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)

Ed Baker, principal investigator, (center) meets with Synergy & Translation Committee to discuss practice implications of NCPERRC research.

Ed Baker, principal investigator, (center) meets with Synergy & Translation Committee to discuss practice implications of NCPERRC research.

NC Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center (NCPERRC)
NCPERRC has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to strengthen and improve public health preparedness capacity through systems and services research. NCPERRC focuses on North Carolina public health systems and capabilities to develop and maintain sustainable preparedness and response systems including accreditation, surveillance, regional approaches and vulnerable population planning.

Learn more about this work from our Research Briefs

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:

Other examples of research projects

Featured publications and presentations

  • Bevc CA, Davis MV, Schenck AP. (2014). Temporal Trends in Local Public Health Preparedness Capacity. Frontiers in Public Health Services and Systems Research, 3(3), article 3.
  • 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
  • Schenck AP, Meyer AM, Kuo M, Cilenti D. Assessing the return on investment in public health: new measures and approaches. Academy Health, Public Health Services Research Interest Group Meeting; June 2014; San Diego, CA.
  • Bevc CA, Khan M, Schultz J, Simon MC, Casani J. Jurisdictional Mapping and Resources for Vulnerable and At-Risk Populations Planning. North Carolina Public Health Association Annual Educational Conference; September 17-19, 2014; Wilmington, NC.

View a complete list of our presentations and publications:


Anna Schenck, PhD, MSPH
Director, North Carolina Institute for Public Health