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Kosali Simon co-authored an article in the Journal of General Internal Medicine: “Third Year of Survey Data Shows Continuing Benefits of Medicaid Expansions for Low-Income Childless Adults in the U.S.” Simon analyzed whether the ACA’s Medicaid expansions were achieving goals regarding insurance coverage, access to care, preventive care, self-assessed health, and risky health behaviors. The researchers found the expansions are helping to achieve those objectives, and the benefits have persisted three years after expansion. She also co-authored an article in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association: “Hospitals’ adoption of intra-system information exchange is negatively associated with inter-system information exchange.”

Brad Heim and Kosali Simon coauthored an article in Demography: “The Impact of the Affordable Care Act Young Adult Provision on Childbearing: Evidence From Tax Data.” The researchers examined tax data to determine the impact of the ACA on childbearing. The impact is theoretically ambiguous: Gaining insurance may increase access to contraceptive services while also reducing the out-of-pocket costs of childbirth. Their results suggest that the ACA young adult provision led to a modest decrease in childbearing.

Ph.D. student Sian Mughan won the 2018 Association for Budgeting & Financial Management Michael Curro Student Paper Award for her paper “Budget Deficits and Revenue Extracting Activities in the Criminal Justice System.” Her paper follows trial case administrative data through the criminal justice system. She demonstrates that Indiana local governments experiencing fiscal stress issue more traffic tickets, extract more revenue per trial case, engage in more revenue-oriented sentencing, and more aggressively enforce penalties for defendants who fail to pay their court fees on time. In his nomination letter for the award, Justin Ross described it as “a contender for the most important paper written in public finance this year.” A SPEA student has now won the award in three consecutive years, with Mughan following Luke Spreen (2017) and Kate Lang Yang (2016).

Brad Fulton co-authored an article in the Journal of HIV/AIDS & Social Services: “Religious congregations addressing HIV: Examining predictors of different types of congregation-based HIV activities.” With four co-authors from the RAND Corp., Fulton analyzed data from a nationally representative survey of U.S. congregations. They found that about 19 percent of all congregations engage in some form of HIV activity, including prevention, providing care, raising awareness, and making donations. This study can help public health officials better understand how congregations are addressing HIV and how involvement varies across different types of congregations.

Fulton also co-authored an article in Psychiatric Services. For “Prevalence and Predictors of Mental Health Programs among U.S. Congregations.” This article was featured on the From Pages to Practice podcast.

Avram Primack co-authored an article in the International Journal of Climatology: “A Recent Climate Study of the Caribbean’s Leeward Islands – Implications for a Climatic Shift and a Possible Solar Connectivity.” With a team of researchers from the University of the Virgin Islands, the Air Force Academy, and OrangeWave Innovative Science, Primack analyzed 60 years of climate data from the Leeward Islands. The team found evidence that climate change is bringing diurnal warming and enhanced precipitation, strengthening arguments that the Caribbean is a climate dominated by the Tropical North Atlantic Ocean.

Phil Stevens accepted a $743,509 grant from the Sloan Foundation. He will study the importance of the hydroxyl radical (OH) in the chemistry and air quality of indoor environments where people spend about 90 percent of their time. Stevens and a co-researcher will conduct some of the first extended and comprehensive measurements of OH radical chemistry in a variety of indoor environments as they seek to assess risk factors associated with exposures to indoor air pollutants.

Phil Stevens
Kim Novick
Maureen Pirog