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Stephen Metraux, Director
We at CCRS are pleased to send around the latest issue of our quarterly newsletter and let you know what we have been up to. Here you will find everything from transitions to publications and webinars to shameless recruitment efforts to research and other activities in which we are engaged throughout Delaware. We have been able to carry on these activities despite the restrictions inherent to working remotely and are committed, in various ways, to addressing the problems and challenges that have arisen in the wake of the pandemic. As the days get longer and warmer, we also become more hopeful that we will be able to connect with more of you in ways other than through a screen or over a phone. In the meantime, please contact us if you would like to engage further with respect to anything in this newsletter.
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Crystal Ross, CCRS Administrative Assistant, is now retired from the University after 22 years of service. Crystal, referred to as “the glue” of our Center, was an integral part of CCRS, who guided us through HR and UD requirements, liaised with students, and performed myriad other tasks that kept the Center going. More importantly, her kindness, laughter, and smile will be missed! We hope that she will keep in touch during breaks from hiking in all the national parks!
Corinne Bogan, CCRS Research Assistant and MPH student, and Erin Knight, CCRS Associate Director, co-authored an article entitled “What 2020 Taught Us about the Politics and Teaching of Public Health” which was just published in the Delaware Journal of Public Health. The commentary reflects on lessons learned from 2020 in terms of the role of the field of public health in advocating for policies that address health inequities. They argue that the field needs professionals adept at working within the political sphere; students eager for skills that allow them to translate their passion for social justice in health; and that the persistent and pervasive health inequities experienced by marginalized communities demand such action.
Steve Metraux is an author on two publications that came to press recently. One, “At the Intersection of Homeless Encampments and Heroin Addiction: Service Use Barriers, Facilitators, and Recommendations from the City of Philadelphia’s Encampment Resolution Pilot” (Social Work in Public Health) draws upon research Dr. Metraux led on homeless encampments in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood. The second, “Association Between Registered Sex Offender Status and Risk of Housing Instability and Homelessness among Veterans" (Journal of Interpersonal Violence) underscores the particular difficulties involved in addressing housing needs of people with convictions for sex offenses.
Class of 2022: We're officially recruiting for the Class of 2022! Please spread the word!
Help us find our next cohort of emerging leaders and the dynamic organizations to host them! Our AmericCorps Public Ally Program weaves together four key elements that constitute an experiential journey of self-discovery and professional development: apprenticeship; reflection & coaching; team service project; and, training and learning. Please click here for more information on becoming a Public Ally or to host a Public Ally. Applications are being accepted now and will be accepted throughout the spring and summer. If you have any questions regarding the program, please contact: Candace Jusino at email@example.com.
Data Analysis Training: Assistant Policy Scientist Eli Turkel collaborated with Public Allies leaders Rachael Romond and Tina Morrow to deliver a data analysis training for this year's Public Allies Cohort. Public Allies placed with Jewish Family Services, ChristianaCare, West Side Grows, and a host of other non-profits took part in the training which focused on data analysis in R. Eli led participants through the basics of R, teaching attendees how to map American Community Survey data. Asked about the training Dr. Turkel had this to say.:"Technology is a vital component of organizational capacity, but non-profits rarely have the resources to invest in training, data infrastructure, and technology. R is a great tool for non-profits, as well as students, because it is completely free. I wanted to provide this training in order to convey the importance of technology for non-profits as well as to show that with a little perseverance, anyone can gain an appreciation for what can be accomplished with data." The training with the first installment of a two-part series which will conclude mid-April. CCRS will make the slides of the training available on their website under Student Resources at that time.
Alexa Timmreck, Stephanie Sullivan, and Corinne Bogan; CCRS Graduate Research Assistants
Graduate Research Assistant Stephanie Sullivan has been working this past year with the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement consulting with the Delaware Division of Arts and the Historical and Cultural Affairs in preparation of their strategic plans.
Corinne Bogan, CCRS Graduate Research Assistant, was selected to participate in the Satcher Health Leadership Institute Community Health Leadership Program this spring. Rooted in the legacy of its founder, the 16th U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. David Satcher, SHLI’s mission is to create systemic change at the intersection of policy and equity by focusing on three priority areas: the political determinants of health, health system transformation, and mental and behavioral health. Corinne will be developing and presenting a Health Equity Proposal related to recidivism in Prince George's County, MD throughout the duration of the CHLP program.
Alexa Timmreck, CCRS Graduate Research Assistant, has been on an internship with the Housing Alliance of Delaware, assisting them with their data collection and reporting, and with agency publications on racial disparities in homelessness and on the size and characteristics of Delaware’s homeless population. This internship also positions Alexa well to conduct her dissertation research on community integration among formerly homeless people with psychiatric disability.
Timeline Tuesdays: Data Snapshot Debut Webinar Series. In a year-long webinar series entitled "Timeline Tuesdays," KIDS COUNT in Delaware is bringing together leaders from across the state to engage in conversations - both grounded in data and informed by those working in the field - to advance collaboration towards positive outcomes for children and families. The goal of this series is to translate research and policy from the past 25 years into effective action steps in partnership with stakeholders.
Future webinar dates & topics planned:
A recording, a copy of the data presentation, and supplemental materials for each webinar already held can be found online. These include:
*This webinar featured CCRS Director Steve Metraux as a data expert, detailing the critical need for housing stability for children in Delaware
Racial Disparities: On February 8th, 2021, Erin Knight joined Adam Cantley, Dean of Students, and Latoya Watson, Associate Dean of the UD Associate in Arts Program, in a webinar discussion titled “Opening Doors to Racial Disparities within the Healthcare System”. The event was sponsored by UDance, a student-run philanthropic organization at the UD dedicated to fighting childhood cancer. The webinar was part of UDance’s ongoing efforts to create a more diverse and inclusive organization.
Evaluation Needs: This spring, Erin Knight is collaborating with Laura Lessard (UD College of Health Sciences, Department of Behavioral Health & Nutrition) and Dorothy Dillard (Director, Center for Neighborhood Revitalization and Research at Delaware State University) on a pilot project to gain a better understanding the evaluation-related needs and capacities of community-based organizations across Delaware. The project is supported by Healthy Communities Delaware and aims to support communities in their efforts to advance the collective impact of their wellbeing interventions.
Delaware SUPPORT Project: The Delaware Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance, through The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) grant, is funding two projects to assist states, including Delaware, with planning improvements substance use disorder treatment and recovery. These SUPPORT (Substance Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities) projects have been extended until the end of September. The CCRS research team will train state personnel on to replicate annual and quarterly prevalence rates. CCRS research team: Mary Joan McDuffie, Eli Turkel, Katie Gifford, and Katie Fitzpatrick.
MAT for Prison Inmates: CCRS will be collaborating with Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Bloomberg School of Public Health to assess post-release outcomes related to the treatment of opioid-use disorder (OUD), and the use of medication assisted treatment (MAT) specifically, among people released from the Delaware Department of Corrections (DOC). Individual’s MAT and health service utilization will be followed post-release through analysis of the Delaware Medicaid data. CCRS research team: Steve Metraux, Mary Joan McDuffie, Eli Turkel, and Erin Lynch.
Coming Soon: Assistant Policy Scientists Becky McColl and Erin Lynch are wrapping up work on a brief of Poverty in Delaware which will be released shortly.
Homeless Families in Delaware: Steve Metraux, along with research assistants Josh Solge and Olivia Wanjeri Mwangi, are interviewing service providers and analyzing administrative data as part of a study that is assessing the extent of family homelessness in Delaware and ways to address this problem.
Eviction and Right to Counsel: Steve Metraux, with Josh Solge and Eli Turkel, are researching post-COVID trends and dynamics related to evictions in Delaware and are participating in a task force seeking right to counsel legislation in Delaware for tenants facing eviction.
Homeless Outreach: CCRS has been working in partnership with Brandywine Counseling Center to obtain funding from the Delaware State Housing Authority, New Castle County, and the City of Wilmington to launch a statewide homeless outreach program. This will fill a prominent gap in homeless services and provide a platform for addressing unsheltered homelessness throughout Delaware.