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The opioid crisis is an issue in most parts of the country and Ohio is no exception, with some of the highest numbers of Fentanyl encounters reported by law enforcement. Although one could, I suppose, try to identify county-level deaths due to drug overdoses via CDC Wonder, this is a quick look at the data provided by the Ohio Hospital Association’s Overdose Data Sharing Program.

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A client needed state-level estimates of the percent of opportunity youth (defined either as 16-19 or 16-24 year-old persons who are neither in school nor employed) in each state plus Washington DC. The end result would be three years of estimates that matched the numbers put out by Measure of America’s yearly reports on the subject.. I had used Anthony Damico’s fantastic repository Analyze Survey Data for Free for BRFSS, DHS, and other data but never with the Census Bureau’s Public Use Microdata Samples (PUMS) data.

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Its yet another rainy day but not really since the Hocking River that meanders through our town is under flood-watch. Things must be bad enough that the University was forced to cancel all classes for Monday. To whit: “A forecast for heavy rains and high winds have resulted in a flood warning for Athens County beginning this weekend into Monday. Based on current forecasts, specific areas on campus may be impacted by flooding Sunday evening into Monday morning.

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I am afraid that if I let time pass without writing steadily the stream of posts will dry up. To stave off that possibility here I am, taking a crack at understanding the expeditions. This is a fascinating database because it has a lot of rich detail that I want to run through before summer comes around. To keep the momentum I began by looking at the number and nature of expeditions to the Himalayan peaks.

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I’ve been itching to get back into the himal database and Elizabeth Hawley’s passing jolted me back into action. I wanted to start by looking at the peaks themselves, hoping this would give me a better understanding of the fields before I delve into the expedition data. We have data on 457 peaks, but only 377 are open and only 309 of these have been climbed. Information about the date of the summiting is missing for 3 peaks (we have the year and the month but not the day) so that drops the dataset down to 306 peaks.

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Selected Projects

A Study of Educator Equity in Ohio

As part of the Excellent Educators for All Initiative led by the U.S. Department of Education, this plan meets Ohio’s requirement to develop a State Plan to Ensure Equitable Access to Excellent Educators. The purpose of the state plans is to work toward ensuring that poor and minority children are not taught by unqualified, inexperienced or out-of-field teachers at higher rates than other children. Our study was carried out under contract with the Ohio Department of Education in 2017, with the express purpose of determining the extent to which the equity plan was working in Ohio, and where there was notable variance, the likely fault-lines of this variance (rural versus big urban districts, for example, and other factors).

Access & Success -- Appalachian Ohio

This project was a fascinating two-year research effort addressing postsecondary education access and completion for students from the 29 Appalachian Ohio counties. Appalachian Ohio is of particular importance for research that informs education policy, as the region has historically had a lower college going rate, a less educated workforce, and a higher rate of poverty and overall unemployment than the rest of the state. A series of reports were generated from primary and secondary data, and these reports can be found here, here, and here.

Child Placement Level of Care Tool Pilot Program Evaluation

This study sheds light on how student growth measures are being implemented in Ohio, their impact on improving educator quality, and on establishing a robust statewide educational accountability system.

Diabetes in Southeast Ohio

In Athens County and the seven counties that border it in Ohio and West Virginia, about every fifth adult has been diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Of these, about one-third report they are taking insulin. The assessment, produced in partnership with the Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, outlines what life is like for area residents living with diabetes; serves as a guide for the Institute’s strategic planning; and provides insights to support diabetes care, prevention and education in the region. It was partly funded by an Ohio University Innovation Strategy planning grant awarded to the Diabetes Institute in early 2016.

HIV Needs Assessment (Ohio)

Understanding the needs (gaps in barriers to prevention/care services) of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and high-risk people is critical to improving the health of Ohioans and reducing the transmission of HIV.

Initial Use of Student Learning Objectives in Ohio

Ohio, along with several other states, has included the use of Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) as one approach to measuring student growth to determine teacher effectiveness. Presently, little is known about how schools and districts are developing and using SLOs for teacher evaluation purposes, and if and how SLO-generated data are being used for designing appropriate student-centered performance improvement plans. This study examines the work of 30 Ohio early adopter districts developing and using SLOs, so as to assess the fidelity of SLO use, the utility of SLOs for improving student performance and measuring academic growth, and the use of SLOs in evaluating teachers. The mixed-methods research design includes data drawn from interviews, focus groups, document analysis, a teacher survey, and teacher ratings data reported in Ohio’s electronic Teacher and Principal Evaluation System (eTPES). This study was carried out under contract with the Ohio Department of Education in 2017 under a Race to the Top sub-award.

OACCA Outcomes Project

The Ohio Association of Child Caring Agencies (OACCA) contracted with us to built an automated report-generation system for their member agencies. The goal was to compare each agency’s performance again all other agencies serving ‘similar’ children, but to build the system at low-cost and in an open-source environment. A combination of R and LaTeX did the trick and with ease.

Ohio's Student Growth Measures: A Study of Policy and Practice

This study sheds light on how student growth measures are being implemented in Ohio, their impact on improving educator quality, and on establishing a robust statewide educational accountability system.

Social Determinants of Infant Mortality: A new approach to reduce infant mortality and achieve equity

In March 2016, the Ohio Commission on Infant Mortality issued a report to the Governor and leaders of the General Assembly, making specific recommendations designed to reduce infant mortality, and acknowledging the importance of reducing racial disparities and addressing contributing factors inside/outside the healthcare system.

Student Growth Measures (SGM) Mini‐Grant Program for Extended Value‐Added Testing

During the 2011‐13 academic years, 81 of Ohio’s Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) received mini‐grants to implement extended testing and received value‐added data in selected grades and content areas not covered by the Ohio Achievement Assessments. An OERC research team developed a two year research plan to evaluate specific aspects of the implementation of these mini-grants.

The Health Value Dashboard

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio Health Value Dashboard is a tool to track Ohio’s progress towards health value — a composite measure of Ohio’s performance on population health outcomes and healthcare spending.

The Medicaid and Appalachian Health, SES, and Ecological OMAS Assessment Study

The Ohio Medicaid Assessment Survey (OMAS) is an Ohio-specific assessment that provides health care access, utilization, and health status information about residential Ohioans at the state, regional and local levels, with a concentration on Ohio’s Medicaid, Medicaid-eligible, and non-Medicaid populations.

Teaching

I teach the following courses at Ohio University:

On occasion I have also taught undergraduate statistics for the departments of Plant Biology and Economics, and graduate statistics courses for the department of Plant Biology and the School of Communication Studies. In addition, I have taught workshops in statistics for Fulbright students and for our staff and students.

Recent Publications

(2015). Inter-jurisdictional Competition for Sales Tax Revenues: A Natural Experiment of Destination Retail Outlets. Regional Science Inquiry Journal.

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(2014). Associations between preoperative physical therapy and post-acute care utilization patterns and cost in total joint replacement. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

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(2013). Cardiac rehabilitation participation reduces 90-day hospital readmissions after acute myocardial infarction or percutaneous coronary intervention. The Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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