This free webinar built upon the introduction to simulation presented in the first webinar and highlighted the value of using models to enhance decision-making in health policy and public health. Speakers from both health policy and simulation backgrounds discussed experiences and lessons learned from using and communicating about models.


This webinar was part two of a two-part series titled, Simulation as a Tool to Inform Health Policy.

The first webinar, Introduction to Health Systems Simulation for Policy, took place on Thursday, October 23, 2014 and provided an overview of three health systems simulation models and how they can help researchers and policymakers better understand public health and health care systems.  Speakers included Patty Mabry, Ph.D., NIH; Bobby Milstein, Ph.D., M.P.H., The Fannie E. Rippel Foundation; Danielle Varda, Ph.D., University of Colorado Denver; and Ernest Moy, M.D., M.P.H., AHRQ.   

Friday, November 14, 2014, 1:00-2:30 p.m. EDT


Simulations are mathematical models that combine evidence from research and other sources to approximate how real-life systems behave under particular conditions. They can help researchers and policymakers in several ways. These models help translate research and other evidence into a form that decision makers can readily understand. One can experiment virtually with policy levers or other interventions to understand how they affect outcomes of interest.  Simulation can be a tool for discussion, collaboration, and ‘big picture’ thinking among researchers, analysts, and policymakers throughout the policymaking process. And finally, simulation can help researchers identify policy- relevant holes in the research literature.


This free webinar built upon the introduction to simulation presented in the first webinar and highlighted the value of using models to enhance decision-making in health policy and public health. Speakers from both health policy and simulation backgrounds discussed experiences and lessons learned from using and communicating about models. Ross Hammond, of the Brookings Institution, discussed his experiences in communicating with policy audiences about models on obesity. Karen Minyard, with the Georgia Health Policy Center, offered insights from her work translating and disseminating findings from models for policymakers at the state level. Dylan George, with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), explained how models are developed and used to support decision-making in the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.  J. Jaime Caro, of McGill University, discussed the development of a questionnaire to assess the relevance and credibility of simulation studies for informing decision makers.  Speakers also provided practical suggestions and best practices to maximize the usefulness of simulation for policymakers.  

Learning Objectives

This free webinar provided:

  • Examples of how simulation can be applied to health policy and public health.
  • Lessons learned from modelers and policymakers about effective ways to use and communicate findings from models.

Acknowledgement: This webinar series was hosted by AcademyHealth’s Translation and Dissemination Institute and Public Health Systems Research program, with support from Kaiser Permanente and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Faculty Bios

Michael E. Gluck, Ph.D., M.P.P., (moderator) is the Senior Director of Evidence Generation and Translation, where he co-Directs AcademyHealth's Translation and Dissemination Institute, directs several of the Institute's projects, and works with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization (HCFO). His interests and work focus on the translation and communication of research to inform policy.   He has held positions with the former Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, the National Academy of Social Insurance, the California Health Benefits Review Program, and Georgetown University.  He received a B.A. in history magna cum laude from Haverford College and M.P.P. and Ph.D. degrees in public policy from Harvard University.

Ross A. Hammond, Ph.D., is a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, where he is director of the Center on Social Dynamics and Policy. His primary area of expertise is modeling complex dynamics in economic, social, and public health systems using mathematical and computational methods from complexity systems science. Dr. Hammond has previously held positions as the Okun-Model Fellow in Economics, an NSF Fellow in the Center for the Study of Complex Systems at University of Michigan, a visiting scholar at The Santa Fe Institute, and a Consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. He has authored numerous scientific articles, and his work has been featured in New Scientist, Salon, The Atlantic Monthly, Scientific American, and major news media. Hammond received his B.A. from Williams College and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Karen Minyard, Ph.D., has directed the Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC) at Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies since 2001. Dr. Minyard connects the research, policy, and programmatic work of the center across issue areas including: community and public health, long-term care, child health, health philanthropy, public and private health coverage, and the uninsured. She is currently spearheading a team of faculty and staff at Georgia State University dedicated to translating national health care reform. Prior to assuming her current role, she directed the networks for rural health program at the GHPC.  She has experience with the state Medicaid program, both with the design of a reformed Medicaid program and the external evaluation of the primary care case management program.  She also has 13 years of experience in nursing and hospital administration. Dr. Minyard often provides testimony for the Georgia state legislature and has presented to Congressional and executive agency staff on the Affordable Care Act.  She received her M.S.N from the Medical College of Georgia and her Ph.D. from Georgia State University.

Nathaniel Hupert, M.D., M.P.H., is a primary care physician and a researcher in public health response logistics at Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City as well as co-Director of the Cornell Institute for Disease and Disaster Preparedness. Dr. Hupert also serves as a Senior Medical Advisor to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) in the US Department of Health and Human Services. Since September 2000, he has collaborated with local, state, federal, and international public health officials in a series of federally financed research projects on hospital and clinical preparedness for bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. He has contributed several computer models of mass antibiotic dispensing and hospital surge capacity for public use, notably BERM and the AHRQ Surge Model. Dr. Hupert trained at Harvard Medical School, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Jaime Caro, M.D., C.M., F.R.C.P.C., F.A.C.P., is Chief Scientist at Evidera (formerly United BioSource Corporation), where he advances Evidera’s leadership in developing and applying novel techniques in modeling, health economics, comparative effectiveness, epidemiology, and outcomes research. Due to his significant expertise in modeling methods, Dr. Caro was asked to lead the Modeling Task Force, jointly sponsored by ISPOR and the Society for Medical Decision Making, to produce the new guidelines for good modeling practices. This has resulted in seven papers covering topics such as the designing building, populating and validating of models. In addition, he chairs the new ISPOR/AMCP/NPC Task Force that is producing a tool for the quality assessment of models. Dr. Caro trained at McGill University, where he practiced internal medicine and continues as adjunct Professor of Medicine as well as Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

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