MEET THE FELLOWS

Applications are now open for the 2018 cohort.

DEADLINE: March 14, 2018

“Research can’t be done effectively without community voices, and all too often those voices are excluded. Interdisciplinary Research Leaders brings community partners directly into the project design to address urgent issues.”

—RACHEL R. HARDEMAN, PhD, MPH

[Pictured Left to Right]

Rachel R. Hardeman, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Katy Kozhimannil, PhD, MPA, Associate Professor, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Interdisciplinary Research Leaders Fellows challenge themselves to apply their expertise and outside-the-box thinking to making their communities healthier and more equitable.

No matter what their background, training or discipline, they play a crucial role building a Culture of Health. They stretch beyond their daily work and collaborate with leaders from many other fields—building their leadership skills and creating change in their community and beyond.

Teams

Our current teams are working in communities across the country to advance projects related to the 2016 Interdisciplinary Research Leaders themes: Early childhood and health, housing, community development and health and the 2017 themes: Youth development apporaches to prevent violence and promote health, and individual and community resilience.

Displaying 30 result(s)

A Comparison of Resilience, Collective Efficacy, and Health in Two Historically African-American Neighborhoods in Houston, Texas
A Comparison of Resilience, Collective Efficacy, and Health in Two Historically African-American Neighborhoods in Houston, Texas
A Fighting Chance: Implementing a Collaborative Community-Based Group Mentoring Model to Address Youth Violence Prevention
A Fighting Chance: Implementing a Collaborative Community-Based Group Mentoring Model to Address Youth Violence Prevention
A Place-Based Approach to Early Childhood Wellness in Cincinnati
A Place-Based Approach to Early Childhood Wellness in Cincinnati
Affordable Housing & Community Advocacy for People Living with HIV: Assessing Best Practices & Health Impact
Affordable Housing & Community Advocacy for People Living with HIV: Assessing Best Practices & Health Impact
Applying Developmental Neuroscience to Incarcerated Adolescents (AD-in)
Applying Developmental Neuroscience to Incarcerated Adolescents (AD-in)
Assessing the Impacts of Housing Code Enforcement of Substandard Rental Housing on Health & Health-Related Outcomes in Memphis, Tenn.
Assessing the Impacts of Housing Code Enforcement of Substandard Rental Housing on Health & Health-Related Outcomes in Memphis, Tenn.
Building a Stronger Community: Resilience among LGBTQ+ People in South Texas
Building a Stronger Community: Resilience among LGBTQ+ People in South Texas
Building Social Environments That Promote Resilience among Youth Exposed to Violence
Building Social Environments That Promote Resilience among Youth Exposed to Violence
Comprehensive Early Childhood Parenting Supports & Children’s Health & Development
Comprehensive Early Childhood Parenting Supports & Children’s Health & Development
Enhancing the Arkansas Birthing Project through Technology
Enhancing the Arkansas Birthing Project through Technology
Health Impacts of Mass Incarceration on Indiana’s Children; Promoting Social, Emotional & Developmental Health & Well-Being in Early Childhood
Health Impacts of Mass Incarceration on Indiana’s Children; Promoting Social, Emotional & Developmental Health & Well-Being in Early Childhood
Identifying and Promoting Traditions of Strength and Healing on the Fond du Lac Reservation
Identifying and Promoting Traditions of Strength and Healing on the Fond du Lac Reservation
Improving Equity in Birth Outcomes, a Community-Based, Culturally-Centered Approach
Improving Equity in Birth Outcomes, a Community-Based, Culturally-Centered Approach
Increasing Housing Stability: Assessing Two Promising Tenancy Support Models to Inform Local, State & National Policy & Practice
Increasing Housing Stability: Assessing Two Promising Tenancy Support Models to Inform Local, State & National Policy & Practice
Interdisciplinary Research Leaders: Addressing Upstream Factors That Promote Youth Violence
Interdisciplinary Research Leaders: Addressing Upstream Factors That Promote Youth Violence
Interdisciplinary Studies of Policies & Practices Supporting Child Welfare & Child Health Collaboration
Interdisciplinary Studies of Policies & Practices Supporting Child Welfare & Child Health Collaboration
Juveniles at Risk: Using a Trauma-Informed Care Model with 10- to 13-Year-Olds and Their Families to Reduce Violence and Improve Health
Juveniles at Risk: Using a Trauma-Informed Care Model with 10- to 13-Year-Olds and Their Families to Reduce Violence and Improve Health
Making Baton Rouge Better – No Longer a Tale of Two Cities
Making Baton Rouge Better – No Longer a Tale of Two Cities
Making the Just City: An Examination of Organizing for Equity & Health in Shaw & Orange
Making the Just City: An Examination of Organizing for Equity & Health in Shaw & Orange
One Girl, Many Systems: A Collaborative to Improve the Road Ahead for Marginalized Girls
One Girl, Many Systems: A Collaborative to Improve the Road Ahead for Marginalized Girls
Opening Doors for All: Evaluating the Health Impact of Site-based Parenting Support in Public Housing Communities
Opening Doors for All: Evaluating the Health Impact of Site-based Parenting Support in Public Housing Communities
Project MIND: Promoting Youth Resilience, Health, and Safety through Mindfulness and Restorative Approaches
Project MIND: Promoting Youth Resilience, Health, and Safety through Mindfulness and Restorative Approaches
Public Housing & Public Health: Identifying Impacts & Experiences of Renovation & Redevelopment in San Francisco
Public Housing & Public Health: Identifying Impacts & Experiences of Renovation & Redevelopment in San Francisco
Redefining Resilience and Reframing Resistance: Evaluation of a Violence Prevention and Health Promotion Empowerment Program for Black Girls
Redefining Resilience and Reframing Resistance: Evaluation of a Violence Prevention and Health Promotion Empowerment Program for Black Girls
Resilience and Food Security in Black Belt Alabama through Land-Based Cooperative Economics and Communal Landholdings
Resilience and Food Security in Black Belt Alabama through Land-Based Cooperative Economics and Communal Landholdings
Resilience and Health in Immigrant Communities: An Examination of a Community Health Action Approach in Washington, D.C., and Prince George’s County, Maryland
Resilience and Health in Immigrant Communities: An Examination of a Community Health Action Approach in Washington, D.C., and Prince George’s County, Maryland
The Impact of Precarious Work Schedules on Early Childhood Health
The Impact of Precarious Work Schedules on Early Childhood Health
Transforming the Puerto Rico WIC Program to improve effectiveness in the promotion of healthy lifestyles early in childhood and a long lasting culture
Transforming the Puerto Rico WIC Program to improve effectiveness in the promotion of healthy lifestyles early in childhood and a long lasting culture
Using the Structured Dialogue Model as a Model for Violence Prevention and Health Promotion
Using the Structured Dialogue Model as a Model for Violence Prevention and Health Promotion
Young, Unsheltered and in Harm’s Way: Promoting Health and Development through Disentangling Youth Violence, Homelessness, and Criminal Justice
Young, Unsheltered and in Harm’s Way: Promoting Health and Development through Disentangling Youth Violence, Homelessness, and Criminal Justice

A Comparison of Resilience, Collective Efficacy, and Health in Two Historically African-American Neighborhoods in Houston, Texas

Location: Houston, Texas
Project Year: 2017
Theme: Community and individual resilience and health

PROJECT SUMMARY: The Greater Third Ward and Sunnyside neighborhoods in central Houston, Texas, are two urban, historically African-American neighborhoods with relatively high levels of poverty. But talk to the residents, and a portrait of two very different neighborhoods emerges—one (Third Ward) low-income but thriving, with community organizations dedicated to ensuring its survival and preventing looming gentrification, and the other (Sunnyside) low-income and struggling, with high rates of violent crime and disorder. This research proposes to explore, through a mixed-methods design, the differences between the neighborhoods of Third Ward and Sunnyside regarding resilience and collective efficacy, and the health impact of these differences. The findings from this research will provide critical information on the services and resources that are needed to build resilience and improve health in the Sunnyside neighborhood.

TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured from Left to Right]

  • Felicia Jackson, MA, Manager of Family Support Services, Houston Area Urban League, Houston, Texas
  • Quianta Moore, JD, MD, Scholar in Health Policy, Baker Institute for Public Policy, Rice University, Houston, Texas
  • Rachel Kimbro, MA, PhD, Professor of Sociology, Rice University, Houston, Texas

A Fighting Chance: Implementing a Collaborative Community-Based Group Mentoring Model to Address Youth Violence Prevention

Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Project Year: 2017
Theme: Youth development approaches to prevent violence and promote health

PROJECT SUMMARY: Youth violence, a major cause of morbidity and mortality that disproportionately affects African-Americans, is a pressing issue in need of targeted action given its negative impact on population health, well-being, and equity. This research project proposes to adapt, implement, and evaluate Take Charge!, a one-on-one mentoring violence prevention program, as a group mentoring model through a partnership between the YMCA of Central Maryland and Johns Hopkins University. The specific aims of the project are (1) through focus groups, key informant interviews, and an online survey, to determine what is needed to achieve readiness for staff of the YMCA of Central Maryland to work with at-risk youth who have been involved in violence-related events resulting in injury; (2) to adapt the Take Charge! curriculum to be appropriate for the group mentoring model; and (3) to conduct a pilot randomized trial in which assault-injured 10- to 15-year-old youth recruited from the emergency department are randomly assigned to standard care or Take Charge! group mentoring. Post intervention and at a six-month follow-up, the research will assess youth violence–related, mental health, and education outcomes using validated measures and mentor outcomes of knowledge, attitudes, and practices.

TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured from Left to Right]

  • Vanya Jones, MPH, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Michelle Becote-Jackson, MS, Senior Vice President for Youth Development and Social Responsibility at the YMCA of Central Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Leticia Ryan, MPH, MD, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician and Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland

A Place-based Approach to Early Childhood Wellness in Cincinnati


Project Year: 2016
Theme: Early childhood and health

PROJECT SUMMARY: Using a place-based approach to organize residents in two Cincinnati neighborhoods, this project will create a multi-level intervention to promote a culture of wellness for young children in the area.
Three research questions drive the project:

  1. What do community members identify as community assets for and barriers to optimal child health in their neighborhoods?
  2. Who and where are community “bright spots” (defined as households with children with better than expected health outcomes)?
  3. What factors are associated with “bright spot” households that could be applied to other households in the community?
TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured Left to Right]

  • Jamie-Lee Morris, BA, Community Organizer, New Prospect Baptist Church, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Farrah Jacquez, PhD, Clinical Psychologist and Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Michael Topmiller, PhD, Geographer, American Academy of Family Physicians, Cincinnati, Ohio
"I am invigorated to be part of a network of academics and community partners united by the potential for collaborative research to create meaningful social change."
— Farrah Jaquez

Affordable Housing & Community Advocacy for People Living with HIV: Assessing Best Practices & Health Impact

Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Project Year: 2016
Theme: Housing, community development and health

PROJECT SUMMARY: Our team will use a mixed methods approach to assess the best strategies for and the health impact of affordable housing programs and case management for people living with HIV/AIDS in West Alabama. To investigate the health impact, we will partner with Maude Whatley Health Services and West Alabama AIDS Outreach and conduct a comparative effectiveness research study. We will conduct a program evaluation of a statewide community and policy advocacy program for people living with HIV/AIDS in Alabama and examine relevant state policies and interview elected officials and people living with HIV/AIDS in Alabama.

TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured Left to Right]

  • Billy Kirkpatrick, PhD, Executive Director, West Alabama AIDS Outreach, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • Safiya George, PhD, Associate Professor, Capstone College of Nursing, and Director of Scholarly Affairs, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • George Mugoya, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Studies in Psychology, Research Methodology and Counseling, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
"An IRL appointment should be THE goal for community partners looking to improve an agency's research capacities, which enhance programs and future funding opportunities."
— Billy Kirkpatrick, PhD

Applying Developmental Neuroscience to Incarcerated Adolescents (AD-in)

Location: Indiana
Project Year: 2017
Theme: Youth development approaches to prevent violence and promote health

PROJECT SUMMARY: Building upon adolescent research showing that connection to caring adults is a key protective factor, the Indiana project examines whether changing juvenile prison staff members’ perceptions about adolescents, and equipping them to provide evidence-based programs, improves outcomes. Through a mixed-methods, stepped-wedge design, this research evaluates a neuroscience-based intervention that will train staff in Indiana’s four juvenile prisons on the basics of the adolescent brain and improve their use of adolescent-specific de-escalation techniques. The goal of the training is to provide staff with a better understanding of the causes of adolescent behaviors and decision-making, explicit bias, the role of culture, and strategies for working with difficult adolescents. Utilizing a developmental neuroscience perspective and focusing on the positive aspects of youth and their rehabilitative potential, this research can contribute to best practices in juvenile justice reform.

TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured from Left to Right]

  • Abby Hunt, MSW, Executive Director, Health Care Education and Training, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Mary Ott, MA, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis
  • Matthew Aalsma, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics and Psychology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis

Assessing the Impacts of Housing Code Enforcement of Substandard Rental Housing on Health & Health-Related Outcomes in Memphis, Tenn.

Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Project Year: 2016
Theme: Housing, community development and health

PROJECT SUMMARY: Our team proposes to study the public health impacts of housing code enforcement (HCE) interventions in Memphis, Tennessee. Our proposed research aims to address the best approach to enforce housing codes; the health and public safety impact of housing code cases that require court action; and systematic differences of housing code enforcement and litigation between low-income, predominately minority neighborhoods and affluent, predominately white neighborhoods.

TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured Left to Right]

  • Steve Barlow, JD, MA,, Neighborhood Preservation, Inc., Memphis, Tennessee
  • Christina Plerhoples Stacy, PhD, MA, Research Associate, Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center, Urban Institute, Washington, D.C.
  • Joseph Schilling, JD, BA, Senior Research Associate, Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center and Policy Advisory Group, Urban Institute, Washington, D.C.
"Substandard housing is creating a health crisis; with my interdisciplinary team I can be a part of making that connection clear so that nontraditional solutions will be developed and applied."
— Steve Barlow

Building a Stronger Community: Resilience among LGBTQ+ People in South Texas

Location: San Antonio, Texas
Project Year: 2017
Theme: Community and individual resilience and health

PROJECT SUMMARY: Research consistently shows that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) individuals experience worse health outcomes than their heterosexual peers, with LGBTQ+ people of color experiencing a greater degree of the overall disease burden. In San Antonio, the LGBTQ+ community is predominantly composed of Latino and African-American individuals. However, recent research suggests that individuals with multiple marginalized identities (such as LGBTQ+ people of color) are often better equipped to handle stressful situations because of greater resilience they have developed, due in part to experiences of dual identity stigma. This research project seeks to understand:

  1. the current capacity of San Antonio to address the health and social needs of the LGBTQ+ community.
  2. the underlying factors that contribute to health issues impacting this community.
  3. the different ways in which the community copes with both racial/ethnic-related discrimination and sexuality-related discrimination.

These questions will be explored through the creation of a community advisory board, in-depth interviews, and surveys. The findings will not only allow us to understand the experiences of LGBTQ+ people in South Texas, but will help support Pride Center San Antonio, Equality Texas, Transgender Education Network of Texas, and many other LGBTQ+ groups in Texas.

TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured from Left to Right]

  • Phillip W. Schnarrs, PhD, Assistant Professor, College of Education and Human Development, Department of Kinesiology, Health and Nutrition, University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Amy L. Stone, PhD, Associate Professor, Sociology and Anthropology, Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas>
  • Robert L. Salcido, Jr., Executive Director and Board Chair, The Center—Pride Center San Antonio, Texas

Building Social Environments That Promote Resilience among Youth Exposed to Violence

Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Project Year: 2017
Theme: Youth development approaches to prevent violence and promote health

PROJECT SUMMARY: This research project proposes to investigate key characteristics of people and places that urban minority youth who have experienced violence identify as promoting resilience. In partnership with Youth Ambassadors, the team will conduct in-depth qualitative interviews, focus groups, and community asset mapping. This research will inform the development of a community-wide training and consultation model to support community-based organizations that serve urban minority youth exposed to violence in promoting resilience.

TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured from Left to Right]

  • Jannette Berkley-Patton, PhD, Associate Professor, Biomedical and Health Informatics, University of Missouri–Kansas City
  • Paige O’Connor, Executive Director, Youth Ambassadors, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Briana Woods-Jaeger, PhD, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Missouri–Kansas City

Comprehensive Early Childhood Parenting Supports & Children’s Health & Development

Location: New York, New York
Project Year: 2016
Theme: Early childhood and health

PROJECT SUMMARY: Leveraging an innovative early childhood program that combines income supports, parenting education and connections to community services, this project aims to promote the early health and development of young children. A small-scale randomized controlled trial of Room to Grow will be launched to help demonstrate early parent and child outcomes of the intervention. Room to Grow’s mission is to enrich the lives of babies born into poverty throughout their critical first three years of development.

TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured Left to Right]

  • Chris Wimer, PhD, Research Scientist and Co-Director, Center on Poverty and Social Policy, Columbia Research Center, New York, New York
  • Allyson Crawford, MA, Executive Director, Room to Grow, New York, New York
"One major barrier to research informing action and policy change is the siloed nature of academic disciplines, and the incentive structures therein that are geared almost exclusively on academic publications. This narrow focus sometimes precludes valuable information being disseminated and used by those who need it, and also leads to a failure to inform policies and action on the ground. Developing real mechanisms that bring researchers from different backgrounds, disciplines and approaches together in collaboration with policymakers and practitioners can help break down some of these barriers."
— Chris Wimer

Enhancing the Arkansas Birthing Project through Technology

Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
Project Year: 2016
Theme: Housing, community development and health

PROJECT SUMMARY: The Arkansas Birthing Project provides in-person support during pregnancy and the postpartum period for pregnant women using peer mentors. Our research will investigate the Arkansas Birthing Project’s ability to use technology to support pregnant women and train peer mentors/community health workers, as well as assess the barriers associated with using technology to support this vulnerable population.

TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured from Left to Right]

  • Zenobia Harris, DNP, MPH, BSN, Regional Director, Arkansas Department of Health, Associate Professor, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and Arkansas State Coordinator, Birthing Project USA, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Sarah Rhoads, PhD, DNP, Associate Professor, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Hari Eswaran, PhD, Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Director of Research, Center for Distance Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas
"Promoting comprehensive supports for women and children of color while utilizing technological advances such as telemedicine pathways to allow the maximum use of resources will assist in placing the Birthing Project’s leadership in the forefront of Arkansas’ movement towards eliminating health disparities and assuring optimal health for all."
— Zenobia Harris

Health Impacts of Mass Incarceration on Indiana’s Children; Promoting Social, Emotional & Developmental Health & Well-Being in Early Childhood

Location: Marion County, Indiana
Project Year: 2016
Theme: Early childhood and health

PROJECT SUMMARY: Our research will investigate the impact of mass incarceration on the social, emotional, and developmental health and long-term health equity of Indiana’s young children. The project will also explore the health benefits of expanding access to quality pre-k for children from low-income communities of color impacted by over-incarceration.

IN ACTION: Shoshanna Spector’s article on why transit matters for health and opportunity was featured on the “Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity” blog.

TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured from Left to Right]

  • Angela Tomlin, PhD, Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, and Director, Riley Child Development Center, LEND Program, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Shoshanna Spector, BA, Executive Director, Indianapolis Congregation Action Network, Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Karen Ruprecht, PhD, Director of Innovation in Early Education, Early Learning Indiana, Indianapolis, Indiana

 

"I have seen the devastating impact of over-incarceration on children and family health in my work at the Indiana Women’s Prison. National studies have linked parental incarceration to negative impacts in children’s mental and physical health; now, research is needed to help policymakers understand the long term public health impacts of incarceration on children and families."
— Angela Tomlin

Identifying and Promoting Traditions of Strength and Healing on the Fond du Lac Reservation

Location: Great Lakes
Project Year: 2017
Theme: Community and individual resilience and health

PROJECT SUMMARY: This research brings together three American Indian collaborators to engage Fond du Lac community members in identifying existing and untapped sources of local strength for health promotion. For Fond du Lac and many other American Indian communities, recent losses, fueled in part by the opioid epidemic, are compounded by historical and childhood trauma experiences that represent important determinants of health inequities. The research team will work with a local community advisory board to implement a mixed-methods study to determine existing and underutilized community and cultural assets. Findings will be shared through structured community feasts and forums to identify action steps to promote healing and wellness beyond the formal, individualized clinical services already offered. A planned outcome is rapid impact on local policies and practices to facilitate reductions in suicide and drug (particularly opioid) overdose, and to promote healing related to adverse childhood experiences.

TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured from Left to Right]

  • Joseph P. Gone, PhD, Director of Native American Studies and Professor of Psychology and American Culture, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Nikki Crowe, BSW, Program Coordinator, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College Extension, Cloquet, Minnesota
  • Melissa Walls, MA, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth

Improving Equity in Birth Outcomes, a Community-based, Culturally-centered Approach

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Project Year: 2016
Theme: Early childhood and health

PROJECT SUMMARY: For African American women, prenatal care often fails to account for the need of culturally focused care that considers the role of institutional and interpersonal racism in their day-to-day experiences and encounters in the health care system. This study seeks to test the hypothesis that access to culturally focused care is a predictor of improved health outcomes, including family cohesion and empowerment, and management of psychosocial stress during pregnancy. Understanding and documenting best practices for culturally centered prenatal care is a secondary goal of this project.

IN ACTION: Follow the new blog series, “Toward a Better Birth for All Women,” which will illuminate aspects of racial equality in childbirth and highlight promising practices to ensure access to a safe, empowering, healthy, and positive birth for all people.

TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured Left to Right]

  • Rebecca Polston, CPM, LM, Certified Professional Midwife and Founder, Roots Community Birth Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • [Pictured Left] Rachel Hardeman, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Division of Health Policy and Management, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • [Pictured Right] Katy Kozhimannil, PhD, MPA, Associate Professor, Division of Health Policy and Management, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis, Minnesota
"Research can't be done effectively without community voices, and all too often those voices are excluded. Interdisciplinary Research Leaders brings community partners directly into the project design to address urgent issues."
— Rachel R. Hardeman

Increasing Housing Stability: Assessing Two Promising Tenancy Support Models to Inform Local, State & National Policy & Practice

Location: Durham, North Carolina
Project Year: 2016
Theme: Housing, community development and health

PROJECT SUMMARY: We propose to study Tenancy Support Services (TSS), which provide assistance to individuals with obtaining and maintaining housing. Because of their association with housing stability, TSS services can now be covered by Medicaid and will be submitted as a new service option with North Carolina’s upcoming Medicaid waiver request. The project will explore the delivery of TSS by two agencies in North Carolina, Homeward Bound and the University of North Carolina Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health. Our study will investigate the outcomes of supportive services and the agency environments and practices that facilitate and hinder effective TSS delivery.

TEAM MEMBERS

[From Left to Right]

  • Mina Silberberg, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina
  • Donna Biederman, DrPH, Assistant Professor, Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, North Carolina
  • Emily Carmody, LCSW, Program Director, North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness, Raleigh, North Carolina
"Homelessness is a public health issue that negatively impacts the health and life expectancy of those who are caught in a cycle of shelters, crisis services and institutions. By creating homeless service systems that can resolve homelessness quickly, we can reduce the negative impacts of homelessness on health and health care. Data and research are integral to understanding how changes in service systems affect our housing insecure population. They help to build the evidence-base needed for sustainable change."
— Emily Carmody

Interdisciplinary Research Leaders: Addressing Upstream Factors That Promote Youth Violence

Location: Oakland, California
Project Year: 2017
Theme: Youth development approaches to prevent violence and promote health

PROJECT SUMMARY: This research proposes to address upstream drivers of youth violence in East Oakland, California. Oakland is a city of roughly 400,000 people with extreme geographic and racial disparities in economic opportunity and health outcomes. Working with a local youth empowerment organization, East Oakland Youth Development Center, the team will identify, implement, and evaluate a sustainable and scalable model for reducing youth violence through summer jobs as a function of increasing youth’s social capital, civic engagement, and access to livable-wage jobs. Using a waitlist-control experimental design, the team will measure social capital and civic engagement, school or college attendance, graduation rates, employment, income, community disadvantage (a contextual factor), and violent delinquency. The evidence generated from this research will be valuable to communities seeking greater investment from their local governments.

TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured from Left to Right]

  • Kristine Madsen, MD, Associate Professor, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley
  • Phillip W. Graham, MPH, DrPH, Director, Drugs, Violence, and Delinquency Prevention Research Program, Center for Justice, Safety, and Resilience, RTI International, Oakland, California
  • Regina Jackson, President and CEO, East Oakland Youth Development Center, Oakland, California

Interdisciplinary Studies of Policies & Practices Supporting Child Welfare & Child Health Collaboration

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Project Year: 2016
Theme: Early childhood and health

PROJECT SUMMARY: In 2015, the Utah Division of Child and Family Services passed a policy that would allow sharing of information regarding maltreatment, household risks, and treatment recommendations with health care providers who have referred a child for concerns of suspected child maltreatment. We propose to study state policies and practices that support child welfare and child health collaboration in Utah and across the United States. By analyzing challenges with the implementation of the new Utah policy, we will provide recommendations for supporting child health and welfare through policy.

TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured Left to Right]

  • Lina Svedin, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Kristine Campbell, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Child Protection and Family Health, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Tonya Myrup, MSW, Deputy Director, Division of Child and Family Services, Salt Lake City, Utah
“These barriers are difficult. They are not, however, insurmountable. I firmly believe that the opportunity offered by the Interdisciplinary Research Leaders program will help to create a new path for the action-oriented, policy-relevant research needed to improve health-related outcomes for children involved with the child welfare system.”
— Kristine Campbell

Juveniles at Risk: Using a Trauma-Informed Care Model with 10- to 13-Year-Olds and Their Families to Reduce Violence and Improve Health

Location: Boone County, Missouri
Project Year: 2017
Theme: Youth development approaches to prevent violence and promote health

PROJECT SUMMARY: The proposed project is grounded in one of our emergent community needs. Youth ages 10-13 are being referred to the juvenile office in Boone County, Missouri, for various behavioral problems. However, due to their age and the nature of their offenses, these youths do not meet the criteria for juvenile office services. If their behaviors go untreated, there is a high likelihood that their behavioral problems will increase in frequency and severity over time, causing negative consequences in adulthood. This research project proposes to measure, through a randomized controlled trial, the effectiveness of a trauma-informed intervention for youth ages 10-13 who have contact with the juvenile office, and their families, who reside in Boone County, Missouri. Using a mixed-methods design, intervention effectiveness will be assessed by measuring mental health, physical health, family need, psychosocial factors, and anger management.

TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured from Left to Right]

  • Clark Peters, PhD, JD, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, University of Missouri, Columbia; additional appointments, Truman School of Public Affairs and School of Law
  • Kelli Canada, MSW, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, University of Missouri, Columbia
  • Rachel Jones, MEd, LPC, Director of Child Services, Central Region, Burrell Behavioral Health, Columbia, Missouri

Making Baton Rouge Better – No Longer a Tale of Two Cities

Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Project Year: 2016
Theme: Housing, community development and health

PROJECT SUMMARY: Research indicates that there is currently a 12-year difference in life expectancy between residents of North Baton Rouge and those in the southern part of the city. The proposed research will examine the impact of various social determinants on community health in North and South Baton Rouge. Social determinants of interest include housing, access to healthy food, neighborhood parks, social activities, living wage employment and fully funded non-discriminatory education. This study will use a mixed methods approach. The first six months of the project will involve planning and refining the research methodology. The next two years will include research implementation and evaluation. The last six months will include the development of policy recommendations, research-based programming, and preparations for various publishing opportunities regarding the research.

TEAM MEMBERS
  • [Pictured Left] Luvica Lue Russell, ThD, Community Organizer, Micah Project, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • [Pictured Right] Revathi Hines, PhD, Alphonse Jackson Professor of Political Science, Department of Political Science, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Southern University and A&M College, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • [Not Pictured] Leslie Grover, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Public Administration, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Southern University and A&M College, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
"The IRL program is a model endeavor to include the community's input in the subject matter of research that impacts the community. I am excited to have such inclusion to help direct a true culture of health outcome for the community I serve."
— Luvica Lue Russell

Making the Just City: An Examination of Organizing for Equity & Health in Shaw & Orange

Location: New Jersey (Orange) and Washington, DC (Shaw)
Project Year: 2016
Theme: Housing, community development and health

PROJECT SUMMARY: We propose to understand how two racially and economically diverse communities, Orange in Essex County, New Jersey, and Shaw in Washington, DC, organize and produce community-level mechanisms, such as affordable housing and social capital, to reduce health disparities. These similar-sized communities represent urban environments experiencing distinct types of gentrification at different stages. We are interested in investigating community-level interventions in these environments that attempt to help low- and moderate-income people remain in the communities as they gentrify, and at the same time facilitate social interactions between newcomers and long-term residents of different socio-economic backgrounds.

TEAM MEMBERS
  • Derek Hyra, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Public Administration and Policy, American University, Washington, D.C.
  • Mindy Fullilove, MD, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Clinical Social Medical Sciences, Columbia University, and Research Psychiatrist, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York
  • Dominic Moulden, BA, Resource Organizer, Organizing Neighborhood Equity – ONE D.C., Washington, D.C.
"The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation IRL program connects me with an incredible set of individuals who are deeply committed to discovering ways to reduce health disparities. By participating in the IRL program, I will gain important knowledge about effective ways to promote a culture of health across our country."
— Derek Hyra

One Girl, Many Systems: A Collaborative to Improve the Road Ahead for Marginalized Girls

Location: Washington State
Project Year: 2017
Theme: Youth development approaches to prevent violence and promote health

PROJECT SUMMARY: Washington state has the highest rate in the nation of locking up girls for noncriminal activities such as running away, skipping school, or violating curfew or rules of probation. Many traditional tools of juvenile justice systems fall short of supporting healthy environments for girls or their social welfare because many girls have histories of trauma, violence, economic vulnerability, and a lack of social supports. This research proposes to use a mixed-methods approach to better understand the needs and experiences of girls at risk for deeper justice system involvement. This study will focus on girls who are 11–18 years old, live in two to four diverse communities, and have received a court referral for a status offense but no criminal charges. The following questions will be answered through this research project: (1) What do girls in the community impacted by the justice system need? (2) What research-based priorities does the community want to improve for girls? (3) What is the impact of the intervention(s) on the girls from the community and state? By learning about the lived experiences of system-involved girls and co-constructing recommendations, key stakeholders will work together to increase coordination of services and change policies and practices.

TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured from Left to Right]

  • Ann Muno, MSW, Executive Director, Justice for Girls Coalition of Washington State
  • Sarah Veele, MPH, PhD, Research and Policy Senior Manager, Rehabilitation Administration, Washington Department of Social and Health Services
  • Arina Gertseva, PhD, Senior Research Associate, Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts

Opening Doors for All: Evaluating the Health Impact of Site-based Parenting Support in Public Housing Communities

Location: Fresno, California
Project Year: 2016
Theme: Housing, community development and health

PROJECT SUMMARY: This study will investigate:

  1. the prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) among parents with young children of diverse backgrounds living in public housing communities in Fresno, California.
  2. the impact of Abriendo Puertas; Opening Doors and providing preventative early intervention mental health at Fresno Housing sites.
  3. whether the impact of Abriendo Puertas and preventative early intervention mental health on young children varies by the severity of parental ACEs.
TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured Left to Right]

  • Yumiko Aratani, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, and Director of Health and Mental Health Unit, National Center for Children in Poverty, New York, New York
  • Irán Barrera, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Social Work Education, Fresno State University, Fresno, California
  • Sabrina Kelley, MPH, Resident Services Manager, Fresno Housing Authority, Fresno, California
"Working with Yumiko and Irán on the IRL team and process will help me build a Culture of Health framework within the low-income public housing industry, and increase visibility and awareness of the social determinants of health as well as the behavior and social norms that foster intergenerational poverty."
— Sabrina Kelley

Project MIND: Promoting Youth Resilience, Health, and Safety through Mindfulness and Restorative Approaches

Location: Washington, D.C.
Project Year: 2017
Theme: Youth development approaches to prevent violence and promote health

PROJECT SUMMARY: Project Youth MIND (Mindfulness Integration for Nonviolence Development) seeks to develop and test a novel intervention designed to promote the health and well-being of youth through an integrated model of mindfulness, restorative practices, and resilience education. Using a mixed-methods experimental design, this research incorporates the disciplines of anthropology, criminal justice, and social work. The project will be heavily informed by the lived experiences of District of Columbia youth, integrating their perceptions of the impact of violence, stress, and trauma into the research design. The two primary research questions are (1) how does an integrated model of mindfulness, restorative practices, and resilience education impact youth’s knowledge about the health implications of violence?; and (2) what is the effectiveness of an integrated model of mindfulness, restorative practices, and resilience education in reducing violent behavior among African-American high school youth?

The findings from this research will influence school disciplinary policies and will also contribute to our knowledge of how culturally relevant mindfulness and restorative justice programs can promote a Culture of Health among African-American urban youth.

TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured from Left to Right]

  • Sharon Alston, MSW, PhD, Assistant Professor of Social Work, Ethelyn R. Strong School of Social Work, Norfolk State University, Norfolk, Virginia
  • Ivy Hylton, CRJT, MSW, LCSW, PhD, Co-founder and President of Youth and Families in Crisis, LLC, and MAAT Training Institute for Restorative Justice, lead contractor, Balanced and Restorative Justice Practices Institute for Juvenile Justice Reform, a program of the District of Columbia Superior Court Social Services Division, D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, and D.C. Public Schools
  • Michelle Chatman, MA, PhD, Assistant Professor, Crime, Justice, and Security Studies program, University of the District of Columbia

Public Housing & Public Health: Identifying Impacts & Experiences of Renovation & Redevelopment in San Francisco

Location: San Francisco, California
Project Year: 2016
Theme: Housing, community development and health

PROJECT SUMMARY: Our proposed research investigates how Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) policy implementation in San Francisco affects people living in public housing. RAD is a public-private partnership that transfers management of public housing sites from traditional public housing authorities to private developers in order to leverage the private capital necessary to renovate deteriorating public housing structures. Using data from two health service systems, we will investigate the change in prevalence of health conditions and health care utilization before and after renovations.

TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured Left to Right]

  • Irene Yen, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, California
  • Susan Neufeld, MA, Vice President of Community Development and Programs, BRIDGE Housing, San Francisco, California
  • Leslie Dubbin, PhD, Assistant Professor of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, California
"Where we build, how we build and how we engage residents around health can impact lives in real time. For the public housing developments that BRIDGE owns and manages, this need is even more imperative. Decades of neglect and mismanagement have left residents exposed to toxic social and physical environments, isolated from their communities, and disconnected from their neighbors. The IRL program offers an opportunity to link health research to our housing context so that we better serve our communities."
— Susan Neufeld

Redefining Resilience and Reframing Resistance: Evaluation of a Violence Prevention and Health Promotion Empowerment Program for Black Girls

Location: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
Project Year: 2017
Theme: Community and individual resilience and health

PROJECT SUMMARY: In Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Black girls are 11 times more likely than white girls to be referred to the juvenile court, while nationally, Black girls are referred three times as often. The proposed research will evaluate an empowerment-based program for Black girls designed to challenge negative perceptions, prevent violence, and improve their health via advocacy, restorative practices, and participatory research. This research aims to address the following questions via a mixed-methods, longitudinal and participatory approach: (1) Can an empowerment-focused intervention prevent violence and improve Black girls’ health? (2) Can this empowerment-focused intervention shift adults’ and girls’ narratives about Black girls? There is growing national awareness of the challenges faced by Black girls, and now is an opportune time to document and disseminate evidence-based models that address these inequities.

TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured from Left to Right]

  • Kathi Elliott, MSW, CRNP, DNP, Executive Director, Gwen’s Girls, Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Sara Goodkind, MSW, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, Department of Sociology, and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Britney Brinkman, PhD, Associate Professor, Counseling Psychology, Chatham University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Resilience and Food Security in Black Belt Alabama through Land-Based Cooperative Economics and Communal Landholdings

Location: Black Belt Alabama
Project Year: 2017
Theme: Community and individual resilience and health

PROJECT SUMMARY: In the Black Belt South, African-Americans struggle with enduring economic isolation in seemingly barren spaces that are the relics of resilient communities built from a traditional knowledge that normalized cooperative structures and community institutions. The proposed study uses a lens of community resilience to capture patterns of traditional knowledge woven into the area’s culture surrounding health, food provisioning, and cooperative economics. This study is unique in that it will focus on health, health equity, and the Culture of Health by connecting production agriculture, landownership, and cooperative development to traditional knowledge. The proposed study will serve as the foundation for an emergent communal network that promotes a thriving local sustainable food economy through the following community resilience metrics: (1) advances the regeneration of traditional knowledge, the legacy of subsistence farming, and production agriculture among next-generation farmers; (2) stymies the epidemic loss of Black-owned farmlands and provides long-term land access to next-generation farmers; and (3) promotes community health through cooperative economics, farming, and alternative land-based enterprises. Our proposed research project will utilize various community-based participatory methods (personal interviews, focus groups, listening sessions, archival collections, land records, social network analysis, etc.) to identify the resources within a geographic subset of the Alabama Black Belt region to create and implement replicable community-centered solutions.

TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured from Left to Right]

  • Tracy McCurty, JD, Executive Director, Black Belt Justice Center, Washington, D.C.
  • Marcus Bernard, MS, PhD, Director, Rural Training and Research Center, Gainesville, Alabama
  • Veronica Womack, MPA, PhD, Professor of Political Science and Public Administration, Georgia College, Milledgeville

Resilience and Health in Immigrant Communities: An Examination of a Community Health Action Approach in Washington, D.C., and Prince George’s County, Maryland

Location: Washington, D.C., and Prince George’s County, Maryland
Project Year: 2017
Theme: Community and individual resilience and health

PROJECT SUMMARY: This research project proposes to understand how the community action model of a Federally Qualified Health Center, La Clinica del Pueblo (LCDP), produces resilience and affects Latino immigrants’ health within two distinct policy environments: Prince George’s County, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. The project includes two aims: first, to further understand how LCDP’s community action activities contribute to resilience and health outcomes among the Latino and broader community it serves, and second, to compare resilience and health among Latino immigrants served by LCDP in the two different jurisdictions and policy environments. To address these aims, LCDP will provide the team with blinded health data for its clients and will support interviews and surveys to better understand how its clients and community members define resilience and perceive the effects of LCDP’s services.

TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured from Left to Right]

  • Thespina Yamanis, MPH, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of International Service, American University, Washington, D.C.
  • Taryn Morrissey, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Public Administration and Policy, American University, Washington, D.C.
  • Catalina Sol, MPH, Chief Programs Officer, La Clinica del Pueblo, Washington, D.C.

The Impact of Precarious Work Schedules on Early Childhood Health

Location: Bridgeport, Connecticut
Project Year: 2016
Theme: Early childhood and health

PROJECT SUMMARY: This project will explore the impact of precarious work schedules on early childhood health outcomes. It will also provide us with the opportunity to expand each team member and their institution’s capacity to incorporate health impacts, analysis, metrics, and a health equity focus into research and community engagement projects.

TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured Left to Right]

  • Julio López Varona, JD, State Director, Make the Road Connecticut, Bridgeport, Connecticut
  • Michele Kilpatrick, JD, Research Analyst, The Center for Popular Democracy, Brooklyn, New York
  • Julia Henly, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
"Interdisciplinary Research Leaders is a great opportunity to contribute to an agenda that is driven by the community and uses evidence-based research to achieve health equity."
— Julio López Varona

Transforming the Puerto Rico WIC Program to improve effectiveness in the promotion of healthy lifestyles early in childhood and a long lasting culture

Location: Puerto Rico
Project Year: 2016
Theme: Early childhood and health

PROJECT SUMMARY: Traditionally, education on feeding practices related to the problem of early childhood obesity in Puerto Rico is delivered through in-person meetings. However, with low participation and low adherence to WIC guidelines, there is a need to restructure the method of delivering this education, such as with information technology.
Our approach includes two phases:

  1. Evaluate novel interventions through surveys and community-based participatory research.
  2. Develop a pilot project based on formative research to improve lifestyles among WIC infants using the empowerment model and leveraging technology.
TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured Left to Right]

  • Cristina Palacios, PhD, MSc, Associate Professor of Nutrition, University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, Puerto Rico
  • Alexandra Reyes, MEd, RDN Registered Dietitian and Coordinator of Nutrition Education, WIC Program, Puerto Rico
  • Maribel Campos, MD, MBA, MSc, FAAP, Associate Professor, University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, Puerto Rico
"As a participant in the Interdisciplinary Research Leaders, I will be in a position to influence my colleagues in the WIC Program, motivating them to improve their leadership skills and becoming part of the transformation of the Culture of Health in our institution."
— Alexandra Reyes

Using the Structured Dialogue Model as a Model for Violence Prevention and Health Promotion

Location: Guilford County, North Carolina
Project Year: 2017
Theme: Youth development approaches to prevent violence and promote health

PROJECT SUMMARY: According to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, in 2015–2016, Black and Hispanic students represented 55 percent of Guilford County’s total student population but 82 percent of its suspended students. For every one white student suspended, six Black students were suspended. This research project employs the Structured Dialogue Model for violence prevention and health promotion in this diverse school district. The model allows young people to initiate and participate in a series of facilitated structured dialogues that focus on three major areas: (1) interpersonal and structural violence; (2) cultural misconceptions of violence among racially diverse communities; and (3) media representation and portrayals of violence. The project will follow a cohort of ninth grade students for two years and measure baseline and follow-up indicators of attitudes toward violence, delinquency, future aspirations, and critical consciousness.

TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured from Left to Right]

  • Charnelle Green, MS, Assistant Principal, Southern Guilford High School, Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Brian Sims, PhD, Executive Director, Jomoworks, Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Dawn Henderson, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University; Principal Investigator, Collaborative Health and Education Equity Research (CHEER) Lab, Greensboro, North Carolina

Young, Unsheltered and in Harm’s Way: Promoting Health and Development through Disentangling Youth Violence, Homelessness, and Criminal Justice

Location: San Francisco, California
Project Year: 2017
Theme: Youth development approaches to prevent violence and promote health

PROJECT SUMMARY: Among youth experiencing homelessness, the potential for violence and its negative outcomes is exacerbated by multiple modifiable community-level factors. While effective youth violence prevention programs have been identified, most inadequately address the needs of youth experiencing homelessness, particularly those 18 to 24 years of age. Our multidisciplinary team will employ a mixed-methods design to identify and investigate the community factors that contribute to violence for youth experiencing homelessness in San Francisco, describe how criminalization and homelessness impact violence, and investigate how identified community factors can be leveraged or modified to protect youth from violence and promote their well-being. At the national level, our work is timely because it addresses an emerging awareness of the links between youth homelessness, violence, and criminal justice involvement. Locally, key stakeholders and youth leaders have prioritized violence as a key area for intervention for youth experiencing homelessness. We have a unique window of opportunity for synergy to implement the findings of our project to influence the approach to violence and youth homelessness, not only in San Francisco but also nationally.

TEAM MEMBERS

[Pictured from Left to Right]

  • Colette Auerswald, MS, MD, FSAHM, Associate Professor, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley; Co-Director, Innovations for Youth (i4Y), San Francisco, California
  • Sherilyn Adams, MS, Executive Director, Larkin Street Youth Services, San Francisco, California
  • Marguerita Lightfoot, PhD, Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF); Chief, Division of Prevention Science and Director, Center for Prevention Studies and UCSF Prevention Research Center, San Francisco, California