Utica College Awarded Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Data for Action Grant
Study to Look at Communities Impacted by COVID-19 Recession
Utica College has been awarded a data access grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to conduct studies using highly-valued datasets. RWJF is the nation’s largest philanthropic organization dedicated solely to health. One of 14 grantees, Utica College researchers will work with data from TransUnion Healthcare as part of RWJF’s signature research program, Health Data for Action, managed by AcademyHealth, the professional home for health services and policy researchers.
The Utica College team is led by Michael McCarthy, assistant professor and director of Data Science, and Stephanie Nesbitt, dean of the School of Business and Justice Studies. They, along with colleagues and students, will examine the socio-economic assessment of communities during the COVID-19 recession.
The goal of the study is to better understand uneven socio-economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on communities in New York, North Carolina, Arizona, California, Virginia and Texas. Among the questions to be answered: did regions with higher proportions of racial and ethnic minorities experience disproportionate economic distress during and after the COVID recession? Did regions already dealing with economic distress face even greater difficulties due to the pandemic’s recession? How did it affect metropolitan areas and the surrounding suburban and rural areas? The data will also help researchers understand the impacts of the COVID recession on the Mohawk Valley and Upstate New York.
The investigative group is one of multiple teams working together as the Intermountain COVID-19 Impact Consortium (ICIC), which includes researchers from Utica College, SUNY Oneonta, Bassett Research Institute and SUNY Cobleskill, studying impacts of the pandemic in east-central New York state.
In addition to McCarthy and Nesbitt, the team includes: Patrice Hallock, director of the Institute for the Study of Integrative Healthcare, Utica College; Mehmet Sencicek, associate professor of Economics and Finance, Utica College; Jing-Mao Ho, assistant professor of Sociology and Data Science, Utica College; Alex Thomas, professor of Sociology at SUNY Oneonta and executive director of the PLACES Institute; Greg Fulkerson, professor and chair of Sociology at SUNY Oneonta and Director of Environmental Demography at the PLACES Institute; Lauren Hahn, research fellow, Utica College; Jesseca Johnson, graduate research assistant, Utica College; and Brian Urban, graduate assistant, Dartmouth College.
While there was no direct monetary award to Utica College, the data access funded by RWJF is highly valuable and will enable these important analyses into the uneven socio-economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, McCarthy said.
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