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With State’s Health Department, Students Tackle Hot Topics in Health Care

June 1, 2017
Yiyu Xing MPP '17

“I really regard this as a great experience and inspiration."

With urgent health issues on the agenda such as hospital mergers and risky pregnancies, the Rhode Island Department of Health is engaging Brown students, including Yiyu Xing MPP '17, to pitch in, offering valuable opportunities to gain real-world research experience in return.

On a cold, blustery December afternoon, Xing arrived at the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) headquarters on Providence's Capitol Hill and headed to the fourth floor for a warm welcome from Stephen Morris, acting co-director of RIDOH's Academic Center.

Xing was the department's first public health scholar, a position newly created in the Academic Center for students to gain experience and credit while tackling questions that are not only "real-world" but also of intense, current interest to the agency.

A master of public policy student at Brown's Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy, Xing brought a background in economics and data analysis. After that first meeting, Morris and his colleagues realized that she'd be well-suited to take on the question of what happens to health care and costs when hospitals merge or otherwise change ownership. 

Read more of David Orenstein's article on topics in health care.