This month’s institutional member profile features the Center for Health Advancement at the University of California, Los Angeles Fielding School of Public Health.
The Center’s mission is to empower decision-makers and stakeholders with evidence-based information and tools that advance policies and programs to improve the public’s health, quality of life, and health equity.
The Center leads four projects that provide in-depth analysis and evidence-based information to help policymakers, community members, and others decide which interventions improve population health and reduce health disparities. These projects include:
- Advancing Health, Reducing Waste: Researchers investigate wasteful spending in the medical care system and examine opportunities to redirect resources from medical care to upstream interventions.
- Health Forecasting: This project uses simulation models to predict the effects of policies and programs on future health outcomes.
- Health Impact Assessment: The Center uses this tool to inform decision-making on the impact of public policies on health, including living wage ordinances, gas taxes, and public transportation options.
- The Win-Win Project: This project assesses the effects of social and public health interventions on a wide variety of outcomes, and aims to identify low cost programs and policies that have a large effect of social and economic outcomes.
Looking more closely at the last project on the list, The Win-Win Project models the health impact and calculates the return-on-investment of a variety of programs and policies for a specific jurisdiction. The Win-Win model can answer: How much will it cost in my area? What is the return-on-investment for my government agency? How long does it take to have an effect? What health impact can I achieve with a given dollar allocation? What are the equity implications?
The Center’s most recent model for The Win-Win Project highlighted two programs that improve maternal and infant health.
CenteringPregnancy, a small group prenatal program, decreases incidences of low birthweight for all participants. The Win-Win model found that if the program is implemented in San Diego, CA, Black, Non-Hispanic infants below 200% FPL would experience the largest percentage point reduction in their low-birthweight rate (-2.5). The program also has a return on investment to local and state government of $0.99 for every $1.00 spent.
Family Connects, a universal postpartum nurse visiting program, improves both maternal and infant health outcomes. If it was implemented in Chicago with all newborns, infants would spend approximately 28,000 fewer nights in the hospital in the first year of life. Also, postpartum depression rates would fall from 14.0% to 10.1% (1,477 averted cases). The return on investment is $0.43 for every $1.00 spent by local or state government.
The Center is co-directed by Jonathan Fielding, Professor of Health Policy and Management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and Professor of Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine, and Frederick Zimmerman, Professor of Health Policy and Management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and IAPHS President-elect.