Record Overdose Deaths during the Pandemic

April 26, 2021: Anne Trinh, Community Engagement Specialist at the Center for HOPES and Senior Program Manager of the Addiction Innovation Fund, is quoted in a story about the dramatic rise in drug overdose deaths in 2020. More than 87,000 Americans died of overdoses between October 2019 and September 2020 — the highest 12-month overdose death toll ever recorded.

More than 5,000 Ohioans died of overdoses during this period, a 24% increase over the previous year. Ms. Trinh notes that the opioid epidemic was already hitting Ohio hard before COVID-19. The effects of the pandemic exacerbated the situation and reversed any small gains that had been made.

Read the full article: CDC reports record number of overdose deaths over 12-month period (Toledo Blade, 4/24/21)


Innovative Research at the Center for HOPES

Dr. Wilson FigueroaApril 2, 2021: The Center for HOPES is thrilled to announce that Wilson Figueroa, Senior Consulting Research Statistician, is the recipient of one the College of Public Health’s highly-competitive racial justice seed grants. Dr. Figueroa will use the $75,000 grant to measure the health effects of daily stress among a racially diverse sample of queer adults in Franklin County and develop a larger grant proposal.

Read Racial justice grants fund two new public health projects (College of Public Health News, 3/30/21) to learn more about Dr. Figueroa’s work.


Center for HOPES launches Quarterly Newsletter

March 31, 2021: In each edition, you’ll find highlights of the most recent work at the Center for HOPES, including project updates, announcements about events and new content, and more information about the members of our phenomenal research team. We’ll also recommend an external piece of work that we’ve found particularly important. We hope that you’ll continue to check in with us weekly on our website and daily on Twitter, but we have heard your feedback that a quarterly update would be welcome.

Read our inaugural newsletter and subscribe!

Have feedback on the newsletter or anything else? Contact us


Center for HOPES 2020 Annual Report

March 26, 2021: The Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Evaluation Studies (HOPES) had a very busy 2020! We’re excited to share the highlights of this work with you in our newly-released Center for HOPES 2020 Annual Report.

Inside the report you’ll find:

          • letter from Center Director, Dr. Eric Seiber
          • A report summary and year-in-review
          • A summary of the Center’s history, budget, and staff
          • Highlights from new projects
          • Updates on continuing efforts
          • An overview of engagement and dissemination activities
          • Areas of opportunity and a forecast for 2021


COVID’s Effect on Ohio Households

March 4, 2021: Center for HOPES researchers have authored a research memo summarizing key findings from the Ohio COVID Survey (OCS) within the context of the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The OCS, unique in tracking Ohio household health and economic dynamics over time, has been a key element of the Center’s evidence base in providing health economics expertise to state leadership.

In this update, we present findings about household stress, economic inequities, and health behaviors between April and August 2020, and a timeline of cases and key policy actions between March and August.

Research Memo | The Ohio COVID Survey Provides an Intimate Portrait About the Impact of the Pandemic on Ohio’s Households

Learn more about the Center’s work on COVID Recovery and Response.


Understanding Contraceptive Method Use in Ohio

February 19, 2021: Center for HOPES Research Evaluator Saira Nawaz is co-author of an article in the new issue of Contraception.  In “Use of Non-Preferred Contraceptive Methods Among Women in Ohio,”  Dr. Nawaz and several of our colleagues from the Ohio Policy Evaluation Network (OPEN) find that a quarter of women reported not using their preferred contraceptive method and that the most common barrier to obtaining their preferred method was affordability.

Based on data from the Ohio Survey of Women (OSW), long-acting methods, oral conception, and condoms were the most preferred methods; emergency contraception was the least preferred. Those using their preferred method reported more consistent contraceptive use, which is strongly associated with lower rates of unintended pregnancy. Low socioeconomic status, poor provider satisfaction related to contraceptive care, and not having a yearly women’s checkup were associated with lower use of preferred method. These findings provide further evidence that cost, quality, and access barriers in conceptive care reduce effectiveness and autonomy in conceptive use.

Read more and access the article.


Other Work from Center for HOPES Researchers

February 12, 2021: Wilson Figueroa, Senior Consulting Research Statistician at the Center for HOPES, is first author on work he will present at the annual meeting of the American Society of Preventive Oncology at the end of the March.

In “Patient Response to Receiving a Notification of Elevated Breast Cancer Risk after Regular Screening Mammogram,” Dr. Figueroa and his colleagues report on a survey of women undergoing routine screening mammography about notification strategies regarding elevated risk of breast cancer. Their findings indicate that population-based screening associated with routine mammography can indeed motivate women at elevated breast cancer risk to discuss their risk and management options with a healthcare provider. While complementary strategies are necessary to ensure awareness among all high-risk patients, population-based methods are an effective and low-cost part of the picture.


Addressing Disparities in COVID Response & Recovery 

January 29, 2021: Center for HOPES Research Evaluator Saira Nawaz is co-author of an article in the new issue of Family & Community Health.  In “Rebuilding with Impacted Communities at the Center,”  Dr. Nawaz and her co-authors from UCLA, the AltaMed Institute for Health Equity, and Latino Health Access explain COVID-19 response and recovery as an opportunity to leverage the connection between civic engagement and better health outcomes.

In a survey of Latinx program participants and community members, Latino Health Access – a nonprofit community-based organization in Orange County, California – found that nonvoters had significantly higher rates of food insecurity, reductions in work hours, and housing instability, and less capacity to respond to a COVID-19 case in the household. Hispanic/Latinx persons are shouldering disproportionate burdens of both the pandemic disease and economic fallout. These preliminary findings indicate that civic engagement may be an important pathway to building resilience within Latinx communities for future health crises.

Read more and access the article.


Reproductive Health & Opioid Use Disorder

January 22, 2021: Building on the Advancing Equity web learning series we hosted in the fall, the Center for HOPES has developed a Dual Burden Reading & Resources page for those interested in learning more about reproductive health care needs among women with substance use disorder.

On this page, you will find links to essential readings, innovative programs, and novel research about the intersection of reproductive health and substance – particularly opioid – use disorder treatment (such as the infographic from the CDC pictured here). This list of recommended readings and resources includes sources regarding:

  • Framing and problem definition
  • Caring for women with OUD
  • Caring for pregnant & postpartum people with OUD
  • Disparities in care
  • Organizations & programs
  • Patterns of reproductive care among women with OUD
  • Patterns of OUD and pregnancy outcomes

Learn and access more Center content about addressing the dual burden of reproductive health care and substance use disorder treatment needs.


Center for HOPES Staff in the Community

January 14, 2021: Congratulations to Anne Trinh, Senior Program Manager at the Center for HOPES, on being named the new Chair of the Data and Research Action Team for the Franklin County Suicide Prevention Coalition (FCSPC).

FCSPC works to prevent suicide in greater Columbus by raising awareness and reducing stigma, promoting suicide prevention education, and fostering suicide prevention collaboration. Ms. Trinh brings years of public health experience working with populations at disproportionately high risk of suicide to the Coalition. The Center for HOPES looks forward to building our relationship with FCSPC and supporting Ms. Trinh’s role.


COVID Response & Recovery 

January 11, 2021: Director Eric Seiber accepted an invitation to speak at the Center for Surgical Health Assessment, Research and Policy (SHARP) Grand Rounds about the Center for HOPES’s role in the state’s COVID-19 response activities. Dr. Seiber shared insights on household economic dynamics, unemployment, consumer spending, and state tax revenue, with a particular focus on the differential effects of the pandemic recession on Ohio’s low-income households. The key takeaway for the surgeon-researchers in attendance: Ohio faces significant economic challenges as it transitions from disease response to post-vaccine recovery efforts.


Learn more about the Center’s work on COVID Recovery and Response.



Measuring Racism in Public Health

December 30, 2020: Center for HOPES researchers Saira Nawaz (Research Evaluator), Eric Seiber (Director), and Anne Trinh (Community Engagement Specialist) are co-authors of an article in the new issue of the Ohio Journal of Public Health.  In “Racism Measurement Framework: A Tool for Public Health Action and Accountability,” they develop and present a racism measurement framework that  depicts the disparities caused by racism within Ohio and can be used to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of anti-racist efforts implemented across the state. The framework provides not only a call for action against racism in Ohio, but an opportunity for organizations to measure the extent to which efforts have intervened on supposedly entrenched pathways to health inequities and disparities caused by racism.

Read more and access the article





Advancing Equity: Reproductive Health Services and Considerations for Women with Substance Use Disorders

December 17, 2020: We’ve wrapped up our Advancing Equity Learning Series!

Between July and December of 2020, we co-hosted a series of six webinars about addressing the reproductive health care needs of women with substance use disorders.

Access materials for all the sessions on the Advancing Equity event page.

Watch recordings of each session on our Advancing Equity YouTube playlist.

Visit the Reproductive Health-Substance Use Disorder Dual Burden project page to read an introduction from Dr. Mishka Terplan.


COVID School Surveillance

December 15, 2020: The Center for HOPES is part of a team of public health experts helping Central Ohio school districts navigate the COVID-19 landscape and what it means for learning in their communities.

Interested in learning more about the COVID-19 Analytics and Targeted Surveillance (CATS) system for schools? Watch the CATS Public Dashboard tutorial (5 minutes) on our YouTube Channel.

Learn more about the Center’s work on COVID Recovery and Response.


HEALing Communities Study

December 11, 2020: Center for HOPES researchers, Kristin Harlow (Research Specialist) and Eric Seiber (Director), are co-authors of an article in the new issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Center Affiliate Ayaz Hyder is also an author on “Health economic design for cost, cost-effectiveness and simulation analyses in the HEALing Communities Study,” which outlines the innovative strategies researchers are using to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of HCS interventions.

Read more and access the article

Learn more about the Center’s work on Opioid Overdose Prevention.


Other Work from Center for HOPES Researchers

December 4, 2020: Wilson Figueroa, Senior Consulting Research Statistician at the Center for HOPES, is first author on an article in the new issue of Health Psychology. In “Daily Stressors and Diurnal Cortisol Among Sexual and Gender Minority Young Adults,” Dr. Figueroa and his colleagues report the results of their study on sexual and gender minority stress and diurnal cortisol, the changes in the stress-sensitive hormone. Their findings suggest that there is a unique relationship between the everyday experience of sexual and gender minority stressors and cortisol levels throughout the day, which has implications for the physical and mental health of LGBT adults.

Read the article: Figueroa, W. S., Zoccola, P. M., Manigault, A. W., Hamilton, K. R., Scanlin, M. C., & Johnson, R. C. (2020). Daily stressors and diurnal cortisol among sexual and gender minority young adults. Health Psychology. Advance online publication.


Reproductive Health & Opioid Use Disorder

November 18, 2020: Building on the Advancing Equity webinar series, Center for HOPES researchers have authored an overview of the series’s central theme: addressing the dual burden of unmet reproductive health care needs among women with substance use disorders. The issue overview, written primarily for providers, summarizes the scope of the dual burden issue, the policy context in which it operates, and best practices in providing evidence-based care to affected populations.

Visit our Addressing the Dual Burden project page to download the overview, register for the last session of the web series, watch previous sessions, and read a foreword from Dr. Mishka Terplan. You can watch the first five sessions on the Center for HOPES YouTube Channel.

Issue Overview | The Dual Burden of Unmet Reproductive Health Care Needs among Women with Substance Use Disorder 


COVID School Surveillance

November 10, 2020: The Center for HOPES is part of a team of public health experts helping Central Ohio school districts navigate the COVID-19 landscape and what it means for learning in their communities. Anne Trinh, Senior Program Manager at the Center for HOPES, and Ayaz Hyder, Assistant Professor in the College of Public Health and a Center for HOPES Affiliate, discuss how the COVID-19 Analytics and Targeted Surveillance (CATS) system is helping schools leverage data for health and safety in their districts.

Ohio State tool helping schools spot signs of virus outbreaks (Columbus Dispatch, 11/16/20)


Public health faculty, staff create COVID-19 surveillance tool for schools (College of Public Health News, 11/9/20)


COVID Population Needs Assessment

October 15, 2020: Dr. Wilson Figueroa, Senior Consulting Research Statistician at the Center for HOPES, is a contributing author on Ohio’s COVID-19 Populations Needs AssessmentDr. Figueroa conducted statistical analysis for the report as part of his work with Dr. Tasleem Padamsee, Lead Analyst on the project.

The assessment, conducted in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Health, is a statewide evaluation that aims to improve the ability of Ohioans to prevent COVID-19 transmission and minimize its impacts on communities. Based on input from 363 stakeholders representing six Ohio populations, including people of color, rural populations and people with disabilities, the needs assessment describes critical barriers these communities face and recommends strategies for overcoming each barrier.

Read the press release about the research behind the report and watch the findings webinar.


The Center for HOPES welcomes new member to our team

October 16, 2020: The Center for HOPES is thrilled to welcome Francis Anagbonu as the newest member of our team of experts. Prior to joining the Center, Francis worked as a healthcare specialist for the United States Army’s COVID-19 response team. In addition to his substantive experience in pandemic response, Francis brings expertise in mathematical and economic modeling and administrative data management. Francis’s research skills, work ethic, and desire to serve the public good all increase the Center’s capacity to conduct rigorous, innovative, and relevant policy evaluation and research. We’re sure our partners will agree. Welcome, Francis!


Ohio Economic Roundtable

September 18, 2020: Professor Eric Seiber, Director of the Center for HOPES, has accepted Governor DeWine’s invitation to serve as a member of the Ohio Economic Roundtable. The aim of the Roundtable is to convene experts from a variety of economic disciplines and get their insights on how the pandemic is likely to affect Ohio’s economic outlook in the coming years.

As part of the Roundtable, Dr. Seiber will offer feedback on the Ohio Office of Budget and Management’s revenue forecasting models for fiscal year 2022-2023, which are used in the state’s budget preparation and approval process. As a health economist, Dr. Seiber is uniquely qualified to provide insights about the implications of the pandemic and concurrent recession on Ohio’s economy, programs, and people.


COVID Response & Recovery 

August 12, 2020: The Center for HOPES has been working with state leadership to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Ohio’s economy. Drs. Seiber, Frazier, and Harlow discuss the connection between the health of Ohioans and the health of the economy during this unprecedented time.


‘A healthy workforce is a productive workforce’ College of Public Health researchers help policymakers connect human, economic health (College of Public Health News, 8/11/20)