All Posts By

Meghan Ross

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Behavioral Science-Informed Guide and Tip Sheets Support Response to COVID-19 in Low-and-Middle-Income Countries

By | CHIBEblog

In many low- and middle-income countries, COVID-19 poses a major threat to health and economic outcomes. Many countries have limited health system capacity to cope with increased caseloads and fewer resources to protect against the impacts of lockdowns and a global economic slowdown. In South Africa and other countries with high HIV prevalence, the crisis also poses new challenges to ongoing efforts to combat HIV/AIDS. As part of their work with the nudge unit they have launched in South Africa (Indlela: Behavioural Insights for Better Health), CHIBE Associate Directors Harsha Thirumurthy, PhD; and Alison Buttenheim, PhD, MBA; and Project Managers…

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LA Times: Cause of Death: COVID-19, Police Violence or Racism?

By | In the News

“Dr. Atheendar Venkataramani, an internist and health policy researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, has plumbed the power of despair to erode the health of specific American populations. He was part of a team that assessed changes in the mental health of Americans who lived in states where at least one unarmed black man had been killed by police. In the three months following these deaths, the team found a measurable drop in mental health among black Americans — and the more deaths there were, the greater the effect. Mental health did not suffer in cases when police killed a black person…

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ABC13 Eyewitness News: Police killings can have profound effects on mental health of Black Americans, expert says

By | In the News

“In 2018, a study published in British journal The Lancet showed police killings had a profound effect on the mental health of black Americans in the days following those incidents. In fact, it accounted for an additional 1.7 days of poor mental health days for the black community annually. Dr. Atheendar Venkataramani, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, is a co-author of the study. ‘We’re just trying to understand that there’s this big mental health response which we did find, and having found that, I think that the take-home message is police killings are…

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401KTV: Digital Design Improvements Benefit Plan Participants

By | In the News

“Professor Shlomo Benartzi, of the Behavioral Decision Making Department at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and Saurabh Bhargava, Associate Professor of Economics at Carnegie Mellon University worked in a collaboration with Voya Financial to explore how digital design improvements of online enrollment interfaces influence a participant’s  initial contribution decisions of employees in 401(k) plans.” “The researchers wanted to learn the significance the digital design improvements would have on employees’ initial enrollment decisions.  For that reason, they randomized employees to one of the two versions: an original commercial design, or an “enhanced” design that included three small changes…” Read more at…

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NCCN Foundation Awards Shivan Mehta a Grant for Colorectal Cancer Screening Research

By | CHIBEblog

Congratulations to Shivan Mehta, MD, MBA, MSHP, who has received funding for a research grant that will evaluate choice architecture for colorectal cancer screening outreach at a community health center in Pottstown, PA. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Foundation’s annual Young Investigator Awards, which is what Dr. Mehta has won, are granted to “top early-career researchers from leading cancer centers seeking tomorrow’s cures.” “It is an honor to receive this award and to be nominated by the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania,” Dr. Mehta said. This funding will provide support for a project at a community…

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Mitesh Patel Wins SGIM’s Quality and Practice Innovation Award

By | CHIBEblog

Congratulations to Director of the Penn Medicine Nudge Unit Mitesh Patel, MD, MBA, MS, who has received the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) Quality and Practice Innovation Award. This award recognizes “general internists and their organization that have successfully developed and implemented innovative role model systems of practice improvement in ambulatory and/or inpatient clinical practice,” according to a SGIM press release. Watch Dr. Patel’s acceptance video here. Dr. Patel, who is a member of CHIBE’s leadership team, was honored for improving care within the quality domains of the 2000 IOM Crossing the Quality Chasm report: “safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, timeliness,…

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LDI: A Cautionary Tale About Medicaid Work Requirements

By | In the News

[Atheendar Venkataramani and others] looked at the potential effects of Medicaid work requirements on Medicaid participation among those not actually subject to these requirements. [They] estimate that these “spillover effects” – which thus far have not been part of the conversation on work requirements – could be quite large. How [they] arrived at this answer is worth a bit of explanation. [Venkataramani and others] were hired to independently evaluate Kentucky’s proposed Section 1115 Medicaid waiver, which included work requirements. While creating [their] study design, [they]thought about the total effects of work requirements on Medicaid participation. [They] wondered if imposing work…

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Dr. Christina Roberto Earns Tenure

By | CHIBEblog

Congratulations to Christina Roberto, PhD, the Mitchell J. Blutt and Margo Krody Blutt Presidential Associate Professor of Health Policy, member of CHIBE’s leadership team, and Director of the PEACH Lab, who has earned tenure. “In the short time since she has arrived at Penn, Dr. Roberto has created a remarkable body of scholarship on the epidemiological and behavioral aspects of food as well as on the effects of policy changes on how people eat,” Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy Chair Steven Joffe, MD, MPH, said. “She has established herself as a true international leader in these areas. I’m…

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Pamela Shaw Named American Statistical Association Fellow

By | CHIBEblog

Congratulations to Pamela Shaw, PhD, a CHIBE-affiliated faculty member and Associate Professor of Biostatistics, who has been named a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA). According to the ASA website, those selected as fellows must have an “established reputation and have made outstanding contributions to statistical science.” In addition, the designation of ASA fellow has been an honor for nearly 100 years. Read Dr. Shaw’s bio here.    

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CHIBE Q&A: Kristen Daskilewicz, MPH

By | CHIBEblog

Read our Q&A to get to know Kristen Daskilewicz, MPH, project manager for the PEACH Lab. What projects are you working on right now? The PEACH Lab is currently implementing three R01 grants from the National Institutes of Health. COVID-19 has been a big challenge, as our grants involve extensive fieldwork. While these circumstances are deeply unfortunate, it’s been exciting to see the creative methods our team has come up with to continue our work safely in this “new normal.” We are currently gearing up to transform our Food Pantry project to involve a contactless food delivery component. This will…

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