NYMC > Departments > Academic Departments > School of Health Sciences and Practice > Public Health > Research in Public Health > Health Behavior and Community Health Research

Health Behavior and Community Health

Chia-Ching Chen, M.A., M.S., Ed.D., CHES
Associate Professor
Director of Health Education
Dr. Chen’s broader research has focused on accessibility, disparities, and psychosocial determinants associated with individual level outcomes. Her recent 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).

Penny Liberatos, M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor and Director, M.P.H. Studies Health Behavior and Community Health
Prior to coming to NYMC, Dr. Liberatos worked for several not-for-profit organizations in the fields of education and public health in New York City, including work with the NYC Department of Health. Her research interests are quite varied and can be grouped into five areas. The first is an interest in health behaviors that may lead to poor health outcomes in mothers, children and teens, especially within low-income population groups. In this area she has worked with breastfeeding promotion among pregnant/postpartum mothers, asthma management in children and teen pregnancy prevention in youth. A second area of interest is in health disparities especially among immigrants and those of low socio-economic status. For example, one study focused on assessing health disparities for recent immigrants to the Lower Hudson Valley region of New York State. A related area involves health communication in the patient-provider setting, including issues of health literacy, language interpretation and cultural competency. For example, a recent study used iPad technology to empower individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities to self-report on their health care experiences. A fourth area concentrates on health provider practice. Of particular interest are issues in identifying barriers to medical adherence, screening teens for risky behaviors and psychosocial health issues, and the impact on provider practice when parents refuse to vaccinate their children. The last area involves the impact of health conditions and procedures on health-related quality of life - specifically the assessment of quality of life among those with liver cancer, urinary incontinence, and cochlear implants. This has also included the psychometric assessment of these instruments.