Amid Coronavirus Threat, Americans Generally Have a High Level of Trust in Medical Doctors

Amid Coronavirus Threat, Americans Generally Have a High Level of Trust in Medical Doctors. Pew Research Center. Cary Funk and John Gramlich. March 13, 2020.

The spread of the new coronavirus in the United States comes at a time of low public trust in key institutions. Only around a third of U.S. adults (35%) have a great deal or a fair amount of confidence in elected officials to act in the public’s best interests, and fewer than half say the same about business leaders (46%) and the news media (47%), according to a January 2019 Pew Research Center survey.

A majority of U.S. adults say medical doctors care about their patients’ interests all or most of the time. Public attitudes are substantially more positive when it comes to another set of participants in the unfolding coronavirus threat: doctors and medical research scientists. In the same survey, 74% of Americans said they had a mostly positive view of medical doctors, while 68% had a mostly favorable view of medical research scientists – defined as those who “conduct research to investigate human diseases and test methods to prevent and treat them.” [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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What’s the Fed doing in response to the COVID-19 crisis? What more could it do?

What’s the Fed doing in response to the COVID-19 crisis? What more could it do? Brookings Institution. Jeffrey Cheng, Dave Skidmore, and David Wessel. March 23, 2020

This post will be updated throughout the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It was most recently updated on March 31, 2020.

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OKFutures Needs Assessment: Oklahoma’s Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five

OKFutures Needs Assessment: Oklahoma’s Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five. Urban Institute. Erica Greenberg et al. January 27, 2020.

The importance of quality early childhood care and education (ECCE) is increasingly visible across the country. ECCE affects children’s growth and development, families’ ability to work, and the future health of society. This has inspired federal support for states to create extensive, multi-year plans to serve children and families more effectively. Though the quality and availability of ECCE have become priorities for many states, there are still gaps in how children and families access programs and the resources they provide.
Oklahoma is a national leader in ECCE and is working to illuminate and address unmet need through OKFutures. This paper provides a comprehensive assessment of need across the ECCE mixed delivery system with a focus on programs that directly provide ECCE: universal prekindergarten, Head Start and Early Head Start, American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) Head Start and Early Head Start, Early Head Start–Child Care Partnerships, Educare, Oklahoma child care, and tribal child care. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 117 pages].

Playbook for Guiding Diners Toward Plant-Rich Dishes in Food Service

Playbook for Guiding Diners Toward Plant-Rich Dishes in Food Service. World Resources Institute. Sophie Attwood et al. January 2020

Producing beef emits 20 times more greenhouse gases than common plant-based proteins, which is why shifting diets toward containing less beef, and more plants, is an important climate action. To help food service companies support diners in choosing more plant-rich meals, this playbook from WRI’s Better Buying Lab outlines the top 23 ‘behavior change’ strategies drawing on cutting edge academic research into how people choose food, as well as insights from experts in the food service industry about what works and what doesn’t.

The playbook is designed to be used by anyone working in the food service sector wishing to make changes within their operations to encourage diners to choose more sustainable, plant-rich options — including chefs, food servers, managers, sales people, marketing and communications professionals, food operators, distributors, researchers, nutritionists, dieticians, and procurement teams. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 80 pages].
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A New Approach to Examining Disability: How the WD-FAB Could Improve SSA’s Processes and Help People with Disabilities Stay Employed

A New Approach to Examining Disability: How the WD-FAB Could Improve SSA’s Processes and Help People with Disabilities Stay Employed. Urban Institute. Diane Brandt, Jack Smalligan. December 17, 2019

The National Institutes of Health, in collaboration with Boston University, developed a new tool for assessing individual functional ability with funding from the Social Security Administration (SSA). The tool, called the Work Disability–Functional Assessment Battery (WD-FAB), uses item response theory and computer adaptive testing to quickly interview people and systematically map physical and mental health functioning.
In this paper, we provide background on the WD-FAB and explore two ways it could improve the delivery of services to people with disabilities. First, the instrument could provide SSA with a more complete understanding of an applicant’s self-reported functional abilities and limitations. SSA could use those insights to improve the disability determination process for those applying for disability benefits. Second, the instrument could help federal, state, and local programs identify interventions for people who need return-to-work services.
The WD-FAB offers an opportunity to leverage advances in approaches to integrate functional information into the assessment of work disability using comprehensive, efficient technologies to capture self-reported functioning. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 12 pages].

Global Health and Security: Threats and Opportunities

Global Health and Security: Threats and Opportunities. RAND Corporation. Kathryn E. Bouskill, Elta Smith. December 13, 2019.

The spread of infectious disease can be deadlier than world wars — the Spanish flu, for instance, killed millions more people than World War I, one of the deadliest conflicts in human history. Yet present threats to public health, though less overt, could be considered more insidious than a deadly pandemic. In this Perspective, the authors review the current scope and operation of global health security, identify emerging threats, and assess how adequately current visions of global health security account for these threats. The authors identify two main threats to global health security: slow-burn problems — whose long-term effects are underestimated, potentially causing them to receive insufficient attention until it is too late to reverse the damage — and emerging technologies that have beneficial uses but that also can be used as weapons. The authors propose that a broader definition of global health security should be considered — one that would extend well beyond the threats of pandemics and bioweapons of mass destruction. They also maintain that global health security requires greater systematic focus on the complex interlinkages among human physical and mental health, animal health, and the environment.

Policymakers will face the challenge of balancing agility and rapid decisionmaking during times of crisis with a holistic scope that encompasses both imminent and future threats. The authors recommend that infectious disease remain a priority of global health security and that efforts to increase collaboration and trust among international leaders be fostered. In addition, the authors argue that global health security must not come at the expense of efforts to advance global public health, well-being, and human rights. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 27 pages].

Addressing Health Care Market Consolidation and High Prices

Addressing Health Care Market Consolidation and High Prices. Urban Institute. Robert A. Berenson et al. January 13, 2020

In this report, the authors explore a wide range of policy options that attempt to introduce needed competition in provider markets and regulate prices directly. They argue that transparency initiatives will support both regulatory and competition-based policy options, and certain approaches to regulation complement and support efforts to improve market competition. Thus, although they largely divide the report in to two parts, competition and regulation, states do not have to select one course or the other but can take action in both areas. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 98 pages].