McBride: Brown School is “the right place” for evidence-based research

Faculty; Policy; Public Health

“This is the right time, and the right place” to put research into practice, Timothy D. McBride told the audience at the Brown School Convocation on Sept. 2. McBride, professor at the Brown School and a leading health policy analyst, delivered a wide–ranging address: “We Must Be the Change We Wish to See: Translating Research Into Policy.”

McBride cited the school’s accomplishments in moving from research to practice, including the Center for Social Development, For the Sake of All, and the “Let’s Move” White House initiative on exercise that benefited from Brown School expertise.

He chairs the state of Missouri’s MOHealthNET Oversight Committee, which serves an advisory role for the state’s Medicaid program. During the past school year, he took students to Jefferson City, Mo., and Washington D.C to experience health policy-making first-hand. The Affordable Care Act and its health insurance marketplaces have enrolled 8.8 million Americans who otherwise might not have health insurance, he said.

The needs of the elderly are an emerging challenge, he added, as the population of seniors will be doubling in the next two decades. The demographic data “raise huge budget questions,” he said, as the number of those institutionalized and living alone will actually more than double during this time period. “Who’s going to take care of you?” remains an unanswered question, he said.

McBride closed by giving students some advice:

  • Understand evidence-based research.
  • Be honest.
  • Be skilled at communication.
  • Be timely.
  • Tailor products to the needs of end users.
  • Expand working relationships with policymakers.

Finding good mentors is “crucial” to education and research, he added, and he told the students the Brown School has those mentors in abundance.

“You’ve come to the right place,” he said.