Institute for Community Health

Cambridge, MA, United States

Institute for Community Health

Cambridge, MA, United States
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News Article | April 17, 2017

Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU) announces the appointment of Edward R. O'Connor, PhD, MBA, FACHE, to the position of provost and executive vice president for Academic and Research Affairs. O'Connor comes to KCU from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, where for the past three years he served as provost and chief academic officer, and professor in both the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Medicine. Prior to his roles at Creighton University, O'Connor held several positions at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, including dean and professor of Biomedical Sciences for the School of Health Sciences; professor of Medical Sciences at the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine; and executive director for the National Institute for Community Health Education. While there, O'Connor also served as head coach for men's cross country. "Dr. O'Connor brings extensive experience in administration with a focus on academic excellence and cross-campus collaboration, as well as research and scholarship; we're very pleased to have him join our team," said Marc B. Hahn, DO, KCU president and CEO. "His expertise in establishing new academic programs in the health professions, with a commitment to growing interprofessional education, will best prepare our students to succeed in today's health care environment." As provost, O'Connor will provide leadership, vision, direction and advocacy to best support students in meeting their academic and career goals. He also will be responsible for advancing KCU's goals for research through continued collaboration with key partners. "This is a time of great opportunity for KCU, and I'm honored and excited to be a part of its continued growth," said O'Connor. "I look forward to working with other members of the leadership team, our faculty and the entire KCU family to achieve the University's strategic goals and ensure the greatest success for our students." O'Connor earned a Doctor of Philosophy from the Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience at the Albany Medical College Graduate School of Health Sciences in Albany, New York; a Master of Business Administration in Health Care Leadership from Yale School of Management, Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut; and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from State University of New York at Albany. O'Connor has served in leadership and committee positions on the local, regional and national levels and holds membership in several professional societies. He has served on the board of directors of several hospitals and most recently served on the board of CHI Health, an organization consisting of 15 hospitals, two stand-alone behavioral health facilities, and more than 150 employed physician practice locations, which serve Nebraska and western Iowa. He is also the author of dozens of publications and the recipient of many prestigious honors and awards.

Bhuiya N.,Institute for Community Health | House L.D.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Desmarais J.,Institute for Community Health | Fletcher E.,Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Adolescent Health | Year: 2017

Purpose This paper describes an assessment of community readiness to implement a community-wide teen pregnancy prevention initiative, Youth First, and presents strategies used to enhance this readiness as informed by the assessment. Methods Twenty-five community stakeholder interviews were conducted to assess four domains of readiness: (1) attitudes, perception, and knowledge of teen pregnancy; (2) perceived level of readiness; (3) resources, existing and current efforts; and (4) leadership. Interview transcripts were coded and analyzed to identify key themes. Results Stakeholders acknowledged teen pregnancy as an issue but lacked contextual information. They also perceived the community as ready to address the issue and recognized some organizations already championing efforts. However, many key players were not involved, and ongoing data collection to assess teen pregnancy and prevention efforts was limited. Though many stakeholders were ready to engage in teen pregnancy prevention efforts, they required additional information and training to appropriately address the issue. Conclusions In response to the assessment findings, several strategies were applied to address readiness and build Youth First partners’ capacity to implement the community-wide initiative. Thus, to successfully implement community-wide prevention efforts, it is valuable to assess the level of community readiness to address health issues. © 2016 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine

De Las Nueces D.,Harvard University | Hacker K.,Harvard University | Hacker K.,Institute for Community Health | Digirolamo A.,Health Equity Unit | Hicks L.S.,University of Massachusetts Medical School
Health Services Research | Year: 2012

Objective To examine the effectiveness of current community-based participatory research (CBPR) clinical trials involving racial and ethnic minorities. Data Source All published peer-reviewed CBPR intervention articles in PubMed and CINAHL databases from January 2003 to May 2010. Study Design We performed a systematic literature review. Data Collection/Extraction Methods Data were extracted on each study's characteristics, community involvement in research, subject recruitment and retention, and intervention effects. Principle Findings We found 19 articles meeting inclusion criteria. Of these, 14 were published from 2007 to 2010. Articles described some measures of community participation in research with great variability. Although CBPR trials examined a wide range of behavioral and clinical outcomes, such trials had very high success rates in recruiting and retaining minority participants and achieving significant intervention effects. Conclusions Significant publication gaps remain between CBPR and other interventional research methods. CBPR may be effective in increasing participation of racial and ethnic minority subjects in research and may be a powerful tool in testing the generalizability of effective interventions among these populations. CBPR holds promise as an approach that may contribute greatly to the study of health care delivery to disadvantaged populations. © Health Research and Educational Trust.

Ebbeling C.B.,Boston Childrens Hospital | Feldman H.A.,Boston Childrens Hospital | Chomitz V.R.,Institute for Community Health | Antonelli T.A.,Boston Childrens Hospital | And 3 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND: Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages may cause excessive weight gain. We aimed to assess the effect on weight gain of an intervention that included the provision of noncaloric beverages at home for overweight and obese adolescents. METHODS: We randomly assigned 224 overweight and obese adolescents who regularly consumed sugar-sweetened beverages to experimental and control groups. The experimental group received a 1-year intervention designed to decrease consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, with follow-up for an additional year without intervention. We hypothesized that the experimental group would gain weight at a slower rate than the control group. RESULTS: Retention rates were 97% at 1 year and 93% at 2 years. Reported consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was similar at baseline in the experimental and control groups (1.7 servings per day), declined to nearly 0 in the experimental group at 1 year, and remained lower in the experimental group than in the control group at 2 years. The primary outcome, the change in mean body-mass index (BMI, the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters) at 2 years, did not differ significantly between the two groups (change in experimental group minus change in control group, -0.3; P=0.46). At 1 year, however, there were significant between-group differences for changes in BMI (-0.57, P=0.045) and weight (-1.9 kg, P=0.04). We found evidence of effect modification according to ethnic group at 1 year (P=0.04) and 2 years (P=0.01). In a prespecified analysis according to ethnic group, among Hispanic participants (27 in the experimental group and 19 in the control group), there was a significant between-group difference in the change in BMI at 1 year (-1.79, P=0.007) and 2 years (-2.35, P=0.01), but not among non-Hispanic participants (P>0.35 at years 1 and 2). The change in body fat as a percentage of total weight did not differ significantly between groups at 2 years (-0.5%, P=0.40). There were no adverse events related to study participation. CONCLUSIONS: Among overweight and obese adolescents, the increase in BMI was smaller in the experimental group than in the control group after a 1-year intervention designed to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, but not at the 2-year follow-up (the prespecified primary outcome). (Funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and others; number, NCT00381160.) Copyright © 2012 Massachusetts Medical Society.

Equit M.,Saarland University | Klein A.-M.,Institute for Community Health | Braun-Bither K.,Institute for Community Health | Graber S.,Saarland University | Von Gontard A.,Saarland University
European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry | Year: 2014

The prevalence rates of elimination disorders and anxious/depressed symptoms of a representative sample of young children and their associations were assessed. 2,079 children in a defined geographical area were examined at school-entry. A parental questionnaire with 4 questions referring to symptoms of incontinence and 14 items of the anxious/depressed scale of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) was administered. 9.5 % of 6-year-old children wet at night, 2.7 % wet during day and 1.2 % had faecal incontinence. Significantly more boys wet at night (11.7 %) than girls (7.2 %; OR 0.58, 95 % CI 0.43-0.78). 12.7 % had clinically relevant anxious/depressed symptoms. Children with at least one elimination disorder had significantly higher T values of the 'anxious/depressed' CBCL than continent controls. Children with faecal incontinence had highest T values of the 'anxious/depressed' CBCL syndrome scale, significantly higher than those of children with other elimination disorders and controls. Elimination disorders, as well as anxious/depressed symptoms are common at a young age. Boys are more affected by elimination disorders than girls, but not by anxious/depressed symptoms. Children with faecal incontinence have the highest rate of anxious/depressed symptoms. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013.

Hacker K.,Institute for Community Health | Hacker K.,Cambridge Health Alliance | Hacker K.,Harvard University | Walker D.K.,Abt Associates
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2013

Although "population health" is one of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Triple Aim goals, its relationship to accountable care organizations (ACOs) remains ill-defined and lacks clarity as to how the clinical delivery system intersects with the public health system. Although defining population health as "panel" management seems to be the default definition, we called for a broader "community health" definition that could improve relationships between clinical delivery and public health systems and health outcomes for communities. We discussed this broader definition and offered recommendations for linking ACOs with the public health system toward improving health for patients and their communities. Copyright © 2012 by the American Public Health Association®.

Tendulkar S.A.,Institute for Community Health
Progress in community health partnerships : research, education, and action | Year: 2011

The National Institutes of Health-funded Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) have increasingly focused on community-engaged research and funded investigators for community-based participatory research (CBPR). However, because CBPR is a collaborative process focused on community-identified research topics, the Harvard CTSA and its Community Advisory Board (CERAB) funded community partners through a CBPR initiative. We describe lessons learned from this seed grants initiative designed to stimulate community-academic CBPR partnerships. The CBPR program of the Harvard CTSA and the CERAB developed this initiative and each round incorporated participant and advisory feedback toward program improvement. Although this initiative facilitated relevant and innovative research, challenges included variable community research readiness, insufficient project time, and difficulties identifying investigators for new partnerships. Seed grants can foster innovative CBPR projects. Similar initiatives should consider preliminary assessments of community research readiness as well as strategies for meaningful academic researcher engagement.

Chomitz V.R.,Institute for Community Health
Journal of physical activity & health | Year: 2011

There is growing recognition of the importance of recreational space utilization for promoting physical activity (PA) among youth. A cross-sectional study was conducted with a sample of 926 diverse 6th-8th grade students in Somerville, MA. Participants completed the 2007 Youth Risk Surveillance Survey (YRBS). Chi-square testing and logistical regression modeling were performed to predict meeting national PA recommendations for moderate, vigorous, and 60 minutes or more (60+) PA. The participants reported meeting recommended PA levels for moderate (27%), vigorous (70%) and 60+ (21%) PA. In multivariate analysis, being male and speaking English were significantly associated with meeting all 3 PA recommendations. Recreational spaces significantly associated with meeting PA recommendations included neighborhood parks and walk/bike paths, playing fields and courts, and recreational centers. Recreational space utilization varied by gender, race/ethnicity, and language. Recreational space utilization was an important predictor of meeting PA recommendations among middle school students. Our results showed that PA attainment and recreational space utilization varied by demographic characteristics. The role of each recreational space in predicting PA varied depending on the outcome used. This study demonstrates the potential use of YRBS data to inform resource allocation for PA promotion in diverse communities.

Hacker K.A.,Institute for Community Health | Hacker K.A.,Harvard University | Arsenault L.N.,Institute for Community Health | Williams S.,Institute for Community Health | DiGirolamo A.M.,Institute for Community Health
Journal of Pediatrics | Year: 2011

Objectives: To determine the type of subsequent care received by children nonadherent with their next preventive visit and whether behavioral factors predict use of emergency or acute care in this population. Study design: Data on 1703 children (4-16 years) screened at a preventive visit with the Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC)/Youth-PSC were examined to determine subsequent preventive care adherence (10-18 months later). Then, nonadherent children were monitored to determine whether they returned to their medical home for acute care, delayed preventive care, or visited the emergency department (ED). Multivariate analyses were conducted to determine whether demographic and behavioral factors predicted return to either acute care or ED care site. Results: Of the 461 children who were nonadherent with a second preventive care visit, most (85%) subsequently returned for acute, emergency, or delayed preventive care in the same medical system. Predictors of acute care or ED use included behavioral health risk characteristics (positive PSC, counseling, referral, parental concern), as well as adolescent age, self-pay and public insurance status, and living in lower socioeconomic communities. Conclusions: Pediatricians should consider acute care or ED visits as opportunities for mental health screening follow-up, and intervention in populations at high risk who miss preventive care. Copyright © 2011 Mosby Inc. All rights reserved.

Dryden E.M.,Harvard University | Desmarais J.,Institute for Community Health | Arsenault L.,Harvard University
Journal of School Health | Year: 2014

BACKGROUND: Individuals with disabilities experience higher rates of abuse than the nondisabled. Few evidence-based prevention interventions have been published despite a need for such work. This study evaluated IMPACT:Ability, a safety and self-advocacy training for individuals with cognitive and/or physical disabilities. METHODS: A quasi-experimental design was used to assess change in safety and self-advocacy knowledge, confidence, and behaviors among special education high school students in Boston, MA. Instruments were interviewer-administered at 3 time points. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to compare change between the intervention (N = 21) and wait-list (N = 36) groups. Repeated measures analysis was used to test change in the complete sample (N = 57). RESULTS: Students were diverse (58% males, 82% nonwhite) with a range of disabilities. Significantly greater improvement in key outcomes, including safety and self-advocacy knowledge, confidence, and behavior, were observed in intervention students compared to the wait-list group. Results in the complete sample showed evidence of further improvements in students' sense of safety and general self-efficacy. CONCLUSIONS: These findings are encouraging given the effects were demonstrated in a heterogeneous urban population. IMPACT:Ability may be an effective safety and self-advocacy training for students with disabilities. Further research will be required to determine effectiveness within particular subpopulations of students. © 2014, American School Health Association.

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