Our research on the relationship between economic opportunity and health has already had impact on policy and public discussion:
- Our research on the health consequences of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was cited in multiple amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court as part of a 2020 case seeking to determine the legality of the program’s recission in 2017. This work was also cited in a 2022 Department of Homeland Security final rule on preserving and fortifying the DACA program.
- Our study on the rise in drug overdose deaths after automobile assembly plant closures was cited in a testimony to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s 2019 Hearing on Opioids and in a landmark National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine report on rising midlife mortality in the United States.
- Our study on the spillover mental health consequences of police killings of unarmed Black Americans informed historic statements by the American Medical Association, American Public Health Association, American College of Physicians, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation identifying police violence – and structural racism, more generally – as a critical public health issue. This research was cited by Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Ayanna Pressley in a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, as well in three Congressional Bills: Rep Lisa Blunt Rochester’s 2020 House of Representatives Bill (H.R. 8140), “The Investing in Community Healing Act,” Senator Elizabeth Warren, Representative Ayanna Pressley, and Representative Barbara Lee’s 2021 Bicameral Bill, the “Anti-Racism in Public Health Act,” and Representative Cori Bush 2022 House of Representative’s Bill (H.R. 8914), “The Helping Families Heal Act.” This work was also cited in an amicus brief informing the 2022-23 U.S. Supreme Court hearing and deliberations on the legality of undergraduate affirmative action programs and in the landmark 2023 “California Reparations Report.”
- Our work on administrative burdens in the Women Infant and Child (WIC) Program informed part of a recent Presidential Executive Order to reduce administrative burdens in public programs as well as well as the 2021 Senate Bill, the MODERN WIC Act. This work was also cited in a 2022 White House Office of Management and Budget memo outlining strategies to reduce administrative burdens in public benefit and service programs.
- Our work on wage inequality and poverty among health care workers was cited in a key 2021 Department of Labor ruling advising President Biden on how to implement his Executive Order raising the minimum wage for federal contractors.
- Our work on the potential health consequences of reparations policies was cited in a 2023 New York City Department of Public Health and Mental Hygiene Report on the health implications of the racial wealth gap and in the 2023 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report, “Federal Policy to Advance Racial, Ethnic, and Tribal Health Equity.”
- We have presented our work directly to officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Social Security Administration, and in high-visibility venues like the South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival. Members of our team also formally and informally provide government service, including in initiatives such as the White House Office of Public Engagement’s Clinician Innovator Roundtable Series.
As we move forward, we seek to work directly with leaders in government and industry to help identify, design, and test new programs that improve well-being by jointly boosting economic opportunity and improving physical and mental health.