Health Policy & Innovation

Interdisciplinary Themes

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

Led by the Duke-Margolis Center 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

Health Problems Caused by Hypertension.

This project team will focus on the policy implications of a 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 Disparity and Outcomes in Hypertension (2022-2023) »


Meeting in progress.

This project team will adapt the CenteringPregnancy group model, traditionally used as an outpatient service, to an inpatient antepartum service by expanding a pilot study performed in 2019-2020. Read more about Community for Antepartum Patients (CAP): Establishing an Inpatient Model for Group Prenatal Care at Duke (2022-2023) »


Holding hands.

This project team will use Human-Centered Design (HCD) to develop an LGBTQ+ Older Adult Resource Box for long-term caregivers and skilled nursing facilities in North Carolina. Read more about Developing Nursing Resources for LGBTQ+ Older Adult Care Using Human-Centered Design (2022-2023) »


Saving Faces Art Project by Mark Gilbert.

This project team will address the care gaps of patients with head and neck cancer by synthesizing available evidence across disability studies, theology, head and neck surgery, epidemiology and palliative care. Read more about Evaluating Faith-Based Needs of Patients With Head and Neck Cancer (2022-2023) »


Image: Interventional Radiology.

This project team will use a mixed-method approach to comprehensively characterize financial toxicity among health disparity populations of sexual and gender minority older adults, people living with dementia, people with mental health conditions and their associated caregivers. Read more about Financial Burden in Patients With Health Disparities (2022-2023) »


Holding hands.

This project team will build on cross-sector early childhood research to address the scarcity of child-focused developmental and behavioral health services and the complexities in navigating service bureaucracies. Read more about Improving Access to Behavioral and Mental Health Services for Latinx Children in NC (2022-2023) »


Pelvic diagram.

This project team will focus on developing treatments to help women manage pain and changes that occur following cancer treatment and childbirth. Read more about Promoting Sexual Function and Pelvic Health in Women's Healthcare (2022-2023) »


Patient care.

This project team will develop and implement a roadmap for goals of care conversations for patients with serious illness in Duke Health. Read more about REGAIN: Roadmap for Evaluating Goals in Advanced Illness Navigation (2022-2023) »


Health Policy & Innovation Courses

Gateway Courses

EHD 290S-01: Social Science Research Lab: Evaluating Healthcare Innovation

Spring 2022
Instructor: Jessica Sperling

The Social Science Research Lab engages students in project-based learning in social science research principles and their real-world application. Read more about Social Science Research Lab: Evaluating Healthcare Innovation »


Undergraduate/Graduate Courses

I&E 590-01: New Ventures Clinic-Healthcare

Fall 2022
Instructor: Rob Hallford, Sharlini Sankaran

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 »


Graduate Courses

NURSING 484-001: Interprofessional Care of the Critically Ill Patient across the Lifespan 

Spring 2022
Instructor: Lisa S Lewis, Margory A Molloy, Christina Rae 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 across the Lifespan   »