Section on Health Choice, Policy & Evaluation Research
Investigators from NYU Langone’s Section on Health Choice, Policy, and Evaluation conduct research in a few key areas. We investigate environmental influences on choices that impact health, evaluate policies and programs, and use mapping and spatial and geographic analysis to understand the influence of people’s built and social environments on their health.
We work on several initiatives and research efforts with other departments and organizations, including the Department of Medicine and Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine at NYU Langone, NYU College of Global Public Health, and NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. The following are our key initiatives.
Health Evaluation and Analytics Lab
The Health Evaluation and Analytics Lab conducts and supports applied research to help healthcare and community-based organizations deliver services that significantly improve outcomes. The lab is directed by James R. Knickman, PhD, and is a collaboration between the Department of Population Health and NYU Wagner.
Health Geographics Research Initiative
The Health Geographics Research Initiative (GIS Health) uses geographic information systems (GIS) and advanced geospatial analysis to study the interplay between where people live, work, and access care and services and their health, in order to improve the health of communities. We use information from public and private records, as well as mobile device technologies such as global positioning system (GPS) trackers. GIS Health is directed by David C. Lee, MD.
Policy and Environment Research Group
The Policy and Environment Research Group uses advanced methodological techniques to better understand the ways physical and social environments shape people’s health and choices they make that impact their health. We also study how policies related to grocery stores, restaurants, and other food vendors can influence people’s behaviors, such as whether calorie-labeling laws affect what people buy. Through the use of big data such as administrative, city, or state records, we develop tailored policy solutions. For example, we are currently investigating whether there is a connection between New York City public school children’s body mass index and proximity of different food outlets to their school and homes. The Policy and Environment Research Group is directed by Brian D. Elbel, PhD, MPH.
Policy and Program Evaluation Group
The Policy and Program Evaluation Group conducts external evaluations of demonstration projects, pilot programs, and new policies that aim to reduce disparities for underserved and vulnerable populations in New York City, New York state, and nationally, often using comprehensive datasets. Our goal is to help inform program expansions and policy implementation. We also partner with and assist nonprofit organizations and community-based programs to provide evaluation technical assistance. The Policy and Program Evaluation Group is directed by Carolyn Berry, PhD.
Socioeconomic Evaluation of Dietary Decisions Program
The Socioeconomic Evaluation of Dietary Decisions Program (SeedProgram) focuses on issues related to obesity, health disparities, and international and domestic food policy. We conduct experiments and gather information about how advertising and social media influence the health choices people make, with the objective of providing policymakers and organizations in the United States and around the globe with empirically supported guidance on improving the world’s diet. The SeedProgram is directed by Marie Bragg, PhD, and is a collaboration between the Department of Population Health and NYU College of Global Public Health.
Spatial Epidemiology Lab
The Spatial Epidemiology Lab studies the relationship between neighborhood attributes and health-related behaviors and outcomes, including obesity, hypertension, sleep, drug abuse, mental health, and HIV/AIDS using geospatial modeling techniques, global positioning system (GPS) technologies, and other geospatial analysis. We aim to inform interventions and policies that address health disparities with an emphasis on sexual and gender minorities. The lab is directed by Dustin T. Duncan, ScD.