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The Center for Public Policy and Health

Director: John Hoornbeek   |   304 Moulton Hall, Kent, Ohio 44242   |   P: (330) 672-7148   |   jfilla@kent.edu

Welcome to the Center for Public Policy and Health’s (CPPH) official website. Formerly known as the Center for Public Administration and Public Policy, the CPPH’s mission is to conduct research to develop and improve public policies aimed at enhancing the public’s health, and to provide targeted assistance to public, non-profit, and private sector organizations.

The CPPH, through its experienced staff and affiliates, continues its thirty year tradition of serving as a resource to public, non-profit, and private sector organizations in Ohio and around the country.  While the Center works in a variety of policy areas pertinent to health, the environment, and community well-being, it is continuing its research and facilitation work on intergovernmental collaboration and environmental policy while expanding its work on improving public health in Ohio and beyond. Please check back regularly for updates on the Center’s work. The Center is housed within the College of Public Health’s Health Policy and Management Department in 304 Moulton Hall on the Kent State main campus.  If you have questions or if we can be of assistance, please call us at 330-672-7148 or email us at jfilla@kent.edu.

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Center’s Substance Abuse Research Program Undertaking Multiple Projects under Dr. Kenne’s Direction

Under the direction of Dr. Deric Kenne, the Center for Public Policy and Health’s Substance Abuse Research Program conducts timely and relevant research in the field of substance abuse and communicates findings to stakeholders, policymakers and professionals who can utilize the findings to improve the health of the public.  This includes research regarding addictions treatment, drug trends and federal and state policies regarding the use and abuse of drugs that impact public health. Here is a sample of Dr. Kenne’s current and recent substance abuse projects:

Proving Ohio’s Prevention Success: KSU Alcohol & Drug Survey

An annual survey of alcohol and other drug use among Kent State University students used to inform drug policy and prevention efforts within the university and surrounding communities.

Preliminary Examination of the Impact of Prenatal Opiate Exposure, Maternal Characteristics and Environmental Factors on Child Neurodevelopment

A collaboration between Kent State University College of Public Health and Akron Children’s Hospital to study the impact of opiate misuse/abuse on children exposed to opiate drugs, including prescription pain medications, during pregnancy.

Opioid Use & Pregnancy: A Community-Based Participatory Research Multi-Site Exploratory Study

A community-based participatory research study to investigate the use of opioid drugs during pregnancy.  The study is a collaboration between the Kent State University College of Public Health and the Ohio Alliance of Recovery Providers and the Ohio Women’s Network.  The study expands on previous research to include two rural and two urban sites in Ohio.  Findings will help better understand a relatively understudied and high-risk population and guide treatment planning and programming.  

A Mixed-Method Exploratory Pilot Study to Investigate Health Services Utilization and Comorbid Psychiatric Disorder Among Pregnant Pharmaceutical Opioid Users

A community-based participatory research study in collaboration with the Department of Psychology and a local community drug and mental health treatment agency.  The study seeks to explore the misuse and abuse of opioid drugs among pregnant or recently pregnant women, including how perceptions of policies related to drug use during pregnancy influence prenatal care and substance abuse treatment seeking.

Program and Policy Evaluation Research: A Key Component of the Center’s Work

The Center for Public Policy and Health conducts evaluations of public health policies, programs, interventions and health care and social service systems in an effort to improve their efficacy and efficiency.  This includes small- and large-scale evaluations at federal, state and community levels that seek to improve the general well-being of individuals and communities.  Substance Abuse Research Program Director, Dr. Deric Kenne, Center Director, Dr. John Hoornbeek,  and other Kent State College of Public Health faculty and staff members, conduct program evaluation related projects and research in a variety of subject areas. A sampling of current and recent evaluation efforts include:

Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids (SPARK) Ohio

A community-based initiative to evaluate the effectiveness of a family-focused early intervention to improve academic achievement and other outcomes among preschool grade children.  The evaluation includes longitudinal and cross-sectional data collection from more than 1,000 children annually at more than 20 sites across the state. 

Team Approach to Heart Failure (TAHF)

A federally-funded project through the Agency for Health Care Quality and Research to evaluate the effectiveness of a social media campaign to improve the health of heart-failure patients by informing heart-failure patients, health care providers and dietitians about the nutritional guidelines for patients with heart failure.  The evaluation component is a sub award from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics who received the federal grant.  

Sustain in the Early Grades Demonstration Project: SPARK Ohio

A demonstration project to examine the efficacy of the SPARK Ohio program in rural communities.  The evaluation not only seeks to measure the effectiveness of the SPARK Ohio program, but also seeks to examine issues related to the replication of the SPARK Ohio program in schools in rural Ohio communities.  The evaluation is funded through a federal grant from the US Department of Education’s Race to the Top fund.

Evaluation of Project KIND

An evaluation of a community-based intervention, developed by Community Solutions Association of Warren, to teach kindergarten children proper school behavior and etiquette.

Portage County Public Health System

The Center has been involved in assisting local public health officials and policymakers evaluate ways in which the local public health system in Portage County, Ohio could be improved. The Center’s early contributions to this process include the completion of an initial Community Health Needs Assessment, an Operational Assessment of the Ravenna Health Department, and the facilitation of a Local Public Health System Performance Assessment. More recently, the Center has received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Shared Services Learning Community project to continue working with local public health officials and community stakeholders on its evaluation of the local health system and the development of a strategy for improvement. The Center has also received funding through the State of Ohio’s Local Government Innovation Fund (LGIF) to look at ways in which the Portage County Health Department and Ravenna Health Department could consolidate their operations and work together to provide health services.

USEPA Total Maximum Daily Load Program

The Center completed an assessment of what is known about the implementation of Total Maximum Daily Loads nationally, and facilitation of a process for establishing federal accountability measures for state water pollution programs (2011).  This project resulted in the development of potential national accountability measures for state water pollution programs nationwide., which could be implemented by USEPA.  It followed a previous USEPA funded project which evaluated the implementation of pollution reduction actions called for in TMDL reports developed for the states of Ohio and West Virginia (2008).

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Kent State University's Center for Pubic Policy and Health and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, in cooperation with Case Western Reserve University, the University of Kentucky, and the Ohio Research Association for Public Health Improvement, has released a study on local health department consolidation in Ohio. This project was made possible through funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Please see the links above for the full report and a policy brief for practitioners.

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The Center has recently released a report analyzing the consolidation of Summit County’s Public Health Departments into a single agency: Summit County Public health (SCPH). The Akron Health Department, Barberton Health Department, and the Summit County Health District became one organization on January 1, 2011. The Center’s analysis focused on the challenges, opportunities, and outcomes of the consolidation one year later.
Kent State University’s Center for Public Administration and Public Policy has followed eight collaborative projects for the past two years, conducting extensive interviews and collecting information throughout the collaborative process. Through this and other research, the Center has produced a large body of information on the benefit, costs, and barriers to initiating collaboration, as well as the lessons participating communities have learned.  The above title links to a full overview of the case study documents.

The individual case studies can be accessed through the images below.  For all eight case studies in one document, click here. 

Land Use and Economic Development

Improving Effectiveness in Information Technology
Stormwater Management: Improving Effectiveness and Efficiency through Collaborative GIS Services

News & Events

Recently Released

A Report on Health Department Consolidation in Summit County, Ohio
See Information and Links Above.
2011 TMDL Report

In 2011, the Center and its affiliates completed work on a study of the implementation of total maximum daily loads, which are required by the federal clean water act.  This report can be accessed through the image above.
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