The field of public health focuses on how to best reduce illness, injury and death in broad populations rather than only for individuals. Prominent among public health interventions are community, systemic and regulatory approaches to preventing many different types of health problems.

In all its work, PIRE employs a public health model. We carry out basic scientific work on threats to health, including drug and alcohol abuse, tobacco use, unintentional injury and unsafe sexual practices. PIRE has a long history of research, evaluation and program development in many of the areas relevant to public health.

In that sense, almost everything on this website could be included here in the Public Health section. Instead this section presents only PIRE's public health work that is not adequately represented in more specific focus areas.

Health Disparities

PIRE is a leader in health disparities issues and culturally sensitive analyses of ATOD issues. Our Sub-Contract Project Manager, Dr. Adrienne Y. Semidey, has been working in the field of health disparities as it relates to public health issues for 20+ years.  She has conducted formative research, provided training, developed strategic communications plans focused on health disparity issues, identified earned and paid media channels to reach disparate populations as well as developed print and electronic materials for various populations in the public health arena for SAMHSA, NIH and CDC clients.  Further, as examples of PIRE’s overall research and evaluation practices around health disparity issues, our statistical analyses routinely examine variations by race and ethnicity. We developed statistical methods for estimating acculturation among Hispanic populations, used those measures to explain risky behaviors, and designed and evaluated prevention programs to reduce them. Our ATOD and mental health work among American Indian tribes includes analytic contracts supporting tribal SPF-SIG grantees, ethnographic studies in bars, evaluations of suicide and impaired driving prevention programs, cultural tailoring of prevention programs, and clinical trials of treatment. We have developed methods for measuring the stereotype threat raised by health education messages and the impact of that threat on compliance by African Americans, and have examined the relationship between the development of ethnic identity among Black youth and their use of alcohol and drugs. We have also conducted extensive research on barriers to mental health service delivery among LGBT populations.


Health Policy

Public health policies can have a powerful impact on individual, group, and community health conditions, longevity, and mortality.  PIRE has carried out a great deal of research, evaluation, and program development in a range of health policies areas, especially as related to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.


Health Services Systems

Programs and policies related to public health and disease prevention must operate within existing health services systems. PIRE projects have helped increase understanding of health systems and their relationship to prevention and treatment.


High Risk Behaviors

Thousands of deaths, injuries, and other health and social problems result from high risk behaviors of various types.  These behaviors include such activities as drinking and driving, risky sexual activity, binge drinking, and illicit drug taking.


Mental Health and Suicide

PIRE researchers are studying multiple aspects of mental health, including the following: the epidemiology and etiology of various mental health conditions (e.g., depression and suicide); the interrelationship between substance use and mental health status; societal costs of mental health conditions; and behavioral health service utilization.



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