Health Policy & Innovation

Interdisciplinary Themes

Bass Connections projects, courses and summer programs are aligned with the following themes:

Led by the Duke-Margolis Institute for Health Policy

Healthcare is at once a critical part of people’s lives and a highly consequential part of the U.S. economy. Despite leading the world in many key areas of biomedical innovation and vastly outspending other countries on healthcare, the health of U.S. citizens fares no better – and by some measures fares worse – than those living in other countries. Too often U.S. healthcare is not as affordable, equitable or accessible as Americans need it to be.

Bass Connections in Health Policy & Innovation uses an interdisciplinary approach to confront complex challenges in health and healthcare in the U.S. – from the need for new and better treatments and the high cost of care, to the factors that cause persistent health disparities, to the rapid spread of misinformation and growing obstacles to effective development of public health strategies at the local, state and national levels. 

The theme will support project teams and courses that engage faculty and students in the development and implementation of strategies and solutions to improve the state of our healthcare system through evidence-based policy analysis, the development and testing of new medical devices and service delivery models, data analysis to inform patient care and wellness, intercountry comparative analysis, new provider training and patient communications systems, and new pricing models to reduce the cost of care. Students will develop the ability to apply critical thinking, creativity and problem-solving skills to address complex health challenges, hone their capabilities in health policy research and analysis, and gain experience working on multidisciplinary teams.

Health Policy & Innovation Project Teams

Image: Baby boy grasping for a cherry in his fatter’s hand, by Ivan Radic, licensed under CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/

This project team will advance community-engaged research and advocacy projects for integrating systems of care for children with complex health needs in North Carolina. Read more about Children's Complex Care Coalition of North Carolina (4CNC) (2024-2025) »


Blood pressure reading.

This project will focus on evaluating the policy implications of the January 2022 ruling from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Read more about Closing the Gap on Health Disparities and Outcomes in Hypertension (2024-2025) »


Image: Centering Pregnancy at Duke was created to bring expectant mothers and families together during pregnancy, by Duke Health

This project team will grow and improve the Community for Antepartum Patients program, a series of antenatal inpatient sessions to build knowledge, community and solidarity after pregnancy. Read more about Community for Antepartum Patients (CAP): Establishing an Inpatient Model for Group Prenatal Care at Duke (2024-2025) »


Image: Sara Schick and Leah Kranja assist a patient in infusion at Duke Women’s Cancer Care Raleigh

This project team will develop best practices for adoption of clinical decision support tools through participatory systems dynamics modeling. Read more about Data Science in Clinical Care (2024-2025) »


Image: Coronary CT angiography of coronary arteries, by Oxford Academic Cardiovascular CT Core Lab

This project team will use large, national electronic health record databases to improve the understanding of risk factors and treatment strategies for cardiovascular disease. Read more about Data Science to Optimize Cardiovascular Disease Prevention (2024-2025) »


Image: Goals of care, by Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine

This team's aim is to implement a roadmap for goals of care conversations for patients with serious illness at Duke Health. Read more about Developing a Roadmap for Goals of Care Conversations at Duke (2024-2025) »


Image: Gene Activity After TBI, by Douglas Arneson and Drs. Gomez-Pinilla and Yang, UCLA, NIH Image Gallery.

This project team will conduct a holistic survey on traumatic brain injury management and care at Duke that will inform the development of AI solutions and pave the way for future deployment. Read more about Discovering AI Applications for Traumatic Brain Injury Care (2024-2025) »


Image: A digital 3D representation of the West Nile virus in complex with the Fab fragment of a neutralizing monoclonal antibody

This project team will examine how pricing and demand for monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) affect the availability and uptake of mAb therapies in low- and middle-income countries. Read more about Equitable Access to Monoclonal Antibodies for Low- and Middle-Income Countries (2024-2025) »


Hands.

Building on the work of a previous team, this project team will participate in the ongoing work of the Children’s Health & Discovery Initiative and the Center for Child & Family Policy at the intersection of health, social services and policy Read more about Policy Strategies to Address Child Maltreatment (2024-2025) »


Image: Duke Cancer Institute exterior

This project team will conduct two research studies targeting well-being across the lifespan among cancer survivors.  Read more about Promoting Wellness Across the Lifespan for Cancer Survivors (2024-2025) »


Reproductive Justice Archive.

This project team will gather and organize archival research, document media coverage and conduct oral history interviews to add to a Reproductive Care Provider Archive. Read more about Reproductive Health Care Post-Roe (2024-2025) »


Spine.

This project team aims to improve health outcomes for patients undergoing spine surgery by strengthening their psychosocial and physical supports. Read more about Spine Surgery Patient Navigators (2024-2025) »


Food.

This project team will explore Durham's organizational and resident barriers and facilitators to addressing food insecurity with a focus on federal programs and funding use. Read more about Tracing the Roots of Nutrition Access: University to Community (2024-2025) »


Neck.

This project team will evaluate the association of social determinants of health with racial and ethnic disparities in follow-up care for head and neck cancer patients, using both national and local data. Read more about Understanding Disparities to Follow-Up Care in Head and Neck Cancer (2024-2025) »


Image: Interventional Radiology Residency, Duke Radiology, Duke University School of Medicine

This project team will develop cutting-edge virtual reality (VR) hardware and haptic feedback mechanisms that can be integrated into intuitive and practice medical training tools for interventional radiology. Read more about Virtual Reality for Health Education Advanced Learning (VR-HEAL) (2024-2025) »


Health Policy & Innovation Courses

Other Undergraduate Courses

DOCST 331S: U.S. Women's Health Post-Roe

Fall 2023
Instructor: Wesley Hogan

The overturning of Roe v. Wade in June 2022 led to the deaths of two women in South Carolina. One woman died from sepsis following self-instrumentation, and the second died after giving birth to a healthy baby. She began to hemorrhage; hospital administrators were afraid that the “D&C” she... Read more about U.S. Women's Health Post-Roe »


Undergraduate/Graduate Courses

I&E 590: New Ventures Clinic-Healthcare

Fall 2023
Instructor: Rob Hallford

This course is an opportunity for students to work on commercialization plans for technologies developed at Duke University, in particular in the areas of therapeutics (pharmaceuticals), diagnostics and medical devices. Read more about New Ventures Clinic-Healthcare »


NURSING 488: Interprofessional Care of the Critically Ill Adult Patient

Fall 2023
Instructor: Christina Leonard

This course will help students design and provide holistic, evidence-based nursing care to individuals with complex health problems across the lifespan and across care settings. Students collaborate with members of the health care team to plan, implement and evaluate the care provided to... Read more about Interprofessional Care of the Critically Ill Adult Patient »


Graduate Courses

I&E 720: Design in Healthcare I

Fall 2023
Instructor: Eric Richardson

This is the first of a two-course series that guides students through the process of human-centered design with the goal of developing a solution to a real-world, unmet need in healthcare. Students will learn to: Read more about Design in Healthcare I »


I&E 721: Design in Healthcare II

Spring 2024
Instructor: Eric Richardson

This course guides students through the process of human-centered design with the goal of developing a solution to a real-world, unmet need in healthcare. Read more about Design in Healthcare II »


NURSING 484: Interprofessional Care of the Critically Ill Patient

Spring 2024
Instructor: Christina Leonard

This course will help students design and provide holistic, evidence-based nursing care to individuals with complex health problems across the lifespan and across care settings. Students collaborate with members of the health care team to plan, implement and evaluate the care provided to... Read more about Interprofessional Care of the Critically Ill Patient »


OTD 606: Occupational Therapy Capstone Project I

Fall 2023
Instructor: Campbell Mikush

In this course, students design and initiate a capstone project and experience in one of eight advanced areas of practice within occupational therapy: advocacy, research, policy, entrepreneurship, education, administration, program development and theory development. Read more about Occupational Therapy Capstone Project I »


OTD 617: Occupational Therapy Capstone Project II

Spring 2024
Instructor: Campbell Mikush

In this course, students design and initiate a capstone project in one of eight advanced areas of practice within occupational therapy: advocacy, research, policy, entrepreneurship, education, administration, program development and theory development. This course is only open to second-year... Read more about Occupational Therapy Capstone Project II »