The Academy's Center for Evaluation and Applied Research (CEAR) works with a broad range of not-for-profit and governmental organizations to investigate, design, and assess initiatives that seek to improve the health and well-being of populations in New York City, New York State, and around the world. With expertise in both qualitative and quantitative research methods, CEAR conducts needs assessment, process evaluation, and outcome evaluation.

CEAR works with large and small programs focused on a wide range of health-related topics, including nutrition and physical activity, diabetes prevention and care, HIV/AIDS care, asthma, maternal and infant health, substance abuse treatment, practice change in health care settings, education and training of the health and social service workforce, reducing racial and ethnic health disparities, aging, and access to care for immigrant populations. 

CURRENT PROJECTS

We develop and implement basic and complex evaluations, inclusive of evaluation planning; protocol development and instrument design; survey administration; in-depth interviews and focus group facilitation; observation of program activities; data entry and maintenance; analysis of quantitative and qualitative data; and preparation of presentations, reports, and other final products.

Power Up for Health! Pilot of the National Diabetes Prevention Program to Better Engagement

This pilot adaptation of the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP), engages men from disadvantaged communities in activities designed to reduce their risk of developing diabetes.

Power Up! focuses on healthy eating, physical activity, and stress reduction. Working in collaboration with Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh, the pilot will be implemented in at New York City Parks Department Recreation Centers in selected low-income neighborhoods. The pilot is funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

Prioritize Health! Values and Evidence: Public Input for Hospital Planning to Improve Community Health

This project is focused on promoting informed public health decision-making. A collaborative effort with the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Information and Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY, the project involves community members in a deliberative process aimed at assisting Maimonides in the selection of
health programming for the diverse neighborhoods it serves. The research examines the impact of participant knowledge and perceptions, as well as the outcomes of the deliberations and their value to Maimonides and its partners. The findings will also inform a broad spectrum of care providers and communities. This project is funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Language Access in New York Pharmacies: An Evaluation of City and State Policy Change

A collaboration between CEAR and Make the Road New York, this study examines the extent to which access to, and provision of, translated verbal and printed prescription medication instructions improved in New York pharmacies following changes to City and State pharmacy law. In addition, CEAR is evaluating whether improvements in language services impact patients’ medication knowledge and adherence. This study is funded by the Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation.

Evaluation training and technical assistance

We work with large and small programs focused on a wide range of health-related topics. In recent years, these topics have included: nutrition and physical activity, diabetes prevention and care, HIV/AIDS care, asthma, maternal and infant health, substance abuse treatment, practice change in healthcare settings, education and training of the health and social service workforce, reducing racial and ethnic health disparities, aging, and access to care for immigrant populations.

Our approach to evaluation is a collaborative one that encourages program staff, administrators, funders, and participants to view the work as an opportunity to identify strengths and weaknesses and to use preliminary and final evaluation findings for quality improvement purposes. From the beginning of an evaluation, we partner with funders and staff to delineate program goals and objectives, identify feasible data sources, and seek concurrence regarding data collection protocols and evaluation objectives. In all our work, there is an appreciation for the balance between evaluation rigor and the practical realities of program implementation.

Our findings are reported to program staff and funders. Where appropriate, they are disseminated to a wider audience through conference presentations, reports, and peer reviewed publications.


SELECTED PUBLICATIONS
  • “Implementation and outcomes of the New York State YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program: A multisite community-based translation, 2010-2012” (Preventing Chronic Disease, 2014)
  • “Health, Community and Spirituality: Evaluation of a Multicultural Faith-based Diabetes Prevention Program” (Diabetes Educator, 2014)
  • “Factors Affecting Evidence-Based Decision Making in Local Health Departments” (American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2013)
  • “Consumer Attitudes about Opioid Addiction Treatment: A Focus Group Study in New York City” (Journal of Opioid Management, 2013)