Bethesda Research Scientist Conference room off NORC lobby Stethescope. NORC Atlanta Entrance NORC Hyde Park Lobby Sign Health Care workers Holding Hands in the Hospital

Health

Good health is critical to the productivity and quality of life of individuals and their local communities,
as well as the greater stability and economy of the United States. A significant share of our private and public spending is devoted to prevention and treatment of disease, and we now face a difficult irony: advances in treatment and technology mean longer lives, but that in turn results in high health care costs over longer periods—costs which are already rising annually.

NORC explores healthcare costs and questions of policy efficacy from the perspective of the U.S. healthcare system as a whole, and in context of individual prevention and lifestyle choices. Our work addresses environmental health hazards, treatment access and delivery—particularly for vulnerable populations—and the promise of electronic health records and other emerging technologies to reduce costs while improving knowledge sharing. Our work gives voice to diverse populations ranging from rural communities, tribal groups, the elderly, and low-income children, to adult white-collar employees with employer-sponsored insurance.

Health is one of the oldest research areas of NORC, dating back to the 1940s with studies on public knowledge of cancer and care and some the field’s early and complex mental health studies. In subsequent years, NORC has led landmark studies such as the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project, a national, longitudinal study of the health of older Americans. NORC is also involved in several components of the National Children’s Study, the largest and most comprehensive long-term study of children’s health and development in the U.S., tracking the health of 100,000 children from before birth through age 21. NORC also led data collection for the National Immunization Survey—one of the largest phone surveys ever conducted.

NORC draws on this rich history, its data collection and analysis capabilities (including biomarkers), and the expertise of dedicated teams in healthcare, public health, substance abuse and mental health to lay the foundation for an understanding of U.S. healthcare policy and its influence on health over time. Our experts are particularly well skilled in managing the rapid change of health care laws and technology.

Specific areas of expertise include:

Representative Projects

Analysis of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disparities in the Appalachian Region and Access to Treatment Services. ​​A collaboration between NORC’s Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis and its Substance Abuse, Mental Health, and Criminal Justice Studies departments this study was conducted for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to assess substance abuse and mental health disparities, and access to treatment services, within the Appalachian region. More

Challenges and Opportunities for Rural Health Departments Seeking Accreditation. ​This project, for the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), investigated opportunities and challenges related to public health agency accreditation among rural health departments.  This project, for the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), investigated opportunities and challenges related to public health agency accreditation among rural health departments. More

Evaluation of Primary Care/Mental Health Integration Project. NORC is working with Family Services Inc. to evaluate the effectiveness of a Behavioral  Health/Primary Care (BH/PC) integration project for adults with serious mental illness in Montgomery County Maryland. More

The Landmark Spirituality and Health Survey. ​The Landmark Spirituality and Health Survey is a sub-award with the University of Michigan for a grant from the John H. Templeton Foundation for the construction of the baseline effort for a nationally representative sample of adults. The effort includes finalization of the 70-minute CAPI questionnaire, drawing of the sample, screening and interviewing 3,000 adults  - 1,000 ages 18-40, 1,000 ages 41-64 and 1,000 ages 65 and above. Additionally, interviewers will collect weight using a blue tooth enabled sensor scale, waist circumference, hip circumference, height, blood pressure and pulse. Blood pressure and pulse will be measured using a blue tooth enabled wrist cuff. In addition, we will ask to collect blood spots via a finger prick for 6 standard assays.  More

Traumatic Brain Injury Technical Assistance Center (TBI TAC). The Traumatic Brain Injury Technical Assistance Center (TBI TAC) supports the efforts of the Federal TBI Program in the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). More

See all Health projects

Headlines

News The Associated Press: The AP-NORC Center researched how Americans look at the quality of doctors More
Posted: 7.31.2014 5:12PM
News Health Affairs: NORC's Jon Gabel discusses the Affordable Care Act and cancelled insurance plans More
Posted: 6.18.2014 9:58AM
News The New York Times: According to the GSS, people's attitudes towards sex and abortion have changed in America More
Posted: 4.24.2014 5:30PM
News Forbes: The AP-NORC Center's research found that most Americans underestimate the cost of a nursing home More
Posted: 4.22.2014 4:30PM
Press Release NORC at the University of Chicago Selected by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to Carry Out the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) More
Posted: 2.14.2014 10:44AM