What Do Republican Doctors Think of New Health Care Legislation? PRC David Grande in Wash Post/The Monkey Cage

In a Washington Post The Monkey Cage analysis, PRC Core Lead David Grande, MD, MPA, and Craig Pollack, MD, MHS, examine survey responses of doctors to changes on pre-existing conditions in the House bill which repeals the Affordable Care Act.  “As physicians ourselves, we understand that serious illness can strike anyone, as Jimmy Kimmel movingly pointed out. Physicians may also have firsthand experience of the barriers that many patients used to face in securing and retaining insurance coverage because of their preexisting conditions before the ACA was introduced…Even physicians who were in favor of scaling back or repealing the ACA say that scrapping protections for people with preexisting conditions is the wrong way to improve health care.”

A View from the Front Line — Physicians’ Perspectives on ACA Repeal in NEJM. David Grande, MD

In a February 2017 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, PRC Core Lead David Grande, MD, MPH, and colleagues present findings for an updated survey on how health care providers view the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.  Findings from a 2015 survey provided the authors with a baseline upon which to measure attitude changes as providers became more experienced with the ACA.  “Given that the political and policy landscape changed dramatically over the ensuing months, and that physicians were gaining more experience with the ACA’s provisions, we performed our own survey, by mail, of PCPs from December 2016 through January 2017 to assess their perspectives on the ACA and specific policy options put forth in recent public debate. One thousand physicians, including physicians trained in internal medicine, pediatricians, geriatricians, and family practitioners, were randomly sampled from the American Medical Association (AMA) Masterfile, which contains information on AMA members as well as nonmembers. Physicians received up to two mailings and a telephone call, with an option to complete the survey online. A $2 incentive was provided in the first mailing. Overall, 426 physicians responded to the survey.”

Libraries Can Be a Health Resource for Vulnerable Populations: PRC Researchers Cannuscio, Grande, & Klusaritz

cannusciograndeklusaritzforwebsiteIn a recent Fox News Health report, UPenn PRC Community Engagement Core Lead Carolyn Cannuscio ScD, shed light on the role modern-day libraries can play as multi-faceted community resource centers. “Some people would argue that libraries are old-fashioned, outmoded institutions that are irrelevant in the digital age,” said Cannuscio, a social epidemiologist at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. “Our work shows very clearly that libraries are vital, dynamic organizations that know their patrons well and respond creatively to community needs.”


Through the Healthy Library Initiative, Cannuscio and fellow PRC Researchers David Grande, MD, MPA, and Heather Klusaritz, PhD, MSW  identified ten programs aligned with the Free Library of Philadelphia which address social determinants of health within the Philadelphia community. After conducting interviews, the researchers found that libraries provided a safe space, for especially vulnerable populations which include “homeless people, people with mental illness and substance use, recent immigrants, and children and families suffering from trauma.”


In this new model, librarians assist with employment searches, applications for health insurance, and support other helpful programs such as classes on nutrition and youth leadership. The 54 libraries across the city of Philadelphia see 5.8 million in-person and 9.9 million online visits annually.  Cannuscio emphasizes the importance of having a space that provides shelter and services without any charge.


Read more about the study in Health Affairs.



Epinephrine Auto-Injector Use Among Young Adults Aided By Financial Incentives: PRC Researcher Carolyn Cannuscio

CCannuscio DGrande comboNew research from UPenn PRC Community Engagement, Partnerships, & Technical Assistance Core Leads Carolyn Cannuscio, ScD, and David Grande, MD, MPA, shows that financial incentives may encourage epinephrine auto-injector use among young adults.

Published in the  Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. their study found that young adults ages 18- 30 who received both financial incentives and text messages appear to carry their epinephrine auto-injectors far more often than those who received only text messages. Prompt administration of epinephrine is critically important in case of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction that can include trouble breathing or swallowing.

“We were impressed by the effects of the incentives,” said lead researcher Carolyn Cannuscio, a social epidemiologist with Penn’s Center for Public Health Initiatives, faculty member at the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE),  and assistant professor of family medicine and community health at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. “Adolescents and young adults have the highest rate of adverse events from food allergies,” with a high fatality rate, she said. When children move from elementary to middle school, school support for those with food allergies tends to drop off, according to Cannuscio, who said it’s a difficult transition to navigate.”We have learned that in very active situations, sporting events or socializing, going out to nightclubs,” said Cannuscio, “those are times when people really need to have their auto-injectors present.”

Read more about Cannuscio and Grande’s study here.