli, JD
Project summary
The project team is assessing the impact of legal services provided to health care super-utilizers through a medical-legal partnership (MLP) on their health and health care use. The team is 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.
Start date
Award amount
$536,316
Duration
36 months
See Project Details
Child eating fruits and vegetables
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Principal investigators
Marianne Bitler, PhD
Janet Currie, PhD
Project summary
The project team is developing plausible 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).
Start date
Award amount
$340,000
Duration
36 months
See Project Details
A doctor examining a child
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Principal investigators
Heather Koball, PhD
James Kirby, PhD
Project summary
The project team examined 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 approaches to expanding public benefits to immigrants. The study took advantage of the patterns of state immigration policy variations to measure the health impacts of different policy approaches to immigration regulation.
Start date
Award amount
$127,424
Duration
18 months
See Project Details
newborn baby
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Principal investigators
Marcos Rangel, PhD
Christina Gibson-Davis, PhD
Project summary
This project team estimated 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 team explored how immigration enforcement activities affect the health and well-being of immigrant mothers and their newborns, and if changes in birth outcomes arose due to changes in maternal behaviors and access.
Start date
Award amount
$ 136,139
Duration
18 months
See Project Details
Family walking into a house
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Principal investigators
Ingrid G. Ellen, PhD
Robert Collinson, MA, MPP
Project summary
The project team studied the effect of tenant-based housing vouchers and public housing programs on the health outcomes of vulnerable individuals and families. The study took 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.
Start date
Award amount
$60,674
Duration
24 months
See Project Details
Man check off a to-do list
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Principal investigators
Janel Hanmer, MD, PhD
Project summary
The next-generation Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS®) has health measures for clinical, research, and population health uses. The project team developed a summary PROMIS-Preference (PROPr) score combining information from 7 PROMIS domains. They estimated 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.
Start date
Award amount
$333,055
Duration
34 months
See Project Details
Woman standing in front of grocery aisle
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Principal investigators
Andy Brownback, PhD
Alex Imas, PhD
Michael Kuhn, PhD
Project summary
The project team examined how introducing waiting periods into the decision-making process affects the food purchasing choices of SNAP recipients. The team particularly focused on various ways in which subsidies for healthy food distribution optimized both the effective promotion of healthy consumption and the preservation of choice for participants.
Start date
Award amount
$198,940
Duration
18 months
See Project Details
Group of young students at large table discussing a project
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Principal investigators
Atheendar Venkataramani, MD, PhD
Alexander Tsai, MD, PhD
Project summary
The project team examined 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. They also assessed the importance of economic mediators by examining impacts of these policies on employment, education, and income.
Start date
Award amount
$368,575
Duration
24 months
See Project Details
Children in PE class stretching their arms into the air
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Principal investigators
Jennifer Otten, PhD, RD
Project summary
The project team evaluated the impact of the implementation of an increased minimum wage ordinance in the early childhood education (ECE) setting. The team examined how changes to the minimum wage affected the health of ECE providers and how provider health relates to the quality of the ECE environment. The study was designed to compare minimum wage change outcomes over time in Seattle, WA and South King County, WA to the control city, Austin, TX.
Start date
Award amount
$729,500
Duration
36 months
See Project Details
Homeless person leaning agains a wall
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Principal investigators
Sarah Gillespie, MPA
Devlin Hanson, PhD
Project summary
The project team estimated 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 received supportive housing services in project-based and scattered-site supportive housing units. The team also evaluated inmate health records, filling an existing gap in the evidence base on health interventions for a frequent jail reentry population.
Start date
Award amount
$400,000
Duration
36 months
See Project Details
woman at laptop with another woman in background looking at clothes on a rack
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Principal investigators
Joan Williams, JD
Susan Lambert, PhD
Saravanan Kesavan, DBA
Project summary
This is the only experimental study to examine the health and well-being effects of a shift to more stable schedules for hourly workers. The project team conducted a natural experiment to evaluate the health effects of targeted efforts to change employer scheduling practices that provide hourly workers with greater schedule stability, predictability, adequacy, and control.
Start date
Award amount
$188,420
Duration
18 months
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Weatherization pipe insulation
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Principal investigators
Bruce Tonn, PhD
Project summary
The project team evaluated the health impacts of the Extreme Energy Makeover (EEM) program – designed to improve energy efficiency in low-income homes through weatherization. The team assessed how improving dwelling quality impacts health as well as energy cost savings. They also examined how the resulting energy cost savings affect household budgets and expenditures on health and well-being.
Start date
Award amount
$190,130
Duration
36 months
See Project Details
Close up of hands working some dough on a cookie sheet
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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 evaluated the impact of MTM programs on healthcare expenditures, inpatient hospitalizations, and emergency department visits in severely ill and nutritionally vulnerable adults. Photo by Kate McElwee. Photo by Kate McElwee.
Start date
Award amount
$358,040
Duration
30 months
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Young teens in class at their desk
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Principal investigators
Rebecca Dudovitz, MD, MSHS
Project summary
The project team evaluated 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. The team explored whether and how AVID changed peer networks and relationships with teachers, whether those changes led to improvements in academic and behavioral outcomes and, if so, what the relative importance of peer versus adult network changes were. In addition to examining the effects of AVID on participants, the team examined how exposure to AVID impacted the academic achievement and health of high-performing non-AVID peers.
Start date
Award amount
$400,000
Duration
30 months
See Project Details
Pregnant woman getting an ultrasound
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Principal investigators
Jens Hainmueller, PhD
Duncan Lawrence, PhD
Maria Isabel Rodriguez, MD, MPH
Jonas Swartz, MD, MPH
Project summary
The project team examined the causal effect of access to prenatal care for immigrant women on maternal and infant health outcomes and state economic impacts. The team compared 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.
Start date
Award amount
$70,150
Duration
12 months
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A stethoscope, money, and a calculator
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Principal investigators
Hye-Young Jung, PhD
Mark Aaron Unruh, PhD
Project summary
The project team explored how the Medicaid primary care fee bump affected the health and costs for beneficiaries with chronic conditions who were covered by both Medicare and Medicaid. The team evaluated whether higher reimbursements to providers for primary care services led to better care and lower overall health care costs for this patient population.
Start date
Award amount
$279,750
Duration
18 months
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image
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Principal investigators
Michael Siegel, MD, MPH
Project summary
The project team developed a new framework for the study of firearm violence within the context of gun culture. The investigators defined gun culture and developed methods by which to measure and analyze its effect on gun violence. The team expanded a multistate-level database on gun ownership, firearm policy, and firearm mortality, and examined the inter-relationship among these factors and gun culture. Results have provided new data to enable public health practitioners to identify strategies for addressing and reducing firearm violence.
Start date
Award amount
$486,500
Duration
30 months
See Project Details
child drinking water with hands
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Principal investigators
Kurt Schwabe, PhD
Bruce Link, PhD
Mindy Marks, PhD
Project summary
The project team assessed 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 created a dataset that includes health measures, indices of drought and extreme temperature, and water policy measures, which is publicly available for future research.
Start date
Award amount
$284,700
Duration
24 months
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Group of people in yoga class
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Principal investigators
David Molitor, PhD
Damon Jones, PhD
Julian Reif, PhD
Laura Payne, PhD
Project summary
The project team conducted a randomized controlled trial to examine the effect of workplace wellness programs on health, medical utilization, and well-being. The team focused 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.
Start date
Award amount
$ 200,000
Duration
18 months
See Project Details
Child with parents hand on their cheek. Parent appears behind bars
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Principal investigators
Elizabeth Gifford, PhD
Lindsey Eldred Kozecke, JD
Project summary
The project team examined how parents’ interactions with the criminal justice system affect children’s health and well-being outcomes. The team analyzed 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, specifically, how criminal sanctions for parents affect children’s health and health care utilization.
Start date
Award amount
$315,939
Duration
36 months
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Three containers of vegetables
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Principal investigators
A. Janet Tomiyama, PhD
Project summary
The project team conducted a randomized controlled trial to determine if “comfort eating” actually reduces stress, and, if so, if eating healthy food can produce the same stress-relieving effects as eating less healthy foods. This was the first randomized, controlled experiment testing the causal effects of comfort eating on physiological stress markers.
Start date
Award amount
$46,000
Duration
24 months
See Project Details
Image of two people at a food bank
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Principal investigators
Sandi Pruitt, PhD
Tammy Leonard, PhD
Project summary
The project team worked to expand the reach, scope, validity, and availability of The Hunger Center Longitudinal Database. They also evaluated an ongoing, large-scale natural experiment of a shift in charitable food distribution to a community-based model.
Start date
Award amount
$460,700
Duration
30 months
See Project Details
Teacher helping students at their desk
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Principal investigators
Hangsheng Liu, PhD
John Engberg, PhD
Project summary
The project team leveraged existing data from an urban public school system in Tennessee to determine if locating a health clinic onsite and managing chronic conditions improved teacher health, retention, and productivity. The team also examined if this will in turn impact student academic performance.
Start date
Award amount
$251,100
Duration
18 months
See Project Details
Yesler Terrace Redevelopment - overhead picture of courtyard
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Principal investigators
Stephanie Farquhar, PhD, MA
Roxana Chen, PhD, MPH
Maria Ursua, MURP, MPA
Project summary
The project team conducted a mixed method study to evaluate the impact of the Yesler Terrace (YT) 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. Photo courtesy of the Seattle Housing Authority.
Start date
Award amount
$451,000
Duration
30 months
See Project Details
Children running in PE class
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Principal investigators
Kristine Madsen, MD, MPH
Hannah Thompson, PhD, MPH
Project summary
The project team researched the impact of a lawsuit against 37 non-physical education (PE) compliant school districts in California on PE quality and quantity, and potential resulting unintended consequences. The team conducted a qualitative study to assess districts’ and schools' perceptions of the lawsuit. They also quantified the impact of PE litigation on cardiovascular fitness among a diverse group of students.
Start date
Award amount
$147,193
Duration
30 months
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papers funneled into a machine
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Principal investigators
John Mullahy, PhD
Project summary
Dr. Mullahy examined the use of Multiple Chronic Conditions (MCCs) data as an indicator of individual and population health, functioning, and well-being. He assessed whether this data can be used to establish metrics that will describe the status of, disparities in, and trajectories over time of population health.
Start date
Award amount
$199,200
Duration
24 months
See Project Details

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