NCIPH’s Research Unit is a team of experienced leaders and experts in conducting applied research in public health. We work to deepen understanding of public health preparedness and recovery, community health assessment, accreditation, as well as public health policy and infrastructure. Our team possesses a range of skills and expertise in current research methods and approaches, including qualitative and quantitative data collection instrument design, implementation and analysis; public health systems and services research, geographic information systems (GIS), social network analysis (SNA) and others.
Recent projects have been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Science Foundation, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, the Public Health Accreditation Board, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Featured Public Health Systems and Services Research (PHSSR)
Exploring new methods and measures to assess the impact of the economic recession on public health outcomes project
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, along with 6 other institutions, to examine the impact of system changes on public health through the lens of a natural experiment. For UNC’s research, the economic recession is the natural experiment which will be used to estimate the effect of public health spending and programs on population health. This study employs existing sources of data to test a new method to understand public health departments’ impact on population health. Using a retrospective cohort design, and creating linkages to population-based datasets, this project will follow all local health departments in North Carolina from 2005 – 2010. Data from the National Association of County and City Health Officials health department 2005 and 2008 profiles will be used to measure LHD spending, staffing and services in the time periods prior to, and during, the recession.
Learn more about this work from our Research Briefs:
- Measuring Outcomes for NC Local Health Departments: Preliminary Results
- Assessing Return on Investment for NC Local Health Departments: Relationship between spending, services and mortality
- Measuring community health outcomes: new approaches for public health services research
- New methods and measures to assess the impact of the economic recession on public health outcomes: Study implications
- Building the Evidence for Decision-Making: The Relationship Between Local Public Health Capacity and Community Mortality (AJPH 2015)
For more information about this research project, visit the PHSSR projects page.
Other examples of research projects
- Past research project: NC Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center
- Spatial Health Assessment Research Program (SHARP)
- North Carolina Local Health Department Accreditation Stakeholder Evaluation Report
- Research Brief: Quality Improvement Training and Culture in LHDs: What Have We Learned?
Featured publications and presentations
Davis MV, Bevc CA, Schenck AP. (2014). Declining Trends in Local Health Department Preparedness Capacities. American Journal of Public Health, 104(11):2233-2238.
Bevc CA, Simon MC, Montoya T, Horney JA. (2014). Institutional Facilitators and Barriers to Local Public Health Preparedness Planning for Vulnerable and At-Risk Populations. Public Health Reports, 129(s4):35-41.
Schenck AP, Rokoske F, Durham D, Cagle J, Hanson LC. (2014). Quality measures for hospice and palliative care: Piloting the PEACE measures. J Palliat Med, 17(7):769-775.
Mainor A, Decosimo KP, Leeman J, Edwards L, Rinker J, Cornett A, Mainwaring B, Macon-Harrison L. Applying evidence for success: A collaboration to enhance EBS training resources for North Carolina practitioners. Oral presentation at the North Carolina Public Health Association Annual Meeting; September 17-19, 2014; Wilmington, NC.
Matthews G. Public Health Law: Year in Review. 2014 Public Health Law Conference; October 2014; Atlanta, GA.
Schenck AP. Geographic variation and correlates of premature mortality among seniors. American Public Health Association Annual Meeting; November 15-19, 2014; New Orleans, LA.
Southwell JK, Simon MC, Decosimo KP, Wilfert RA. The Ethics and Obstacles of Mapping Communicable Disease Surveillance Data for Targeted Intervention in North Carolina. Oral presentation at the North Carolina Public Health Association Annual Meeting; September 17-19, 2014; Wilmington, NC.
View a complete list of our presentations and publications: