Sara Metcalf

Integrating Social and Systems Science Approaches to Promote Oral Health Equity

A map of New York City with markers on it indicating things such as "Senior Housing Facilities" and "Resource Centers" throughout the area.

Dr. Metcalf is Co-PI of NIH R01 award DE023072 (Northridge/Kunzel/Metcalf), "Integrating Social and Systems Science Approaches to Promote Oral Health Equity," partnering with colleagues at New York University and Columbia University to model insights about social factors that facilitate or hinder oral health equity for older adults at the individual, interpersonal, and community scales. Within NIH, this project is supported by the Office of Behavioral Science & Social Research (OBSSR) and the National Institute for Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). The project takes a multi-method portfolio approach to group model-building that is informed by the ElderSmile oral health outreach program for older adults operated by Columbia University at senior centers in Northern Manhattan. The UB research team developed an interactive Time Map of participation in workshops and preventive screenings offered by ElderSmile as an emergent product of the collaborative modeling process that is being presented at the November 2014 conference of the American Public Health Association, consistent with the conference theme of "Healthography." Recent work emanating from this research has also been highlighted in the Systems Science supplement for Health, Education and Behavior and the Winter Simulation Conference.