Policies for Action Announces New Grantees

Policies for Action is proud to announce the funding of 11 new research teams as part of its mission to identify policies, laws, and other system and community levers that can help ensure everyone has the opportunity to live a healthier life.

With topics including unpredictable work schedules, food deserts, and state pre-emption, these research projects strike the heart of key policy questions that have real and immediate implications for individuals, families, and communities across the country.

The following projects are now underway:

  • Child Trends, Inc., led by principal investigators Kristen Harper, EdM, and Brandon Stratford, PhD, will investigate how state policy has shifted following CMS’ 2014 rule to allow providers in educational settings to seek Medicaid reimbursement for free preventive services.
  • East Carolina University, led by principal investigator Stephanie Bell Jilcott Pitts, PhD, will study how a new policy enabling small food retailers to stock more nutritious foods can improve individuals’ dietary habits and reduce obesity in USDA-defined food deserts.
  • Hennepin County, led by principal investigators Peter Bodurtha, MPP, CPPM, and Katherine Vickery, MD, MSc, will examine local families’ use of social services with a goal of developing and implementing upstream, cross-sector interventions to avoid foster care placements.
  • Northwestern University, led by principal investigator Megan McHugh, PhD, will assess how unpredictable work schedules in the manufacturing industry may influence the risk of chronic illness and increase health care costs.
  • Saint Louis University, led by principal investigators Sidney D. Watson, JD, and Ruqaiijah Yearby, JD, will catalogue how city and county governments are using tools to identify racial and ethnic disparities to inform the development of law and policy.
  • University of California, Los Angeles, led by principal investigator Laura Wherry, PhD, will study how expanded health insurance and access to care prior to pregnancy may improve maternal and infant health outcomes.
  • University of Iowa, led by principal investigators George Wehby, BS, MPH, PhD, and Robert Kaestner, PhD, will analyze the short- and long-term effects of minimum wage changes on child health and development.

This year, special supplementary funds were made available to support new research on the health equity effects of state pre-emption. The following projects are now underway:

  • George Washington University, led by principal investigators Y. Tony Yang, ScD, LLM, MPH, and Thomas Stratmann, PhD, will study the effect of tobacco control state pre-emption laws on adolescent health and health disparities.
  • New York University, led by principal investigator Jennifer Pomeranz, JD, MPH, will assess whether and how states are pre-empting local control over tobacco control, firearm safety, paid sick days, and food and nutrition policy.
  • Syracuse University, led by principal investigators Douglas Wolf, PhD, Shannon Monnat, PhD, and Jennifer Karas Montez, PhD, will explore pre-emption’s effect on geographic inequities in health, focusing on labor and environmental policies.
  • Wake Forest School of Medicine, led by principal investigators Scott Duane Rhodes, PhD, MPH, and Mark A. Hall, JD, will study how state pre-emption of “Sanctuary City” laws and policies affect immigrant health.

Our nation is entering a period of innovation, experimentation, and questioning existing structures and policy redesign—especially at the state and local levels. Please join us in congratulating these distinguished scholars on their groundbreaking work, and keep in touch to learn about the results of their projects.