Faculty Research

Health and Social Service Expenditures: Associations with Health Outcomes
Objective To examine variations in health service expenditures and social services expenditures across Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries and assess their association with five population-level health outcomes. Design A pooled, cross-sectional analysis using data from the 2009 release of the OECD Health Data 2009 Statistics and Indicators and OECD Social Expenditure Database. Setting OECD countries (n=30) from 1995 to 2005. Main outcomes Life expectancy at birth, infant mortality, low birth weight, maternal mortality and potential years of life lost. Results Health services expenditures adjusted for gross domestic product (GDP) per capita were significantly associated with better health outcomes in only two of five health indicators; social services expenditures adjusted for GDP were significantly associated with better health outcomes in three of five indicators. The ratio of social expenditures to health expenditures was significantly associated with better outcomes in infant mortality, life expectancy and increased potential life years lost, after adjusting for the level of health expenditures and GDP. Conclusion Attention to broader domains of social policy may be helpful in accomplishing improvements in health envisioned by advocates of healthcare reform.  

Capstone: In the Field

Improving Housing Options for Youth Transitioning Out of Foster Care (2011)

Faculty: Ana Oliveira, Dennis Smith

Team: Aya Keefe, Rebecca Kirchheimer, Norma Peña, Jessie Ulsoy, Claire Vancauwemberge, Brandon West

In New York City approximately 1,200 youth ages 18­21 leave the foster care sys­tem each year. Because young adults tran­sitioning out of foster care are at greater risk of becoming homeless, the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services and the Administration for Children's Services engaged the Capstone team to improve housing outcomes for youth leaving foster care. The Capstone team examined existing support systems through extensive interviews, surveys, and focus groups. In addition, the team examined the policy environment and best practices for programs targeting youth in foster care. The team developed a final report that provides an indepth look at the support systems and housing options available to youth transitioning out of foster care, analyzes strengths and gaps in service, and presents recommendations to improve housing outcomes through changes in process, data collection, communication, and oversight.

Alumni in Action