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Dr. Chia-Ching Chen is Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Health Sciences and Practice, New York Medical College. Dr. Chen received M.A., M.S., and Ed.D. degrees at Columbia University and is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credentialed by the National Commission for Health Education. Dr. Chen started her academic career as a health behavioral scientist whose goals were to advocate community-based, cross-cultural research with an eye towards applying it for public health issues for individuals, families, and communities. Gradually, she expanded her focus to encompass developing and implementing participatory evidenced based practice interventions that are founded in theory-based knowledge and skills to address public health issues among needy, underserved, and vulnerable populations. Most of Dr. Chen’s research was conducted through an interdisciplinary collaboration. As a behavioral scientist who was trained in health promotion and health education, she strive to identify strategies to advocate for a better quality of life through health promotion and disease prevention, improved accessibility to healthcare services, and to eliminate health disparities among different socioeconomics groups. In a world filled with distractions, it is vital and necessary to keep my focus on the continuing advancement and dissemination of new and life changing information and protocols to create a better quality of life. One example of her recent publication that was published in Frontier in Public Health in 2015 is to demonstrate how health education and income differentials affect health status, which creates a health disparity. Using a rigorous research design, the result of the study shows that the educational variable supports the hypothesis that formal and informal health education will lead to a more healthy population in the long run. However, in the short run, government led preventive care is a viable option that should be explored. The study results further identified that health education can mitigate this disparity. Her interest in this topic was the motivation for another empirical study that was published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in 2015. This study investigated the delayed and unmet healthcare needs for the elderly by applying a theoretical and experimental approach using a large survey from a community tracking study. The implications of this study confirmed that preventive services are especially important for older adults.
Dr. Chen’s another broader research has focused on accessibility, disparities, and psychosocial determinants associated with individual level outcomes. The publications include an empirical study that assesses children’s needs for healthcare services among the variations of State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) in the USA (Health Policy, 2010); a community-based study that investigated the psychosocial determinants of participating in colonoscopy testing and their implication for health education among the elderly (Journal of Cancer Education, 2010); a study that employs GIS spatial analysis to identify area where to establish new grocery stores in counties within New Jersey, USA as a solution to address the structural inequalities that disproportionately promote obesity among the underserved and disadvantaged populations (International Journal of Health and Nutrition, 2010); a community-based study that survey on 15,302 elderly people 65 years and older in seven municipalities in 2006 in Japan that reveals clear-cut evidence of barriers to necessary care (International Journal of Environmental Research in Public Health, 2010); an empirical study that examined the waste tire resources recovery program and environmental health policy in Taiwan (International Journal of Environmental Research in Public Health, 2009); an empirical study that examined how the decision to purchase private health insurance and hospitalization is made based on household income and socio-demographic factors under Japan’s national health insurance (Open Economics Journal, 2009); an empirical study that systematically examined the actual use of outpatient services by children as the theoretical-base of realized access (i.e. use of health services) by controlling for influential factors (Applied Economics, 2008); a study that examined children with special healthcare needs and unmet healthcare needs under the State Children Health Insurance Program (The Journal of Insurance and Risk Management, 2007); a community-based study that examined behavioral choices among elderly formal and informal home and nursing home care (Geneva Papers on Risk & Insurance - Issues & Practice, 2006); and an article documenting the importance of education, counseling services from health care providers, mental health agency services, and detoxification treatments on preventing relapse behaviors for substance users (Advances in Health Economics and Health Services Research,2005).
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