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Current Projects

The following list provides information on research projects currently underway at Rutgers Center for State Health Policy. To help you navigate, projects are classified by focus area and include the project name, funder, a brief description, and a link if you would like to request additional information.

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Population Health

  • New Jersey Population Health Cohort Study

    Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

    While New Jersey ranks among the wealthiest states, there are significant and persistent health disparities in addition to other social factors that impact health and well-being. The New Jersey Population Health Cohort Study aims to generate new knowledge that will help us build a healthier, more equitable New Jersey by collecting data over time to better understand the factors that contribute to these disparities and the impacts on health and well-being. The study will enroll about 10,000 participants from across New Jersey, with an emphasis on historically disadvantaged groups, multi-generational families, and immigrant groups. Researchers will also combine information from participant surveys and other sources such as lab tests and activity measures to help understand factors that drive better health and well-being.

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  • Evaluation of the Faith in Prevention (FIP) Initiative

    New Jersey Department of Health

    To empower faith communities to take charge of their health and thrive physically, mentally and spiritually, faith-based organizations in Newark, Paterson and Trenton implemented the Faithful Families Thriving Communities curriculum (Faithful Families), a “practice-tested intervention” that focuses on healthy environmental and policy changes within faith communities. The NJ Department of Health asked CSHP to evaluate the FIP Initiative and the evaluation has two specific objectives: 1) analysis of outcome measures from the FIP Initiative; 2) analysis of outcome measures from the biometric data collection component of the FIP Initiative.

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  • Integrated Population Health Data (iPHD) Project

    New Jersey Department of Health

    Governmental program data often exist in “silos” and are under-utilized in program evaluation and policy development analysis. To address this gap, in 2016, the NJ Legislature enacted the Integrated Population Health Data (iPHD) Project to establish a process to integrate health and other data from publicly supported programs for population health research for the purpose of improving: 1) the health, safety, security, and well-being of New Jersey residents, and 2) the cost-efficiency of state government assistance programs. The legislation designated CSHP as the operating entity of the iPHD, reporting to a Governing Board comprising representatives of state agencies and members of the public with relevant expertise.

    The project launched in June 2022 with the submission of eleven research proposals. The iPHD Governing Board will review the proposals and decide on the release of data and pilot funding at its October 21st Board meeting. Visit the iPHD Project website at

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  • Assessment of Hudson County Opioid Crisis Response Strategy

    Hudson County Department of Health and Human Services

    Hudson County Department of Health and Human Services received funding from the US Department of Justice to implement an integrative wellness recovery approach to (1) better address current needs of justice-involved and non-justice-involved opioid-addicted individuals and their families; and (2) to better understand local trends and enabling factors of the opioid epidemic so they can be mitigated. To measure all deliverables, Hudson County asked CSHP to analyze program data and report of the patterns and trends seen and, to the extent supported by the data, make recommendations for policy or practice implementation/changes.

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  • Evaluation of the Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Data to Action Project

    Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

    Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), including exposure to violence, separation of family members, and homelessness, among other traumatic events, often lead to long-term negative impacts on physical and mental health. According to 2018 data, more than 40 percent of New Jersey (NJ) children had experienced at least one ACE, and 18 percent had experienced at least two. Through funding from CDC to support the Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Data to Action project, the Center for Health Care Strategies will lead a statewide collaboration to (1) improve the ACE surveillance infrastructure by leveraging existing data systems, (2) implement effective strategies to prevent ACEs, (3) and inform program and policy changes that are responsive to local needs. CSHP will serve as program evaluator, working in close collaboration with CHCS and the program partners to track and measure process and outcomes indicators. CSHP will take a formative approach to evaluation, providing actionable quarterly feedback on productivity and outcomes to program leadership over the course of the project.

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  • Evaluation of the NJ Opioid Overdose Recovery Program

    Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

    The Opioid Overdose Recovery Program (OORP) is an innovative emergency department-based treatment-linkage program designed to enhance access to medication treatment for opioid use disorders. The CSHP was asked to analyze New Jersey Medicaid claims data to support the evaluation of the effectiveness of the OORP for improving addiction treatment utilization and other outcomes. The analysis will focus on the comparison of outcomes for all OORP-eligible in hospitals adopting OORP to would-be eligible patients seen in non-OORP facilities. A complementary analysis compares OORP-participating opioid users to non-participating users.

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  • Monitoring New Jersey Family Strengths and Needs in the COVID-19 Pandemic

    New Jersey Department of Children and Families

    Families with children, particularly lower-income families and those from racial/ethnic minority groups, have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic due to interruptions of schooling, job loss, and negative health impacts. To gather information about NJ families, the NJ Department of Children and Families asked CSHP to develop a statewide representative survey (to be administered at two points in time) and five focused surveys of population groups experiencing disproportionate impacts from COVID-19. Analyses will look at particular impacts on low-income, Black and Hispanic/Latinx families, and by region of NJ. CSHP will partner with the Rutgers Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling to implement the surveys.

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  • The Impact of COVID-19-Related School Closures on Children's Weight Status

    National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD/NIH)

    Almost 30 million children receive meals daily through federal school lunch and breakfast programs, and these meals provide up to 50% of children’s daily nutritional needs. Mandatory closure of public schools necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic threatens access to healthy meals for low-income children and is likely to contribute to excess weight gain and associated health problems. Critical to preparedness to respond to future disasters and to assure the adequacy of the food safety net, this study addresses the impact of school closures on weight status and investigates the potential of emergency, child-targeted food assistance programs to mitigate adverse effects. Building on an eight-year research collaboration with four NJ school districts serving predominantly low-income populations, the study follows a cohort of 120 public schools, collecting nurse-measured heights and weights data on students supplemented by a survey of the school’s food and physical activity environment, geo-coded data on the environment around schools, and distribution of emergency meals and Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits for out-of-school children.

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  • Health Care Delivery and Care Transitions for Underserved Cancer Patients

    University of Southern California

    Primary care can play vital roles in identifying, managing and referring underserved patients with cancer to improve guideline concordant care. This study is examining primary care capacity and processes that may impact transitions from primary care to specialty oncology care among Medicaid patients with breast (BC) or colorectal cancers (CRC). Using NJ Medicaid enrollment/claims data linked with NJ State Cancer Registry data for BC and CRC patients diagnosed in 2011–2016 and qualitative information collected from primary care practices, the study is informing the development of system-based interventions to improve care transitions among underserved cancer patients.

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There are no current projects for this focus area at this time.