Bass Connections & Duke-Margolis Open Theme

Bass Connections & Duke-Margolis Open Theme

The Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy has applied and been accepted for a multitude of Bass Connections projects through the University. These projects assist to bridge the gap between the classroom and the real world, giving students a chance to roll up their sleeves and tackle complex societal problems alongside faculty and staff on interdisciplinary teams. Together they work on interdisciplinary teams of graduate and undergraduate students collaborating with the faculty and staff on cutting-edge research that spans subjects, demographic groups, and borders. Duke-Margolis is fortunate to have this opportunity for students and associated faculty.


Current Projects for 2022-2023

Closing the Gap on Health Disparity and Outcomes in Hypertension (2022-2023)

Building on the work of the 2021-2022 team, this project team will focus on the policy implications of a January 2022 ruling from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The ruling (eQMC 165) enables patient-reported self-monitored blood pressure (SMBP) readings to count as valid and reliable measures of the Healthy People 2030 blood pressure quality goals.

Community for Antepartum Patients (CAP): Establishing an Inpatient Model for Group Prenatal Care at Duke (2022-2023)

This project will adapt the CenteringPregnancy group model, traditionally used as an outpatient service, to an inpatient antepartum service by expanding a pilot study performed in 2019-2020. The team will develop and implement a sustainable inpatient antepartum intervention through Centering groups that can benefit both pregnant women and their babies by increasing length of pregnancy and breastfeeding rates. The intervention will also foster community in a way that supports emotional and mental well-being.

Developing Nursing Resources for LGBTQ+ Older Adult Care Using Human-Centered Design

To help the members of PHMO’s HOPE Collaborative increase their knowledge of long-term care practices for LGBTQ+ older adults, this project team will use Human-Centered Design (HCD) to develop an LGBTQ+ Older Adult Resource Box. HCD is a process that incorporates human input in the creation of a particular solution and is driven by four main phases: discover, define, develop and deliver. To ensure the effectiveness of the LGBTQ+ Resource Box, this team will also add an additional phase centered around evaluation. 

Evaluating Faith-Based Needs of Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

This project team will address the care gaps of patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) by synthesizing available evidence across disability studies, theology, head and neck surgery, epidemiology and palliative care. The broader goal of this project is to propose a paradigm of care that walks alongside patients from diagnosis through and beyond treatment, offering symptom management and seeking patient flourishing. 

Improving Access to Behavioral and Mental Health Services for Latinx Children in NC

Building on the work of previous NC Early Childhood Action Plan teams, this project team will build on cross-sector early childhood research to address the scarcity of child-focused developmental and behavioral health services and the complexities in navigating service bureaucracies. Team members will work to understand the barriers faced by Latinx families when attempting to access community, educational and health system-based developmental, behavioral and mental health services for children. 

Promoting Psychological Adjustment and Pelvic Health Among Female Cancer Survivors

Building on the work of the 2021-2022 team, this project team will focus on developing treatments to help women manage pain and changes that occur following cancer treatment and childbirth. The goals of this project are to conduct two intervention development studies grounded in the biopsychosocial model. 

REGAIN: Roadmap for Evaluating Goals in Advanced Illness Navigation

REGAIN is a collaboration between Duke Health (including the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing) and Duke University. The aim is to develop and implement a roadmap for goals of care conversations for Duke Health patients with serious illnesses. Led by the Duke Center for Palliative Care, and supported by the health system and academic partners, REGAIN will be Duke Health’s strategy for ensuring that all patients have access to open accurate and empathetic communication about their goals for care. 


Past Projects

Bridging the Health Equity Gap for COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake in Durham (2021-2022)

Understanding Variations in Hospital Costs in Support of Value-Based Care Decisions (2021-2022)

Digital Health Communities: A Hidden Resource for Shared Healing (2021-2022)

Intersections of Race, Justice and Disability in North Carolina (2021-2022)

Developing Predictive Models for COVID-19 with Wearables Data (2021-2022)

Elections in a Pandemic: Looking Back, Looking Ahead (2021-2022)

North Carolina Early Childhood Action Plan: Evidence-based Policy Solutions (2021-2022) 

Empowering Prevention of Cervical Cancer: Women-inspired Strategies for Health (WISH) (2020-2021)

Evaluating Strategies to Reduce the Global Burden of Hearing Loss (2020-2021)

Help Desk: Scaling Volunteer Models that Address Patients' Social Needs (2020-2021)

Increasing Access to Laparoscopic Surgery in Low-income Countries (2020-2021)

North Carolina Early Childhood Action Plan: Evidence-based Policy Solutions (2020-2021) 

Developing Data Tools for Natural Disasters: Implementing Best Practices for Electricity-dependent Medicaid Enrollees (2019-2020)

Help Desk: A Student Initiative to Help Address the Social Determinants of Health (2019-2020)

NC Early Childhood Action Plan: Achieving Goals with Innovative, Evidence-based Policy Solutions (2019-2020)

REGAIN: Roadmap for Evaluating Goals in Advanced Illness Navigation (2019-2020)

Transforming Alzheimer's Disease Care through Integrating Caregivers (2018-2019)

NC Medicaid Reform Advisory Team (2016-2017)


Learn More


Margolis core faculty, Dr. Janet Bettger with Margolis Scholar alumna Meril Pothen and former SCOHP President Sahil Sandhu presenting on their Bass Connections project Help Desk: A Student Initiative to Help Address the Social Determinants of Health

Program Team

Beth Gifford

Elizabeth Joanne Gifford, PhD

Faculty Director of the new Bass Connections Health Policy and Innovation Theme
Associate Research Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy
Margolis Core Faculty
2020 Intern Mentor

Tiffany Chan Headshot

Tiffany Chan, MS

Program Coordinator -Summer Experience, Bass Connections, SCOHP