Our research team has conducted a number of impactful studies that have been translated into practice by a range of entities positively influencing health for millions of people. We have designed programs based on our findings that improve both the value and quality of care provided by health plans, employers and health systems.

Mitesh Patel, a CHIBE member, reaches out to shake somone's hand at an event

Government & Policy

Impact Story: Philadelphia

soda can stock photo from above cans

Project: Sweetened Beverage Tax

Director of the PEACH Lab Christina Roberto, PhD, published a significant study in JAMA showing that Philadelphia’s 1.5-cent-per-ounce sweetened beverage tax led to a 38% drop in sales of the taxed drinks, one year after the tax. Upon publication of the findings, Dr. Roberto’s work received widespread media coverage, and the City of Philadelphia was lauded locally, nationally, and globally for its efforts to lower sweetened drink consumption.

These findings provide important evidence that sweetened beverage taxes may be one of the most effective policy tools to decrease consumption of sugary drinks.Philly soda tax associated with 38% drop in sugary drink purchases

In addition, a study led by CHIBE-affiliated faculty member and Deputy Director of the PEACH Lab Laura Gibson, PhD, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found no evidence that people were substituting to high calorie foods in response to the Philly beverage tax.

Impact Story: COVID-19 Pandemic


Project: Coronavirus Research

CHIBE is proud that our faculty have worked hard to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, creating numerous programs locally and nationally, generating scholarship, and providing thought leadership to guide the pandemic response worldwide. We are also proud to share that two CHIBE members, Dr. Alison Buttenheim and Dr. Daniel Polsky, were appointed to an ad hoc committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) and the National Academy of Medicine to provide a framework for the equitable allocation of vaccines for the novel coronavirus.

On our coronavirus page, you can see some of the other ways in which our faculty and staff have contributed, through the creation of models to support COVID-19 patient care, through the development of public health prevention initiatives, in providing guidance to health systems, and in educating the public through media and social media communications, and much more.

View CHIBE's COVID-19 research and media coverage here

Impact Story: HIV Testing Access


Project: HIV in sub-Saharan Africa

In a series of studies conducted in collaboration with an NGO in Kenya, CHIBE Associate Director Harsha Thirumurthy, PhD, and colleagues examined an innovative approach to increasing the coverage of HIV testing, particularly among people at high risk of HIV infection. They used HIV self-tests kits and leveraged social and sexual networks to increase HIV testing access by men and other individuals who are not seeking available clinic-based health services. They tested this approach in antenatal and postpartum clinics and among female sex workers and found that it was very effective in increase male partner and couples testing. Based on their study findings, a number of organizations adopted this ‘secondary distribution’ approach and the WHO recommended that countries should include it in their efforts to promote HIV testing.

Impact Story: Nudge Unit in South Africa

Project: Nudge Unit in South Africa

South Africa has the world’s largest HIV epidemic, and there are a number of ongoing efforts to expand access to HIV prevention and treatment services, with the goal of ultimately ending the epidemic by 2030. A major challenge facing the government and other organizations engaged in HIV service delivery is that services are not being utilized by key segments of the populations. Another challenge is retaining patients in HIV care. Building on Dr. Harsha Thirumurthy’s research that has applied behavioral economics insights to such challenges in Africa, as well as Dr. Alison Buttenheim’s research on behavioral economics and health, CHIBE forged a collaboration with a leading research institution in South Africa and established a first-of-its-kind nudge unit – Indlela – that will work closely with local researchers and organizations. Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Indlela will build behavioral economics capacity in South Africa and support the development and testing of nudges in the health sector.

Impact Story: MedPAC and GAO

US capitol building

Project: GAO Report

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)’s report “Voluntary and Mandatory Episode-Based Payment Models and Their Participants” to Senator Ron Wyden, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, cited research by CHIBE Associate Director Amol Navathe, MD, PhD, who was asked for his testimony on this subject.

Project: MedPAC

Dr. Navathe was also appointed by GAO as a member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). MedPAC is the primary advisory body for Congress on issues affecting the Medicare program and will also analyze access to care and quality of care, among other issues affecting Medicare.

Impact Story: Surgeon General

colorful salad

Project: Surgeon General Event

How can the food industry help create a healthy and equitable food system? This was the topic of discussion at a special event hosted by CHIBE, the PEACH Lab, the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, and the Penn Prevention Research Center in September 2020. Participants learned more about the Surgeon General’s “Community Health and Economic Prosperity” report, the National Salt and Sugar Reduction Initiative, Guiding Stars program, Just Salad’s Carbon Labeling, and food industry accountability.

The guest speakers at this virtual event were:

  • Vice Admiral Jerome Adams, MD, MPH, Surgeon General of the United States
  • Kim Kessler, JD, Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention, The New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene
  • Sandra Noonan, MA, Chief Sustainability Officer, Just Salad
  • Julie Greene, MPH, Director of Guiding Stars Ahold Delhaize USA
  • Jim Krieger, MD, MPH, Founding Executive Director, Healthy Food America: Clinical Professor of Medicine and Health Services, University of Washington
View a video recording of the event, complete with audio transcription Find the food policy event video here