Perhaps it isn’t surprising that in Wisconsin, home of Miller Brewing and where bars outnumber grocery stores almost 3 to 1, rates of binge and heavy drinking are on the rise. In 2012, Wisconsin also had some of the highest rates of heavy drinking in the country.
What attracted you to the health metrics field?
As an undergraduate student, I studied environmental science and biology, so I first became acquainted with health metrics through an environmental lens. During a summer research trip to Northeastern Siberia and the Gansu province in rural China, I was exposed to two diverse health landscapes. In learning about the social determinants of health and the complexities of the health system in both areas, I came to see the connections between environmental and human health and how health systems affect people in powerful ways. My research team was studying environmental health, but I quickly saw that it is inextricably linked to human health. After this trip, I found myself seeking a way to capture and describe these health problems and disparities more concretely, which led me to the field of health metrics. I believe that a firm understanding of health metrics can equip me with the tools to begin addressing complex global problems and work toward improving human and environmental health around the world.
What work are you doing at IHME?
I am working on the Gavi Full Country Evaluations (FCE) project and the Access, Bottlenecks, Costs, and Equity (ABCE) project. The Gavi FCE project is a multi-country evaluation of immunization programs that broadly aims to assess the impact of the assistance provided by the Gavi Alliance for immunization services. The ABCE project began as a way to examine the cost-effectiveness and equity of health service delivery in a subset of countries around the world. Through several in-country surveys spanning multiple years, the project aims to assess the factors that influence the products delivered through the health system, both from the supply side and the demand side. I am currently analyzing surveys conducted at health facilities in countries that are in both the Gavi and ABCE sample frames. I am working to develop the survey instruments themselves, verify survey results collected in the field and, ultimately, analyze the survey results in a way that clearly demonstrates both the achievements and the existing gaps of health systems in these countries.
How do you think your experience at IHME will contribute to your future work?
I hope to work at the intersection of environmental and human health, and the tools and skills that I acquire at IHME will help me better characterize and describe the seminal problems in these fields. The interdisciplinary nature of work at IHME will translate well into my future work and studies. Working on projects that cut across lines of discipline will help me see issues from a variety of perspectives and will equip me with multiple ways to address them.
Dieleman JL, Baral R, Birger M, Bui AL, Bulchis A, Chapin A, Hamavid H, Horst C, Johnson EK, Joseph J, Lavado R, Lomsadze L, Reynolds A, Squires E, Campbell M, DeCenso B, Dicker D, Flaxman AD, Gabert R, Highfill T, Naghavi M, Nightingale N, Templin T, Tobias MI, Vos T, Murray CJL. US spending on personal health care and public health, 1996–2013. JAMA. 2016 Dec 17.
Bui AL, Dieleman JL, Hamavid H, Birger M, Chapin A, Duber HC, Horst C, Reynolds A, Squires E, Chung PJ, Murray CJL. Spending on children’s personal health care in the United States, 1996–2013. JAMA Pediatrics. 2016 Dec 27. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.4086.