Grantees

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.

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

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

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

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 severly 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

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 Rodiguez, 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

$150,000 and 18 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

John Forsyth, 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 deplacement of residents. 

Photo courtesy of the Seattle Housing Authority.

Award Amount & Duration

$451,000 and 30 months

Grant Start Date
February, 2016

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 conducting a qualitative study to assess districts' and schools' perceptions of a recent lawsuit against 37 non-PE compliant school districts in California. The team is researching the lawsuit's impact on PE quality and quantity, and potential resulting unintended consequences. The findings should inform future strategies to improve compliance with PE policy and improve student health.

Award Amount & Duration

$80,920 and 18 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 18 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 12 months

Grant Start Date
January, 2016