Investigating how natural disasters affect the health of vulnerable populations and how policy interventions promote their recovery and resilience

The Foundation's Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research Program was designed to produce major works from senior and new investigators that would add to the health policy field's knowledge base.The goal of this project is to understand the mechanisms by which disasters affect the mental and physical health of vulnerable populations over the long-term, as well as how policy interventions can prevent resource loss and promote recovery. Despite the regular occurrence of large scale natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes, evidence-based policy recommendations for maximizing long-term resilience and recovery is limited. The project will identify the ways in which local, state and federal policy responses, as well as decisions made by private employers and nonprofits, can lessen the long-term negative health impacts of disaster and displacement to promote long term recovery and resilience. Deliverables include analyzing longitudinal physical and mental health data and writing a book and short policy briefs synthesizing the study and drawing out the implications for disaster and health care policy.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $334,998.00

Awarded on: 4/1/2014

Time frame: 6/1/2014 - 5/31/2017

Grant Number: 71620


Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

1350 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, 02138-3846


Jean E. Rhodes
Project Director


Mary C. Waters
Project Director