Health Policy

Conrad, Heeren, and McKernan win Obermann Grant

Composite picture of Conrad, Heeren, and McKernan

The Obermann Center for Advanced Studies has awarded an interdisciplinary research grant to Aislinn Conrad, research fellow in the Social and Education Policy Research Program; Tessa Heeren, research associate in the Health Policy Research Program; and Susan McKernan, research fellow-in-residence in the Health Policy Research Program; for their project, "Dental Visits Cost More Than Money: Conceptualizing Links Between Financial Uncertainty and Oral Health."

The goal of their project is to develop a model that demonstrates that factors other than income and insurance, such as housing insecurity, perceived financial stress, emergency funds, and several other factors, contribute to financial uncertainty and barriers to obtaining dental care. They will accomplish this through a scoping review of the literature and using the results to design a model via collaborative conceptualization. Their goal is to use the model as the foundation for hypothesis-driven research. While in residency, the group will prepare a grant proposal to submit to the National Institutes of Health, and prepare a manuscript that summarizes findings from the review.

The long-term goal of this project is to produce research that can be used by oral health stakeholders to propose more effective public health and community-based interventions to eliminate oral health disparities among socioeconomically disadvantaged populations.

The Obermann Interdisciplinary Research Grants (IDRG) foster collaborative scholarship and creative work by offering recipients time and space to exchange new ideas leading to invention, creation, and publication. IDRG groups work at the Obermann Center for two or four weeks, usually in July and/or August. Applicants propose work on a project with colleagues from across the University, across disciplines within their own department, or with colleagues from other parts of the country or the world. Projects are intended to result in an important scholarly or creative work. Conrad, Heeren, and McKernan will work on their Obermann project during the month of July 2020. You can read more about their project here.