Translating Research into Public Health Policy

Investigator: Todd Olszewski, Providence College

Scientific Theme: Environmental Health Sciences

Abstract: This project entails developing a new virtual simulation module for the capstone internship course for Providence College’s Health Policy and Management department. Based on Barnard College’s Reacting to the Past model of historical case studies, the month-long module will expose HPM majors to critical problems in biomedical translation and health policymaking. Students will work collaboratively to develop their own hypothetical COVID-19 vaccine deployment strategy for the state of Rhode Island. Students will be assigned roles specific to Rhode Island, acting as members of the state’s vaccine advisory committee, the director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, the state health insurance commissioner and Medicaid office director, the CEOs of both major hospital systems within the state, and members of the Rhode Island House Task Force for COVID-19 Vaccine. Students will conduct analyses of other states’ deployment plans, engage in structured debates, and develop a series of deliverables associated with their assigned roles. The simulation activity will culminate in a class-wide “press conference” announcing the release of the hypothetical vaccine deployment strategy.

Human Health Relevance: This project will equip the next generation of public health and health services professionals with a concrete understanding of the challenges associated with converting scientific discoveries into public health interventions in equitable fashion.