Minority Aging and Health Economics Research Center — DELETE FOR LAUNCH

Minority Aging and Health Economics Research Center

The Minority Aging Health Economics Research Center is tasked with providing infrastructure and resources to increase the number, diversity, and academic success of researchers focusing on the health and economic well-being of minority elderly populations.

Started in 2012, the center is one of six coordinated through the Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) and funded through a $2.7 million, 5 year award by the National Institutes of Health. With the prestigious, highly competitive NIH grant, the USC RCMAR at the Schaeffer Center is part of a distinguished group of six universities with an established RCMAR.

The Minority Aging Health Economics Research Center will examine the differences across racial and ethnic groups of elderly in:
• Health care decision making, including medical care utilization and Medicare Part D plan choice;
• Health behaviors and outcomes; and
• Financial behavior including savings and work, and economic well-being.

The aims are to support research careers in the health and economic challenges of minority elderly; to solicit pilot studies; to mentor junior faculty (RCMAR scholars) in multidisciplinary training; to begin new lines of research; and to track and evaluate success of pilot investigators, RCMAR scholars.

A brochure about the program is available
.  The request for research proposals for the 2017-2018 academic year is available


Cholesterol-Fighting Drugs Lower Risk of Alzheimer Disease

Julie Zissimopoulos and her colleagues analyzed the sex and race differences in the assocation between statin use and the incidence of Alzheimer Disease.  The paper was published in JAMA Neurology in December 2016.

Measuring the life-cycle benefits of early childhood education
Maria Jose Prados, a 2015-2015 RCMAR scholar and associate economist at the USC Center for Economic and Social Research, collaborated with Nobel laureate James Heckman to product a working paper measuring the life-cycle benefits of early childhood education. Prados is quoted in a media story about the research here.

Putting people behind bars has hidden costs for society
Robynn Cox, a 2014-2015 RCMAR scholar and new faculty member at the USC School of Social Work, studies historical disparities related to the prison system and calculates the external costs of incarceration.

Current RCMAR Scholars:

  Emmanuel Drabo, PhD
Assistant Professor in the Department of          Health Policy and Management of the Johns    Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Project Title: Racial and ethnic disparities in    Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis and                  treatment patterns and their potential effects   on patient outcomes

Arun Hendi, PhD

Research Scientist, USC-CESR
Project Title: Social Determinants of the           Narrowing Black-White Life Expectancy Gap


  Jessica Ho, PhD
Assistant Professor, USC Gerontology             School
Project Title: Implications of the American
Drug Overdose Epidemic for Elderly

Former RCMAR Scholars:

2012-2013 Scholars:

Cleopatra Abdou
Assistant Professor, University of Southern California
Project Title: African American Healthcare Decision and Stereotype Threat.

Ricardo Basurto-Davila
Health Economist, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
Project Title: Health and Economic Benefits of Chronic Disease Prevention Efforts in Los Angeles County.

Silva Barcellos
Research Scientist, University of Southern California
Project Title: Health Insurance and Financial Risk among Diverse Elderly Populations.

2013-2014 Scholars:

Leandro Carvalho, PhD
Research Scientist, University of Southern California
Project Title: The goal of this pilot is to investigate whether financial stress affects decision making in the context of minority populations, who are at greater risk of financial stress.

Juan Saavedra, PhD
Research Scientist, University of Southern California
Project Title: Limited English Proficiency and Fettered Financial Capabilities among U.S. Immigrants.

2014-2015 Scholars:

Jennifer Ailshire, PhD
Assistant Professor, University of Southern California
Project Title: Unequal environments and social disparities in hypertension and diabetes.

Robynn Cox, PhD
Assistant Professor, University of Southern California
Project Title: Identifying the Effect of Incarceration on Health Outcomes Over the Life Cycle.

Ryon Cobb, PhD
Post-doctoral Scholar, University of Southern California
Project Title: Health Shocks & Health Behavior Change: An Intersectional Approach.

Karen Woo, PhD
Assistant Professor, University of Southern California
Project Title: Medicare Payment Policy and Racial/Ethnic Disparities among Elderly with ESRD.

2015-2016 Scholars:

Tyson H. Brown, PhD
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Project Title: Understanding Racial/Ethnic Inequalities in Wealth Trajectories in Middle and Late Life: Patterns and Explanations.

Uchechi A. Mitchell, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, USC/UCLA Center for Biodemography and Population Health
Project Title: A Pathway to Health Inequalities Among Older Adults.

Maria Jose Prados, PhD
Associate Economist
Project Title: How much can education and health interventions lower old-age health disparities?


2016-2017 Scholars: 


Loraine A. Escobedo, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, USC Spatial Sciences Institute
Project Title: Spatial disparities in adherence to colorectal cancer screening among the elderly 

Ann Nguyen, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, USC School of Social Work
Project Title: Social Relationships and Depressive Symptom Types among Older African Americans 

Joseph Saenz, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, USC Davis School of Gerontology
Project Title: Trends in Cognitive Impairment without Dementia and with Dementia among Mexicans and Hispanics in the United States.



Briana Taylor

Program Manager, Education and Training


2017-2018 Application

Applications are currently being accepted for the 2017-2018 academic year. Up to 3 scholars will be funded. Application instructions are available here



Dana Goldman, PhD
Dana Goldman, PhD
Leonard D. Schaeffer Director’s Chair, Schaeffer Center

Julie  Zissimopoulos, PhD
Director, Education and Training, Schaeffer Center

Eileen Crimmins, PhD
Associate Dean, Ethel Percey Andrus Gerontology Center
Edna M. Jones Professor of Gerontology
Director, USC/UCLA Center on Biodemography and Population Health