The following projects are part of the Center for Health Advancement. Together they provide enhanced analysis and evidence-based information to help policy makers, community members and others decide which interventions best improve population health and reduce health disparities.


The U.S. currently spends between $750 billion and $1 trillion a year on medical expenditures with no medical benefit. These expenditures include prices that are too high, unnecessary services, excess administrative costs, inefficiencies in care delivery, and missed prevention opportunities. In this project, we investigate wasteful spending in the medical care system and examine opportunities to redirect resources from low-value medical care to upstream interventions with a greater return and a more equitable health impact.

Measuring Health Equity

Health Equity is a concept distinct from health disparities, and it requires its own measurement. Just as population health is more than the simple average of individual health in a population, health equity is more than the simple average of health disparities across groups in a population. To make progress on health equity, researchers and policy-makers need objective measures of health equity that can be consistently implemented over time and across jurisdictions to assess their progress and hold them accountable. This project reveals trends in health equity over time for countries, states, and counties, and compares performance on health equity across states and counties. The project also identifies the main policy determinants of health equity with a particular emphasis on the social determinants of health, including wage policy, school funding, housing policy and transportation.


The Win-Win Project assesses the effects of social and public health interventions on a wide variety of outcomes, including population health, high-school graduation, and rates of crime. We identify programs and policies that are likely to have large effects on social and economic outcomes as well as net positive financial benefits for local and state governments. Our findings demonstrate that strategically chosen interventions can maximize community and individual benefits at very low cost.


Health Impact Assessment is a multidisciplinary process that examines a range of evidence about health effects of a proposed projects and selected policy changes in a structured framework. Our work enables HIA to contribute to more informed decision-making about public policies impacting health in the U.S. Past and current HIA work has included analyses of living wage ordinances, increase in the gas tax, and the development of California’s High-Speed Rail.


Health Forecasting provides valuable forward-looking information about population-level health status and the potential effects of policies and programs on future health outcomes. Forecasting uses an innovative simulation model to generate health forecasts for a variety of preventable chronic conditions and health behaviors. Our Health Forecasting Tool incorporates research-based linkages between determinants of health, such as race/ethnicity, age, gender, and educational attainment, with epidemiologic information to inform community health planning through the year 2040. Using the Health Forecasting Tool we produce customized forecasts of health for hospitals, cities, and counties.