In 2016, Drexel's Urban Health Collaborative began awarding pilot funding to promote urban health research at Drexel University. The UHC encourages interdisciplinary project teams, including partnerships from across Drexel and involving external partners, and promoted a range of methodologies and approaches, all with the aim of understanding and improving health in cities.
Addressing methods for capturing within-city variation
Design and Implementation for Spatially‐Distributed Air Monitoring Campaigns in Philadelphia led by Jane Clougherty, ScD, MSC, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Dornsife School of Public Health. The primary goal of this study is to design and validate a template for an air monitoring network in Philadelphia. Currently, there is little available data to estimate spatial variation in air pollution exposures across all Philadelphia neighborhoods, for epidemiological and policy purposes. Dr. Clougherty's project will inventory and map available data on air pollution emissions across the City of Philadelphia, develop site selection and temporal allocation to separate impacts of key pollution sources and implement a pilot NO2 air pollution monitoring campaign.
Development of Bayesian spatiotemporal models for small area estimation with an application to tract-level obesity rates in Philadelphia County led by Harrison Quick, PhD, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Dornsife School of Public Health. Dr. Quick's pilot study will develop new statistical tools to analyze census tract-level survey data in areas of Philadelphia where available data is insufficient to obtain “reliable” estimates using standard statistical procedures. These methods will be applied to data from the PHMC's Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey to examine obesity rates for adults and adolescents geographically and by race, over time, and by age and sex. The project aims to develop methods that can be applied to a whole host of health indicators for the Philadelphia area.
Indoor environment in urban settings
Development of a self-assessment tool to assess the work environment and policy at nail salons led by Tran Huynh, PhD, MPH, CIH, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Dornsife School of Public Health Dr. Huynh aims to improve conditions for Vietnamese nail salon workers in Philadelphia though the development of an evidence-based intervention. The project will focus on the development of a self-assessment tool and technical assistance for nail salon owners. In addition, the project will develop technical training materials and collaborate with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) to identify staff for implementation, with the goal to initiate a pilot study.
Circadian Lighting for Improved Health and Wellbeing for the Older Adults at Casa Farnese led by PI Donald McEachron, PhD, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health Systems. The pilot research seeks to provide evidence that proper circadian lighting can enhance the lives of older Americans, thus maintaining such individuals' lifestyles and independence for longer periods. Dr. McEachron's circadian lighting study will address the need for daylight-mimicking lighting to improve the health, wellbeing and quality of life for older adults, especially for those residents who live in subsidized affordable housing. The results of this study aim to provide a cost-effective and easily implemented approach for health improvement.
The Creating Resilient and Strong Opinion Leaders (CRiSOL) Program led by Ana Martinez-Donate, PhD, Department of Community Health and Prevention, Dornsife School of Public Health
Though community‐academic partnerships between Drexel University, The Philadelphia AIDS Consortium, Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR), and Temple University, the project will develop and pilot test a new approach to promote community resilience among Latino immigrant community in Philadelphia. Led by Dr. Martinez-Donate, the pilot research aims to inform a future research trial of an intervention to address the substance abuse, AIDS/HIC, STDs violence exposure, and mental health syndemic in Latino immigrants in Philadelphia.
The UHC awarded the first round of pilot funding to promote urban health research at Drexel University. The first cohort of pilot-funded projects are:
Reasons for Uninsurance Among ACA Eligible Adults in an Urban Safety Net Setting, led by PI Rachel Peters, MPH, doctoral student, Department of Health Management and Policy, Dornsife School of Public Health.
An Investigation of Associations between Heat and Infant Mortality, and Effect Modification by Greenness and Socioeconomic and Demographic Characteristics in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, led by PI Leah Hope Schinasi, MPH, PhD, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Dornsife School of Public Health.
Using Data Integration to Create a Profile of Violence Needs and Assets to Inform Solutions in the Latino Community of Eastern North Philadelphia, led by PI Amy Carroll-Scott, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Community Health and Prevention, Dornsife School of Public Health.
Intergenerational Associations between Adult Past Exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences and Offspring Child Health Outcomes: The Philadelphia Urban ACE Study, led by PI Felice Le-Scherban, PhD, MP, Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Dornsife School of Public Health, and PI Lee Pachter, DO, Department of Pediatrics, Drexel University College of Medicine.
The Effects of Housing Discrimination across the Generations: A Proof of Concept, led by PI Mariana Chilton, PhD, MPH, Director of the Center for Hunger-Free Communities, and Department of Health Management and Policy, Dornsife School of Public Health.
Using Electronic Health Records for Population-Level Surveillance of Cardiovascular Risk in Patients with Metabolic Disorder: The Heart of Philadelphia Project, led by PI Longjian Liu, MD, PhD, MSc, Department of Epidemiology, Dornsife School of Public Health.
Topics addressed should be clearly related to the mission of UHC with a focus on understanding and improving health in cities and a range of approaches are of interest. Investigators are encouraged to consult with UHC Research and Data core staff to explore the possibility of utilizing data on the Philadelphia area compiled by the UHC if appropriate for the research question.
Drexel University faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, or doctoral students are eligible to submit a proposal. We anticipate our next cycle of accepting proposals will be in early 2018. Join our mailing list to stay in touch with Drexel's Urban Health Collaborative and learn when the UHC requests proposals.