Center for Innovation in Measuring Population Health | NYU Langone Health

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Division of Epidemiology Center for Innovation in Measuring Population Health

Center for Innovation in Measuring Population Health

At the Center for Innovation in Measuring Population Health (CIMPH), part of NYU Langone’s Department of Population Health, our mission is to develop innovative surveillance data sources and methodologies to better understand the relationship between population health and social determinants, and to monitor the unequal health of populations across demographic and social groups—particularly in urban settings.

To improve population health monitoring, we design new techniques to collect, analyze, and distribute information and use novel methods and metrics. This includes population-based surveillance of chronic conditions using electronic health record networks, health examination and biomarker surveys, and the use of dashboards and mapping to make data more accessible.

We use our findings to advise health researchers, policymakers, and organizations on allocating resources and designing policies and programs to improve population health. We also strive to educate the next generation of leaders in population health surveillance and encourage public discourse about the health of populations.

Our Vision

Our vision at the center is sixfold:

  • We develop leading techniques to understand population health, including designing new data surveillance approaches and developing new ways to measure social determinants of health.
  • We investigate previously uncharacterized health problems by linking disparate data sources together, applying advanced informatics methods.
  • We serve as a repository of local, state, and national data streams and advance methods in these settings to conduct data analysis and improve access to data.
  • We develop methods to leverage healthcare data sources to support approaches to data surveillance and improve population health.
  • We collaborate across NYU and NYU Langone to evaluate municipal policies, programs, and healthcare initiatives in order to translate research discoveries into practical application.
  • We support efforts of the Urban Health Innovations Lab at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn to conduct research and target programs to populations.

Active Projects

We are actively working in New York City and across the country on several population health data surveillance resources, web visualization tools, and other projects.

City Health Dashboard

The City Health Dashboard equips cities with a one-stop resource to view and compare data from multiple sources on health and the factors that shape health to guide local solutions. We work on the City Health Dashboard with NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and the National Resource Network, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Evaluation of the NYC Test and Trace Program

At the outset of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, New York City was the epicenter of transmission in the United States. Three months into the pandemic, on June 1, 2020, NYC Health + Hospitals (H + H), in partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, other city agencies, and a large network of community partners, launched one of the country’s largest COVID-19 contact tracing programs known as the NYC Test & Trace (T2) program.

In fall 2021, a team at the Department of Population Health received funding from H + H to conduct a rigorous mixed-methods evaluation of the T2 program implementation. In a detailed report, our team presented findings from a mixed-methods evaluation of T2 implementation. Experiences gained over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic response are documented and lessons carefully considered, especially for future contract tracing activities.

DiCAYA and RECOVER

We are engaged in several initiatives using electronic health record networks (EHRs) for population health surveillance. The Assessing the Burden of Diabetes by Type in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults (DiCAYA) Network is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–funded collaboration with coordinating center activities led by researchers at NYU Long Island School of Medicine and NYU Grossman School of Medicine. The network’s primary goal is to modernize diabetes surveillance efforts to capitalize on large-volume, EHR data streams and on recent advances in statistics and clinical informatics to provide accurate, timely, cost-effective, granular, and representative indicators of diabetes prevalence and incidence among children, adolescents, and younger adults.

The Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) initiative is a national study population of the long-term effects of COVID-19. Researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine are leading the clinical science coordination of the project. One arm of the study analyzes data from millions of patients using EHR networks to provide insights into important questions including the incidence and prevalence of long-term effects from SARS-CoV-2 infection, the range of symptoms, underlying causes, risk factors, outcomes, and potential strategies for treatment and prevention.

New York City Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

The New York City Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, or NYC HANES, is a citywide health survey that incorporates clinical and laboratory measurements to capture data about New Yorkers’ disease burden, risk factors, and exposure to toxic chemicals like lead, complete with a biorepository. We work on NYC HANES with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Evaluation of Smoke-Free Housing Policy Impacts on Tobacco Smoke Exposure and Health Outcomes

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development passed a rule that required all public housing agencies to implement smoke-free policies in their developments by July 30, 2018. With funding from the National Cancer Institute, principal investigators Lorna E. Thorpe, PhD, MPH, and Donna Shelley, MD, MPH, are evaluating the impact of the smoke-free housing policy on environmental tobacco smoke exposure and health outcomes in developments managed by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the largest public housing authority in the United States. The study also examines the local process of implementing the federal rule. Our findings are informing strategies for optimizing implementation and impact in NYCHA and public housing associations nationally.

Impact of Community Factors on Geographic Disparities in Diabetes and Obesity Nationwide

Research has linked chronic diseases and their risk factors to community characteristics, suggesting that alteration of social and environmental characteristics may be mutable factors in reducing risk of chronic disease disparities. Lorna E. Thorpe, PhD, MPH, and Brian D. Elbel, PhD, MPH, are principal investigators on a study that examines modifiable community characteristics that may contribute to diabetes and other cardiometabolic disparities in the United States using ecologic, spatial, and multi-level study designs. We are collaborating on this project with other funded institutions under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–funded Diabetes LEAD (Location, Environmental Attributes, and Disparities) Network.

NYC Macroscope

The Department of Population Health worked with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to develop the NYC Macroscope, a population health surveillance system that uses electronic health records (EHRs) to track conditions managed by primary care practices that are important to public health. The NYC Macroscope was the first community-based EHR surveillance system designed to monitor in real time the prevalence of chronic conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension, as well as smoking rates and flu vaccine uptake. The NYC Macroscope has been covered by Stat News, The Hill Extra, Modern Healthcare, and Crain’s.

Feasibility Testing of Electronic Health Record-Based Cancer Surveillance

This aim of this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–funded study is to demonstrate the feasibility of using electronic health record data to develop a model cancer surveillance report on performance measures for cancer prevention and control programs in New York City. The report, led by Lorna E. Thorpe, PhD, MPH, principal investigator, is being designed in collaboration with New York City and New York State Departments of Health, with a goal to inform interventions to improve cancer prevention and control. Using systematic consensus building, we are designing and testing the feasibility of a model surveillance report that includes performance measures and quality of cancer prevention and control in ambulatory care. Our indicators are being developed using rules-based testing approaches and validated using well-established chart review methods to assess sensitivity and specificity.

Our Team

Our faculty, research staff, students, and visiting scholars come from the fields of epidemiology, geography, and medicine, with backgrounds in health surveillance, data science, and multilevel modeling.

Faculty

Lorna E. Thorpe, PhD, MPH
Director, Center for Innovation in Measuring Population Health
Director and Professor, Division of Epidemiology, Department of Population Health

Affiliated Staff

Elle Anastasiou, MPH
Senior Data Analyst

Stefanie Bendik, MPH
Senior Project Coordinator

Sarah Conderino, MS
Data Scientist

Rania Kanchi, MPH
Data Manager

Hannah Mandel, MPH
Data Scientist

Becky Ofrane
Co-Director, City Health Dashboard

Ben Spoer, MPH
Co-Director, City Health Dashboard
Affiliated Faculty

Jasmin Divers, PhD
Chief, Division of Health Services Research, and Professor, Department of Foundations of Medicine
Content Director, Population Health Research Projects

Marc N. Gourevitch, MD, MPH
Chair, Department of Population Health
The Muriel G. and George W. Singer Professor of Population Health, Department of Population Health
Professor, Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry

David C. Lee, MD, MSHP
Assistant Professor, Department of Population Health and Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine

Andrea Titus, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Population Health

Hua (Judy) Zhong, PhD
Professor, Department of Population Health

Contact Us

To learn more about our center, please contact Dr. Thorpe at lorna.thorpe@nyulangone.org.