Greetings!    

The Thriving Communities, Thriving State launch is just around the corner. We will unveil our recommendations from the two-year-long effort on March 23 with elected officials and community leaders discussing ideas to improve communities across the state, and ultimately Indiana, over the next decade.

In addition to relying on the expertise of our policy analysts, the Institute hired two graduate assistants -- IUPUI students Jamar Cobb-Dennard and Joti Kaur -- to gather and analyze data to inform the Thriving Communities commissions. Read more about their work and backgrounds in the profiles below.

Our latest findings from the project include a report on Hoosier health and access to health care. The report, written by Senior Policy Analyst Sue Burow, found that geographic location in the state impacts Hoosiers' access to care -- illuminating the need for more health care providers in urban and rural areas.
 
As neighborhoods and families deal with crime, our latest report details factors that contribute to Indianapolis' rising homicide rate. Crime in Indianapolis: Trends, Sources, and Opportunities for Change is a collaboration with Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Troy Riggs. The report, which was authored by the Institute's Breanca Merritt, PhD, identifies strategies to decrease crime in the city.

Senior Researcher
Laura Littlepage is partnering with the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention to conduct and evaluate the annual Marion County Point-in-Time Count. Results from the study will be available in a few months.

As always, thank you for your continued support of the Institute.


R. Mark Lawrance
, Director

Our Work & Announcements
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New study says location is a factor in Hoosier access to health care
Hoosier Health and Access to Care points out the link between a county's health status and its access to providers and geographical location in the state.

"Hoosiers living in suburban and midsized communities have better access to care and report better health outcomes than those living in urban and rural areas," said Sue Burow, who wrote the report and is a senior policy analyst at the Institute. "Urban areas like Marion County need more health care providers in certain parts of the county. And other areas lack qualified health professionals and nearby facilities."

The research followed the geographical areas of the Institute's Thriving Communities, Thriving State project (a study focusing on rural, mid-sized, and urban communities) using a framework of the University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute as well as an assessment of the Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) in the state.





     
Crime in Indianapolis: Trends, sources & opportunities for change
In Crime in Indianapolis: Trends, Sources, and Opportunities for Change, Breanca Merritt, PhD, senior research analyst, reviews factors connected to Indianapolis' rising homicides and non-fatal shootings during 2015.

The overview of 2015's violent crimes and community-wide issues was a collaborative effort between the Institute and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

Using academic research and knowledge of Marion County's criminal justice system, Merritt along with IMPD Chief Troy Riggs identified potential strategies for addressing community-level issues associated with crime in Indianapolis.

READ THE REPORT



     
Point-in-time homeless count

In collaboration with the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention, Laura Littlepage, senior researcher, guides data collection and analysis for the annual Marion County Point-in-Time Count. Students from Littlepage's service-learning class also assist with the count. 

Since this is a huge undertaking, the project gets a boost from volunteers. Close to 100 volunteers showed up to help Littlepage with this year's count, which is a jump from the typical 75 volunteers that help out. The count was held in late January. Results will be available in a few months. 

MOST RECENT HOMELESS REPORT

 
IUPUI graduate students contribute to Thriving Communities, Thriving State project 
The Thriving Communities, Thriving State project is weeks away from unveiling its recommendations. Over the past year, the project has examined issues affecting rural, mid-sized, and urban communities.

Helping to guide these conversations about Indiana's future are two of the Institute's graduate assistants, Jamar Cobb-Dennard and Joti Kaur.


Jamar Cobb-Dennard Graduate Assis
tant

A first-year student at the IU McKinney School of Law, Cobb-Dennard assisted the Thriving Communities, Thriving State urban commission in session facilitation, written synthesis of discussions, administration and analysis of monthly commissioner surveys, and more.


Joti Kaur, Graduate Assistant
 

Kaur, who was born and raised in a rural area of India, worked closely with the Thriving Communities, Thriving State rural commission to gather secondary data and analysis on the issues facing rural communities.

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The IU Public Policy Institute is a multidisciplinary research institute within the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.