Exploring the power of narratives for reproductive health

Written by Brianna Cusanno, graduate student at University of South Florida & alumna of the Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program When I entered the Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program – Public and Global Health Track in June 2015, I was a college junior with little interest research as a career. Four years […]

Safety-net hospitals fare better under new Medicare reimbursement rules: Readmission penalties reduced for hospitals with poorest patients (Links to an external site)

New Medicare reimbursement rules provide some relief to safety-net hospitals, shifting the burden of financial penalties toward hospitals serving wealthier patient populations, according to a new study led by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The new rules also reduce the burden of such penalties on hospitals in states that have more generous […]

Policy Perspectives

A “Friday Nighter” with Missouri State Representative Deborah Lavender By Emily Davis, MD/MPH Student at Washington University “What is the one thing you want to get done this year?” That is the question Missouri State Representative Deb Lavender (D) posed to a group of students, faculty, and members of the community at a recent Friday […]

Policy matters for doctors-in-training & their future patients

Written by Akua Nuako, medical student class of 2021, Washington University in St. Louis I am often awestruck by the ingenuity of today’s medical advancements. During my first year of medical school, I’ve been captivated by research on promising developments like cancer treatments that only target malignant cells, gene editing that addresses health issues rooted […]

Moving toward a healthier Missouri: Re-instituting therapy services in Missouri Medicaid

Originally posted by the Clark-Fox Policy Institute, written by Mary Mellem, Gary Parker, and Atia Thurman In October 2017, the Center for Health Economics & Policy at the Institute for Public Health and the Clark-Fox Policy Institute at the Brown School at Washington University hosted Transforming Healthcare in Missouri: Ideas for Innovation and Investment to generate […]

Repeal or replace? Is a bipartisan approach to repairing Obamacare feasible?

Written by Timothy D. McBride, PhD, MS, co-director for the Center for Health Economics and Policy  The effort to “repeal and replace” Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act, ACA) has been a major goal of the Republicans since the ACA was passed. Achieving this goal has been elusive – first President Obama blocked all such efforts, […]

Facilitating health insurance enrollment and decision support

Written by Mary Politi, PhD, professor in the School of Medicine At the time of publishing, Mary Politi was an associate professor in the School of Medicine At an enrollment event in 2015, I met a woman from a rural county in Missouri who was an outspoken supporter of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). She […]

Using a public health approach to rethink and reduce mass incarceration in the U.S.

Written by Barbara Baumgartner, PhD, director of Undergraduate Studies, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and associate director of Washington University Prison Education Project The United States incarcerates more of it citizens per capita than any other country in the world. Since most prisons are located away from urban centers, the magnitude of the problem is […]

Economic burden of chronic disease (Links to an external site)

It comes as no surprise that healthcare is expensive. Anyone who has been to a doctor may recall being charged a co-pay, receiving bills for lab work or paying for appointments not covered by insurance. And all of this likely is on top of paying your health insurance premiums. Read the full story…

Summer Research Program alumni blog – Amanda Lee

Written by Amanda Lee, MPH, public health research coordinator, Division of Public Health Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine,  Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program alumna When I started the Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program in 2015, I had never worked in public health research before. As an undergraduate, I worked in […]

Summer Research Program alumni blog – Brianna Cusanno

Written by Brianna Cusanno, Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program alumna Reflecting on the course my life has taken since I participated in the Institute of Public Health’s Summer Research Program, I realize that I now find myself in a position I never would have anticipated two years ago. I knew in June of […]

Whither health reform?

Written by Courtnie Phillip, BA in International Relations at Tufts University and participant in the Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program On July 17th, my phone lit up as a notification from the NYTimes app flashed across my screen. The headline read: “The health bill has collapsed with two more G.O.P. senators opposed. For […]

Access to insurance important for preventing spread of HIV


Written by April Houston, MSW, MPH, communications assistant for the Institute for Public Health Health care reform is in the news again (some would say it never left), as Republicans in the Senate have introduced a new bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), signed into law in 2010. Under the House’s […]

The role of law in public health

Written by Carmen Lyon, undergraduate at Washington University in St. Louis and participant in the Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program Growing up in the age of the Affordable Care Act, millennials have difficulty imagining a time when healthcare policy and law were not at the forefront of the national stage. Even with the […]

Become an advocate for seniors

Written by Mary Schaefer, executive director of the Mid-East Area Agency on Aging Missouri advocates are needed for seniors and senior programs. This past session of the Missouri legislature has clearly shown the need for our legislators and public officials to hear from their constituents about the value of seniors and the services that support […]

Q&A with Faculty Scholar Rachel Sachs

Rachel Sachs, associate professor, School of Law, is a scholar of innovation policy whose work explores the interaction of intellectual property law, food and drug regulation, and health law and identifies potential problems and solutions that lie at the intersection of these fields. We recently checked in with Professor Sachs to see what she’s currently working […]

Climate change is a public health issue

Written by John Hickey, Missouri Chapter Director, Sierra Club In April 2016, the U.S. Global Change Research Program released “The Impact of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States.” This report pointed out that climate change was not just a distant threat to human health, nor just an issue in less-developed countries that […]

The importance of protecting our climate progress

Written by Taylor Hale, Campaign Organizer with Environment Missouri for the Defending Climate Progress Campaign Climate change is the biggest issue of our time. 2016 was the hottest year on record and the third consecutive year to set a new temperature high. In the Unites States, the burning of fossil fuels – oil, coal, and […]

Drug policy, public health, and wellness

Written by Richard Grucza, PhD, MPE, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine My colleagues and I have long been interested in policies that restrict young peoples’ legal access to alcohol and tobacco. We’ve learned that restricting drinking or smoking during the teen years has long term benefits such […]

Public health and social work in the political process

I recently returned to Washington University after a yearlong stint as the American Public Health Association’s Public Health Fellow in Government in Washington D.C. While there, I worked as congressional staff for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York). This fellowship offered a chance-of-a-lifetime opportunity to work directly on federal policymaking. While challenging, scary, and sometimes even comical, this experience was […]

Drug pricing: Where do we go after the election?

Martin Shkreli. Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Mylan. Just a year ago, most Americans devoted little time and attention to the question of pharmaceutical pricing. Now, after a series of highly publicized scandals involving individuals and companies who hike the prices of products like the EpiPen or Daraprim with impunity, public awareness of these issues has dramatically increased […]

Why policy* is the perfect fit for public health and social work professionals

Written by Susan Stepleton PhD, chair of the policy specialization at the Brown School When I mention to someone that I work at the Brown School, a typical assumption – voiced or unvoiced – is “Oh, you teach about poverty or epidemiology or child welfare or LGBTQ issues or homelessness.” Well, yes, of course we […]

The role of law in addressing (or entrenching) transgender health-care discrimination

Written by Elizabeth Sepper, JD, associate professor in the School of Law Six years ago, a little known provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—Section 1557—marked the first time that federal law prohibited sex discrimination in federally funded health programs. This summer, a new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rule made clear […]

Center for Health Economics & Policy to offer technical assistance through the Just-In-Time Funding Program of the ICTS

The Center for Health Economics and Policy (CHEP) has become a Core eligible for funding through the Just-In-Time (JIT) Core Usage Funding Program, offered by the Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS). This program is designed to provide quick access to funding to utilize technical assistance available through ICTS-affiliated Cores, including CHEP, to support research advancing […]

Center for Health Economics & Policy funds two pilot projects

The Center for Health Economics and Policy (CHEP) pilot program announces funding for two projects in the inaugural round of funding from CHEP. The funding for these year-long projects begins on September 1, 2016. Correlates of Enactment of State Legislation Related to HPV Vaccines PI: Amy Eyler Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted […]

Tobacco 21/STL

The Center for Community Health Partnership and Research is supporting the fast moving initiative Tobacco 21/STL. Support includes getting the word out to community-based organizations and community members concerned about the health risks for kids and young adults related to tobacco use. Tobacco 21/STL is a movement spreading across the state of Missouri. Kansas City and Columbia, […]

Enhanced Cultural and Linguistic Services standards: Not just language anymore

In 1997, the Office of Minority Health (OMH) undertook the development of national standards to provide organizations and providers with guidance on the implementation of culturally and linguistically appropriate services. Three years later, the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care (CLAS) were entered into the Federal Register [1]. […]

Social network analysis: Tools for effective evaluation and research

Written by Bobbi J. Carothers, PhD, statistical data analyst III at the Brown School; Amar Dhand, MD, DPhil, adjunct assistant in the Department of Neurology at the School of Medicine; and Douglas Luke, PhD,  Irving Louis Horowitz Professor in Social Policy at the Brown School Networks are ubiquitous. They are complex systems that we can […]

Economics, policy, and racial disparities

Health disparities has been an important topic for public health researchers for years, with much or most of the focus on disparities across racial groups in the US, where we see wide disparities on almost every outcome measure. In the St. Louis area and region, health disparities remains a critical topic where if anything the […]

“Where did you graduate from high school?” Insurance as education reform

Written by William F. Tate, the Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis “My ear hurts.” “It’s hard to breathe.” “I feel afraid and it won’t go away.” Imagine learning to read or doing a science project with otitis media or asthma. Picture taking a major exam […]

For the Sake of All project update

For the Sake of All recently released an “Evidence in Action” update, detailing the progress that has been made since the release of its signature report eighteen months ago. The initiative began in 2013 as an effort to investigate the health and well-being of African Americans in the St. Louis region, with an eye toward […]

PEPFAR: A policy response to the global HIV/AIDS pandemic

Written by April Houston, MSW/MPH, graduate student at Washington University in St. Louis Progress on HIV/AIDS has been substantial in the last 15 years, thanks to increased attention and funding to combat its spread. It is important to review the past to determine best practices for our present and future. The first cases of HIV […]

Center for Health Economics & Policy launches

Washington University in St. Louis has announced the launch of the Center for Health Economics and Policy (CHEP), to be housed in the Institute for Public Health. The goal of the new center is to improve population health in America by encouraging health policy and economics research and dissemination. The center will be co-directed by […]

An adult choice? Corporate responsibility and the global face of tobacco

Tobacco has been a global industry for more than a century. But in the era of corporate social responsibility, how do tobacco companies justify their push to sell even more cigarettes around the world? Trade agreements like the currently proposed Trans Pacific Partnership make it easier for tobacco corporations to flood markets in low- and […]