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
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 researchers are 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 research 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 researchers are 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 researchers are 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 researchers aim to examine whether changes in SNAP eligibility impact patterns of health service use and health outcomes among Medicaid beneficiaries. To do this, the investigators 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 researchers are 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
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. 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. To achieve this, the researchers are drawing on the RE-AIM framework to (a) bring together comparative current evidence from across South East Asia (Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia) to identify key components of effective interventions (b) describe the theory of change; facilitators and barriers to effectiveness; and other relevant outcomes related to implementation in the cross-country setting and (c) develop an in-depth understanding of needs assessment related to these components in the U.S. setting. The investigators will then triangulate these three elements to 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. Results from this study will produce general practice recommendations for policymakers and organizations addressing the financial security of women in the U.S.
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
$225,484
Duration
24 months
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African women smiling
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Principal investigators
Jessica Dalpe, LMSW
Jhumka Gupta, ScD, MPH
Project summary
This grant was awarded through E4A’s special Call for Proposals: Approaches to Advance Gender Equity From Around the Globe. The investigators are evaluating the feasibility and acceptability of adapting an internationally developed women’s protection and empowerment intervention – Economic and Social Empowerment (EA$E) – for forcibly displaced populations (FDPs) in Phoenix, AZ to address the unique challenges women and households face in achieving gender equity. The researchers are 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.
Start date
Award amount
$244,784
Duration
24 months
See Project Details
Pregnant woman sitting on park bench
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Principal investigators
Angelica Meinhofer, PhD
Project summary
The researchers are evaluating the impact of punitive, reporting, testing, and supportive policies to address prenatal substance use (PSUPs) on (1) system responses, including child welfare, criminal justice, and healthcare providers, (2) maternal substance use and healthcare behaviors, and (3) maternal and newborn health. The investigators will also examine whether race and ethnicity modifies the strength of the association between PSUPs and the proposed outcomes. Study findings will generate timely knowledge to inform policy approaches for preventing or treating substance use during pregnancy, reducing racial or ethnic disparities in substance-related pregnancy outcomes, and improving maternal and newborn health, as well as the systems that support these populations.
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. The database will help inform health and social policy decisions that promote a culture of health and rapid response policy research with a focus on policies that affect vulnerable populations.
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 researchers will study whether SBHC services affect a range of mental health and human capital outcomes for children and adolescents. The researchers will further investigate whether effects vary in subgroups of children and adolescents who are at higher risk of mental health problems. Evidence generated from this study will be directly informative for policy and programmatic decisions around expansion and funding of school-based mental health services.
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 researchers are 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, and 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. Results from this study will help to evaluate the utility of this form of online community for building a culture of health by fostering shared values (shifting mindsets and expectations, stimulating civic engagement, and cultivating a sense of community) and improving health outcomes among a vulnerable population.
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. Evidence from this study will inform states and localities on the implementation and strengthening of existing T21 policies.
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 researchers are conducting a randomized control trial (RCT) to test the impacts of a youth violence prevention/employment program and a barrier reduction subsidy on youth violence and other health-related outcomes. Both interventions are offered to youth at-risk of involvement in the criminal justice system. The youth violence prevention and employment program includes an after-school curriculum followed by subsidized employment. The barrier reduction subsidy is distributed weekly and is meant to reduce the barriers that youth face to participating in programming and to engaging in health-promoting and prosocial activities. The researchers are estimating the impact of each intervention separately and together on physical and mental health, health behaviors, school attendance and disciplinary actions, and program participation, as well as secondary outcomes like criminal involvement, educational attainment, employment, and financial health. Results from this study will inform youth violence prevention programs and other programs such as those that focus on educational attainment, health, and financial education.
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 researchers are testing whether assisted housing affects children's healthy development by reducing family housing cost burden and/or 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. The researchers are examining differences in three aspects of healthy development — cognitive development, social-emotional development, and several dimensions of health such as psychological distress. Findings generated from this study will inform policies that affect the supply of affordable 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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
Start date
Award amount
$487,202
Duration
36 months
See Project Details
Women shopping produce at food pantry
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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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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
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. 
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 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.
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. 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.
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 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.
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 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.  
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
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.
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 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.
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 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.
Start date
Award amount
$340,000
Duration
36 months
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A doctor examining a child
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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.
Start date
Award amount
$127,424
Duration
18 months
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newborn baby
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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.
Start date
Award amount
$ 136,139
Duration
18 months
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Family walking into a house
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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.
Start date
Award amount
$60,674
Duration
24 months
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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 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.
Start date
Award amount
$198,940
Duration
18 months
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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 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.
Start date
Award amount
$368,575
Duration
24 months
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Children in PE class stretching their arms into the air
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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.

Start date
Award amount
$729,500
Duration
36 months
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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 workplace experiment to examine the health and well-being effects of a shift to more stable schedules in hourly retail jobs.

Start date
Award amount
$188,420
Duration
18 months
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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.

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 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 pe

Start date
Award amount
$400,000
Duration
30 months
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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 is examining the causal effect of access to prenatal care for immigrant women on maternal and infant health outcomes and state economic impacts.

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 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.

Start date
Award amount
$279,750
Duration
18 months
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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.

Start date
Award amount
$486,500
Duration
30 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 is conducting a randomized controlled trial to examine the effect of workplace wellness programs on health, medical utilization, and well-being.  Investigators will particularly fo

Start date
Award amount
$ 200,000
Duration
18 months
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Three containers of vegetables
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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

Start date
Award amount
$46,000
Duration
24 months
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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 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 decad

Start date
Award amount
$315,939
Duration
36 months
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Teacher helping students at their desk
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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,

Start date
Award amount
$251,100
Duration
18 months
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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 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.

Start date
Award amount
$451,000
Duration
30 months
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Children running in PE class
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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.
Start date
Award amount
$147,193
Duration
30 months
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no smoking sign formed out of thousands of tiny people
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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.

Start date
Award amount
$199,520
Duration
12 months
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Doctor holding a piggy bank
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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 me

Start date
Award amount
$97,300
Duration
24 months
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papers funneled into a machine
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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.

Start date
Award amount
$199,200
Duration
24 months
See Project Details

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