CHAS e-newsletter provides policy briefs, service innovations, upcoming events and opportunities for health policy and services researchers at the University of Chicago.
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School of Social Service Administration
CHAS eNews: March 2016
Key Strategies to Promote Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Academic Medicine
Increasing the number of physicians from underrepresented minority groups is critical to reducing racial and ethnic health disparities.  This is especially important in academic medicine, as this is the arena in which new medical students are trained, research is produced, and policy leadership is generated.  In a CHAS-supported study, Monica Peek (Pritzker School of Medicine) and colleagues used quantitative and qualitative methods, to identify factors and practices associated with faculty diversity in academic medicine.  Interviews highlighted a number of effective strategies that medical schools are using to increase faculty diversity, including institutional leadership, strong recruitment/retention packages, and social relationships.  For more, please see:  Peek, M. E., Kim, K. E., Johnson, J. K., & Vela, M. B. (2013). “URM Candidates Are Encouraged to Apply”: A National Study to Identify Effective Strategies to Enhance Racial and Ethnic Faculty Diversity in Academic Departments of Medicine. Academic Medicine, 88(3), 405-412.
Taking a Public Health Approach to Youth Violence
CHAS faculty member Deborah-Gorman Smith and colleagues recommend approaching youth violence from a public health perspective in contrast to the criminal justice approach which has, until recently, been the dominant framework.  Approaching youth violence from a public health perspective means focusing on prevention, and developing evidence-based interventions targeted to risk and protective factors, and enhancing the safety and well-being of entire populations.  Gorman-Smith and colleagues note that decades of research from a public health perspective has resulted in a number of evidence-based interventions, which have been shown to reduce violence and/or risk behaviors.  Implementing is now the key challenge: “Translating effective programs into community settings is a complicated, long-term process, but one of immense practical importance.”  For more details about this publication, please see: Gorman-Smith, D., Feig, L., Cosey-Gay, F., & Coeling, M. (2014). Strengthening Families and Communities to Prevent Youth Violence: A Public Health Approach. Child. Legal Rts. J., 34, 265.
Training Probation Officers to Supervise Clients With Serious Mental Illness
The overrepresentation of persons with serious mental illnesses (SMI) in the criminal justice system is a well-recognized problem. While over half of current offenders with a SMI are on probation, probation poses unique challenges for persons with SMI, who are at much higher risk for revocation, re-arrest, and re-incarceration than probationers without SMI.  To enhance the success of these programs for probationers CHAS Fellow, Matthew Epperson (SSA) and colleagues, conducted interviews with probation officers to explore their perspectives on supervising this population.  The study found that training officers to attend to criminogenic risk, as well as, enhancing flexibility and discretion of probation officers, contributes to more effective programs.  For more, please see: Epperson, M. W., Canada, K., Thompson, J., & Lurigio, A. (2014). Walking the Line: Specialized and Standard Probation Officer Perspectives on Supervising Probationers With Serious Mental Illnesses. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 37(5), 473-483.

Reversing the Tide of Drug Overdose Deaths: A Once Controversial Approach Goes Mainstream
The opioid epidemic is the focus of policy concern and action at all levels of government.  Of critical concern is how to stem the tide of overdose deaths, which now surpass motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States.  In a recently published analysis, Michael Davis lecturer, Professor Keith Humphreys, Stanford School of Medicine, reports on recent policy efforts to address this crisis by expanding access to the overdose-reversing drug naloxone and considers their implications, including the evidence of impact to date and key challenges to successful implementation.  Noting that this once controversial approach “has gone mainstream,” Humphreys identifies key issues of funding and retaining reasonable expectations: “In the face of [the current opioid epidemic], which . . . may have no historical parallel, a downstream solution such as naloxone cannot be expected to stop the opioid overdose crisis on its own.  But as an inexpensive measure to avert some of the damage, it’s a lifesaver.”   Please see: Humphreys, K. (2015). An Overdose Antidote Goes Mainstream. Health Affairs, 34(10), 1624-1627.
Leadership Transition for CHAS Executive Committee Member
Professor Curtis McMillen will be assuming the responsibilities of Deputy Dean for Curriculum at the School of Social Services Administration, effective July 1, 2016.  He will be assuming responsibilities from Tina Rzepnicki, David and Mary Winton Green Professor and Deputy Dean for Curriculum at SSA, to advance the SSA curriculum and implement a curriculum review and revisions.    
Doctoral Students Leadership Development Opportunity
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has started a new leadership development opportunity for full-time doctoral students from underrepresented populations or historically disadvantaged backgrounds training to be researchers in many fields and interested in health policy research. The goal of the program is to create a large cadre of diverse scholars whose research, connections, and leadership will inform and influence policy toward a "Culture of Health."  For more information on the program, who is eligible, and how to apply, please visit
CHAS Student Funding Programs
The Center for Health Administration Studies (CHAS) is pleased to announce funding opportunities for SSA predoctoral students.  Questions should be directed to:
CHAS Dissertation Stipend
CHAS will be awarding a $24,000 dissertation stipend, beginning Autumn quarter 2016. The purpose of the stipend is to support a student whose dissertation is in the final stages of research and writing.  Applications are due by April 30th, 2016. Information about qualifications, guidelines, and the application process are available on the CHAS Dissertation Program page.   

CHAS Pre-Doctoral Stipends
The deadline for the next round of the CHAS predoctoral curriculum support is April 30th, 2016. SSA doctoral students working with a CHAS faculty member on health policy and services research project(s) are eligible to apply for the $3,000 annual stipend, paid in three installments (Autumn, Winter, Spring).  Details on the program and the application process can be found on the CHAS Stipends Program page.

May 26-27, 2016:  "Sciences Po - University of Chicago Workshop on Health Policy Innovation and Reform" in Paris, France

Michael M. Davis Lecture Series:

April 5, 2016:
Anup Malani, "The Indian Health Insurance Experiment"

April 12, 2016:
Reuben Miller, "You're in a Room Full of Addicts! Prisoner Reentry as a Social Institution and the 'Making Up' of the Ex-Offender"

April 19, 2016:
Sarah Gollust, "Geographic Variation in ACA-Related Media Messages and Health Insurance Enrollment"

April 26, 2016: 
Ruth Thompson-Miller, "Intergenerational Trauma: Clinicians Trained to Diagnose and Treat Elderly African American Survivors of Jim Crow Suffering with Symptoms of Segregation Stress Syndrome (collective PTSD)"

May 3, 2016: 
Lawrence Palinkas, "Implementation Science as a Model for Social Work Science: The View from Child Welfare and Child Mental Health"

May 10, 2016: 
Ronald Bayer, "Precision Medicine: A New Direction for Public Health or a Utopian Delusion"

May 17, 2016: 
Erika Franklin Fowler, "Media & the Politics of Implementation: Competition, Coverage & Complexity in Affordable Care Act Messaging"

CHAS Doctoral Dissertation Program:  Applications due on the CHAS website by 4/30/2016

CHAS Stipends Program:  Applications due on the CHAS website by 4/30/2016
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