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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Maryland Professor Leads Effort to Develop Framework for Translating Epidemiology into Policy

Dr. Olivia Carter-Pokras, an associate professor in the University of Maryland School of Public Health’s department of epidemiology and biostatistics, is leading an effort to develop case studies that establish a framework for translating epidemiologic research into health policy and practice.

As chair of the American College of Epidemiology (ACE) Policy Committee, Dr. Carter-Pokras’ goal is for these case studies to be used by public health educators for journal clubs, as assigned or recommended readings for classes, and in other educational settings.

“Although the development of policies and regulations in public health relies on epidemiologic evidence, the methods for evaluating and incorporating such evidence into policymaking are not well established,” said Dr. Carter-Pokras, a health disparities researcher for three decades in the federal government and academia. “Policy decisions themselves must remain a matter of case-by-case consideration, but ACE can help discern the successful elements of a more general framework.”

To better understand the intersection of epidemiology and policy, the ACE Policy Committee hosted three workshops in 2009, 2011, and 2013 at Washington University in St. Louis. The invited panelists included experts from diverse disciplines with extensive policy experience. The three workshops have resulted in a total of eleven (11) case studies and two overview articles published in the Annals of Epidemiology.

The three latest case studies published in 2014:

Aldrich MC, Hidalgo B, Widome R, Briss P, Brownson RC, Teutsch SM. The role of epidemiology in evidence-based policy making: a case study of tobacco use in youth. Ann Epidemiol. 2014 Apr 28.

Swanson JW, McGinty EE, Fazel S, Mays VM. Mental illness and reduction of gun violence and suicide: bringing epidemiologic research to policy. Ann Epidemiol. 2014 Apr 29.

Thorpe LE, Assari S, Deppen S, Glied S, Lurie N, Mauer MP, Mays VM, Trapido E. The role of epidemiology in disaster response policy development. Ann Epidemiol. 2014 Jul 3.

The Policy Committee has created teaching slides that go along with each case study. In using the case studies and/or slide sets, please credit the American College of Epidemiology and the Annals of Epidemiology.