Harvard-wide Pediatric Health Services Research Fellowship | Research Projects

Examples of recent fellowship research projects include:

Examining Financial Burden Among Patients with Cystic Fibrosis

  • HSR fellow: Ryan Perkins, MD, MPH (2022-24)
  • Research project: Dr. Perkins surveyed patients with cystic fibrosis at one large U.S. health center about their health insurance coverage and out-of-pocket expenditures. He found that patients in high deductible health insurance plans had nearly double the out-of-pocket expenditures than patients in lower-deductible plans. He published “High Deductible Insurance Plans Impart Economic Burden for People with Cystic Fibrosis in Pediatric Pulmonology: https://onlinelibrary-wiley-com.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/doi/epdf/10.1002/ppul.26382

Examining Influenza Vaccination Uptake Among Children

  • HSR fellow: Claire Abraham, MD, MPH (2021-23)
  • Research project: Dr. Abraham performed a longitudinal cohort study using health insurance enrollment and claims data of children living in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine to examine whether a state influenza vaccine mandate and elevated community coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) severity affected a child’s probability of receiving an influenza vaccine. She found that a state influenza mandate was associated with increased vaccination, especially among previous non-vaccinators. She published “Vaccine Mandates and Influenza Vaccination During the Pandemic” in Pediatrics: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37814817/

Identifying Gaps in Vision Screening Among School-Aged Children

  • HSR fellow: Isdin Oke, MD, MPH (2021-23)
  • Research project: Dr. Oke conducted a cross-sectional study with data from the National Survey of Children’s Health to examine the prevalence vision screening pathway among school-aged children in the U.S. He found that children from historically marginalized racial and ethnic groups, low-income households, and non–English language speakers experience worse outcomes at every step in the vision screening pathway — they were less likely to receive screening, less likely to be referred for failed screening, and less likely to establish care with a specialist. He published “Gaps in the Vision Screening Pathway for School-Aged US Children,” in JAMA Ophthalmology: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38270959/

Identifying Prevalence of and Trends in Medication-Assisted Treatment & Naloxone Use for Youth with Opioid Use Disorder

  • HSR fellow: Scott Hadland, MD, MPH, MS (2014-16)
  • Research project: Dr. Hadland explored health care delivery systems for substance abuse in adolescents and young adults and used a large, nationally representative claims database to identify prevalence of and trends in medication-assisted treatment and naloxone use for youth with opioid use disorder. Dr. Hadland published his study in JAMA Pediatrics. “Trends in Receipt of Buprenorphine and Naltrexone for Opioid Use Disorder among Adolescents and Young Adults” is available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=PMC5649381.

Creating a Prediction Rule for Safe Successful Neonatal Transfers

  • HSR fellow: Sarah Kunz, MD, MPH (2014-16)
  • Research project: Dr. Kunz’s first project involved using local NICU data to create a prediction rule for safe, successful retro transfer of stable infants from a Level III NICU to a lower-level unit for convalescence. The second project approached neonatal regionalization from a systems standpoint, using innovative network analysis techniques to analyze neonatal inter-hospital transports in California. Dr. Kunz published “Network Analysis: A Novel Method for Mapping Neonatal Acute Transport Patterns in California” in the Journal of Perinatologyhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=PMC5446293.

Examining the Effect of Dependent Coverage Expansions & an Individual Insurance Mandate on Insurance Coverage, Utilization, and Costs for Adolescents & Young Adults

  • HSR fellow: Lauren Wisk, PhD (2013-15)
  • Research project: Dr. Wisk collaborated with mentors in the Department of Population Medicine and Boston Children’s Hospital to examine the effect of dependent coverage expansion and an individual insurance mandate on insurance coverage, utilization, and costs (including out-of-pocket expenses) for adolescents and young adults. She published her work in Health Services Research in a paper titled “Impact of an Individual Mandate and Other Health Reforms on Dependent Coverage for Adolescents and Young Adults,” available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28556901.