Research & Evaluation

The School of Community and Population Health (SCPH) is active in public health research and evaluation. Working locally, nationally and globally, SCPH faculty and staff are experienced leaders and collaborators in project development and implementation. Past work includes studies of health innovations, policies and programs related to health care access, delivery, cost, quality and outcomes. Areas of specialization include chronic disease prevention, community-based participatory research, infectious disease, maternal and child health, health workforce, global health and tobacco control.

SCPH’s skilled team of researchers and evaluators maintains close partnerships with community, state, national and international organizations, and welcomes new collaborations. In addition, SCPH frequently has opportunities for student involvement in research and evaluation projects. To contact SCPH about collaboration or other questions, please email SCPH Coordinator, Collyn Baeder, at

A selection of current and recent projects include:

  • Examination of a Statewide Law Banning Junk Food and Beverage Marketing in Maine Schools (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Healthy Eating Research Program, Round 4): A study of the nature and extent of school food and beverage marketing policy and compliance with a statewide law banning junk food and beverage marketing in schools.
  • Investigating How to Align Schools’ Marketing Policies with Federal Standards for Competitive Foods (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Healthy Eating Research Program, Round 8): A study of how to improve school marketing policies and environments (including digital environments) so that they align with new federal competitive food standards, involving one elementary school, one middle school and one high school in Portland, Maine, and using a participatory approach to further understand and address the barriers to policy adherence.
  • Evaluation of the Downeast Community Health Regional Partnership's Type II Diabetes Prevention and Management Program (U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, Rural Health Care Services Outreach Grant Program): An evaluation of the Partnership’s efforts to reduce the prevalence and improve the management of care for people diagnosed with chronic health conditions in Hancock County, Maine (view Final Evaluation Report).
  • Childhood Obesity Intervention Cost Effectiveness Study (Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and The JPB Foundation): In collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health Prevention Research Center, a comparison of the cost-effectiveness of two Maine-based statewide policy interventions (a sugar-sweetened beverage excise tax and a sugar-sweetened beverage restriction for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) aimed at reducing obesity prevalence.
  • Chronic Disease Epidemiology and Evaluation for the New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services (State of New Hampshire): Epidemiology and evaluation services provided to New Hampshire Chronic Disease Programs: Oral Health, Tobacco, Breast and Cervical, Comprehensive Cancer and Coordinated Chronic Disease.
  • Testing the Effectiveness of a Double-Dollar Incentive Program to Increase Purchases of Fruits and Vegetables (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Healthy Eating Research Program, Special Solicitation for Retail): A pilot test of a double-dollar incentive program traditionally used at farmers’ markets to increase purchases of fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables in a large grocery store retail setting (Hannaford Supermarket), involving approximately 400 adult shoppers who live with a child under 18 years of age.
  • Evaluation of Maine's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — Education (United States Department of Agriculture, Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Family Independence): Internal program evaluation, annual process evaluation to monitor and track quality improvement measures for nutrition education delivery, and evaluation of short- and medium-term behavioral change outcomes related to direct education curricula and priority outcomes associated with policy, systems and environmental change strategies.
  • Evaluation of Maine’s Suicide Prevention Program (Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention): An evaluation of the Maine Injury Prevention Program’s three-year State and Tribal Youth Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention program, including designing tools; collecting and analyzing data to assess suicide awareness and gatekeeper training and suicide prevention and intervention protocols at schools, school based health centers and community organizations serving at-risk youth; and developing postvention resource materials for survivors and community professionals.
  • Evaluation of Food Security Program (State of Maine): An evaluation of a pilot program with select primary care providers working in Federally Qualified Health Centers to improve food security and increase the knowledge and skills of a targeted patient population to make healthy food choices and prepare healthy food.
  • The Partners for Change Outcome Management System for Health (University of New England and Southern Maine Health Care): An instrument validation study of real-time patient-centered feedback mechanisms for the patient-provider alliance, designed to enhance collaboration and adherence in primary care and other health settings. 
  • Evaluation of University of New England’s Interprofessional Education Program (University of New England and Josiah Macy Foundation): An evaluation of UNE’s Center for Excellence in Interprofessional Education, which leads training efforts (both on campus and with health system partners across the state) to prepare future health professionals to work in team environments, involving the measurement of student, faculty and health professionals' changes in knowledge, skills and practice behaviors as a result of facilitated teamwork and collaboration experiences.