Bass Connections Health Policy and Innovation Theme

Bass Connections Health Policy and Innovation Theme

The Duke-Margolis Institute 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 2023-2024

Children's Complex Care Coalition of North Carolina (4CNC) (2023-2024)

This team seeks to help the Children’s Complex Care Coalition of North Carolina (4CNC) improve systems of care for CCHN through two main objectives: advance community-engaged research and advocacy projects responsive to the needs of CCHN and their caregivers for integrating systems of care in North Carolina; and help develop and sustain a community-engaged coalition to advocate for the health of CCHN.

Closing the Gap on Health Disparity and Outcomes in Hypertension(2023-2024)

Building on the work of the 2022-2023 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 (2023-2024)

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.

Community-Informed Policy to Improve Latinx Health Outcomes in North Carolina (2023-2024)

Building on the work of previous team, this project team aims to identify community-informed policy solutions to increase health equity and improve the responsiveness of the local health system for Latinx communities. Its approach is to integrate community-engaged research and policy analysis, mirroring LATIN-19’s key strategies: elevating community voices to account for community priorities, strengthening meaningful community partnerships and creating care delivery models that reach people where they are.

Data Science in Clinical Care (2023-2024)

This project will develop a formal process to facilitate the adoption of CDS tools in different clinical contexts. Team members will work in interdisciplinary subteams to create case studies of specific clinical settings through participatory systems dynamics modeling. They will take primary responsibility for these case studies and create an online simulator to make the case studies interactive. 

Developing a Roadmap for Goals of Care Conversations at Duke Health (2023-2024) is a collaboration between Duke Health (including the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing) and Duke University. The aim is to implement a roadmap for goals of care conversations for patients with serious illness at Duke Health. Led by Duke Palliative Care and supported by the health system and its academic partners, is Duke Health’s strategy for ensuring that all patients have access to open, accurate and empathetic communication about their goals for care. Building on the work of previous teams, this project will investigate patient-provider communication in two complementary ways via a “hub and spoke” model. 

Economic Evaluation of School-Based Mental Health Systems (2023-2024)

This project aims to carry out a benefit-cost analysis of Project AWARE focusing on its first cohort, including schools in Beaufort, Cleveland and Rockingham counties that are entering their fifth year of implementation. Team members will collaborate with community partners throughout this process.

Policy Strategies for Child Maltreatment Prevention (2023-2024)

This project works at the intersection of health, social services and policy. It is designed to expand the capacity of and incorporate student researchers into the ongoing work of the team researching child maltreatment prevention at the Children’s Health & Discovery Initiative and the Center for Child & Family Policy

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. 

Spine Surgery Patient Navigators (2023-2024)

This project seeks to improve health outcomes for patients undergoing spine surgery. The team will work directly with surgical spine patients at Duke Hospital with three primary aims:1) Improve patients’ access to and utilization of existing healthcare resources 2) Expand the social support network of patients undergoing spine surgery 3)Improve patients’ physical status and mobility in the immediate postoperative period.

Tracing the Roots of Nutrition Access, Implementation and Policy (2023-2024)

This project team will support ongoing community-derived goals for the coordination of Durham’s food security organizations. Team members will collect novel data and insights regarding federal program utilization to effectively coordinate efforts among nonprofit, local government, faith-based and medical partners.

Women's Reproductive Health Post-Roe (2023-2024)

The aim of this project is to document the political and ethical situations of local healthcare providers as they attempt to provide women with the nationwide medical standard of care in light of the Roe ruling. The combination of Duke University Hospital’s unique geography, located in one of few southern states now permitting abortion, with its institutional structure (private rather than public) make it an ideal place from which to study healthcare and reproductive rights in the national post-Roe landscape.


Past Projects

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

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

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

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

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

Senior Program Coordinator -Summer Experience, Margolis Scholars