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School of Social Service Administration
CHAS eNews: January 2017
Pharmaceutical Policy Reform
At a time when congressional investigators are looking into the pricing practices of pharmaceutical companies, CHAS Fellow Rena Conti and her colleague Meredith B. Rosenthal review proposed policies for making prescription medications more affordable in the United States. Their article promotes the reform of specific pieces of legislature and also calls for a combination of coverage mandates and subsidies so as to ensure patients have access to necessary medications that may carry above average costs. Ultimately the two conclude that additional incentives are necessary to stimulate pharmaceutical research without driving up the price of medications.
Redefining Health for Older Adults
Health is much more than the absence of disease says William Dale, Chief of the Section of Geriatrics & Palliative Medicine and Director of the SOCARE Clinic at the University of Chicago. In an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dale and his fellow researchers prove their case by assessing over 3000 persons between the ages of 57 and 85 using both a disease-oriented medical model and a more comprehensive model which includes psycho-social factors among other health characteristics. Their results show that the latter model was much more effective in predicting mortality. Soon after publication, the PNAS article was cited in an editorial by affiliates of the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
For more information, please see: Empirical redefinition of comprehensive health and well-being in the older adults of the United States. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(22) and The evolving taxonomy of health in older persons. JAMA, 316(23), 2487.
Managing Bias and Cohort Effect in Breast Cancer Research
Many factors play a role in the development of breast cancer in women, but the greatest predictor is the presence of mutations in tumor-suppressing genes (BRCA1/BRCA2). Nevertheless, there remains a skepticism surrounding the statistical correlation between such mutations and the eventual diagnosis of breast cancer given the effects of ascertainment bias in the selection of candidates for genetic testing. CHAS Fellow Olufunmilayo I. Olopade was part of a team that reviewed the pedigrees of families who were included in research by the Cancer Risk Clinic at the University of Chicago between 1992 and 2013 so as to hopefully provide a more accurate picture as to the role of BRCA1 and BRCA2 in the development of cancer.
Conference Success
The first annual Social Work & Health Convening met last week at the University's Gleacher Center. Fifty-five invited professionals attended the Convening's nine lectures on topics ranging from interprofessional education to the social determinants of acute care utilization. Overall, the Convening reflected a contemporary shift toward a well-being model of health that includes multiple disciplines of care. Materials resulting from the day's events will soon be posted on the CHAS website
Seed Grant Recipients Announced
CHAS is pleased to announced the following SSA Faculty as recipients of 2017-2018 Seed Grants:
  • Leyla Ismayilova: “Feasibility Testing of a Family-Focused Mental Health Prevention Program for Families of Institutionalized Children in Azerbaijan”
  • Miwa Yasui: “Examining Cultural Thresholds of Mental Health Need Among Asian American and Immigrant Children and Families”
  • Alan Zarychta: “Temporal Dynamics of Health System Reform: A Pilot Study in Honduras”
Learn more about the CHAS Seed Grant program on our website

Michael M. Davis Lecture Series 
will resume April 4, 2017. For more information click here.

2015-funded CHAS Seed Grants final reports due January 31, 2017.

Please contact Keith Brown for report templates and questions.
Academy Health Annual Research Meeting
New Orleans, LA
June 25-27, 2017

American Public Health Association*
Atlanta, GA
November 4-8, 2017

Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action
Grand Rapids, MI
November 16-18, 2017

* currently accepting abstracts or proposals
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