Erica Dixon, PhD, is a project manager working on research projects related to 1115 Medicaid waivers, health policy, and cognition and aging. Learn more about Dr. Dixon through this Q&A below:
What projects are you currently involved in?
I work primarily with Dr. Volpp and Dr. Venkataramani on an evaluation of Kentucky’s 1115 Medicaid waiver, most widely known for introducing community engagement/work requirements as a requirement for able-bodied adults on Medicaid. This waiver is currently on hold pending a DC Court of Appeals decision, which has made for some interesting times in trying to evaluate! I also work with Dr. Coe on the ACTIVE study, which looks at the long-term impact of cognitive training on older adults, as well as other projects with Dr. Venkataramani.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
I would say it’s a tie between getting difficult projects off the ground and making the best out of unanticipated changes to the research. Every project has difficulties translating research plans into action, and I like the challenge of figuring out how things can work to the best effect. Sometimes you just have to accept that (nearly) everything has gone wrong or off the rails, and stay determined to get the best result out of whatever you have available.
What’s an area of research that you’d like to pursue in the future?
I’m very interested in health disparities in minority populations and social determinants of health – this is an area that I think is critical to focus on in every aspect of health research from disease prevention to care delivery to insurance reform, as well as understanding the disparities and where they stem from. I’m currently working on a paper exploring LGBT health disparities in our Kentucky Medicaid population.