Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Maine Rural Health Research Center, Population Health and Health Policy

Anush Yousefian Hansen

Research Associate
Anush Yousefian Hansen


404G Wishcamper Center

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 228-8217

Education: St. Lawrence University, BA, Environmental Studies 1996; University of Massachusetts School of Public Health and Health Sciences, MS, Public Health/Epidemiology 2001; University of New Hampshire, MA, Counseling 2011.

Anush has been with the Muskie School of Public Service since 2005. She is a member of the Maine Rural Health Research Center, and has contributed to numerous rural health projects focused on behavioral health, active living, food access and healthy eating, childhood obesity and substance abuse prevention. Since 2006, Anush has directed three consecutive Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Active Living Research projects, investigating how policies, programs and the physical environment can promote walking and biking, and increase access to other opportunities for physical activity in rural communities. Anush has also been involved in several public health program evaluation projects for the Muskie School, including the evaluation of a local Safe Schools/Healthy Students initiative, the Maine Colorectal Cancer Control Program, and the Northern Maine Rural Collaborative initiative at Eastern Maine Healthcare.

Anush is particularly interested in how policy, systems and environmental changes can help create sustainable communities that facilitate healthy behaviors among low-income individuals and families. Prior to joining the Muskie School, Anush worked in the Bureau of Environmental Health, Massachusetts Department of Public Health and at the Office of Health Promotion Research, University of Vermont College of Medicine.


Date Titlesort descending Type
2010 Access to Mental Health Services and Family Impact of Rural Children With Mental Health Problems Working Paper
2008 Active Living for Rural Youth Research and Policy Brief
2009 Active Living for Rural Youth: Addressing Physical Inactivity in Rural Communities Journal Article
2015 Built Environments and Active Living in Rural and Remote Areas: A Review of the Literature Journal Article
2010 Characteristics of Inpatient Psychiatric Units in Small Rural Hospitals Journal Article
2010 Development of the Rural Activing Living Assessment Tools: Measuring Rural Environments Journal Article
2006 Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Activities Funded by the medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program Report
2010 Mental Health Problems Have Considerable Impact on Rural Children and Their Families Research and Policy Brief
2009 Mental Health Services in Rural Jails Research and Policy Brief
2010 Mental Health Services in Rural Jails Working Paper
2006 Out-of-Pocket Health Spending and the Rural Underinsured Journal Article
2016 Pilot Testing a Rural Health Clinic Quality Measurement Reporting System Research and Policy Brief
2015 Promoting Active Living in Rural Communities Research and Policy Brief
2006 Review of State Flex Program Plans 2004-2005 Report
2010 Rural Active Living Assessment (RALA) Toolkit: Codebook and Assessment Tools Web Page
2015 Rural and Remote Food Environments and Obesity Journal Article
2013 Telemental Health in Today's Rural Health System Research and Policy Brief
2015 Understanding the Business Case for Telemental Health in Rural Communities Journal Article
2011 Understanding the Rural Food Environment--Perspectives of Low-Income Parents Journal Article
2005 Use of Critical Access Hospital Emergency Rooms by Patients with Mental Health Symptoms Journal Article
2007 Use of Critical Access Hospital Emergency Rooms by Patients with Mental Health Symptoms Journal Article

Cutler Institute awarded $600,000 to help youth raised in foster system

Marty Zanghi

USM's Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy has been awarded a $600,000 grant to help young people raised in Maine's foster system to prepare for college and the workforce.

The money comes from the Annie E. Casey Foundation as part of a $5.4 million national effort aimed at youth who are homeless or in either the foster care or juvenile justice systems.

"Many of these young people have suffered abuse or trauma and were raised in poverty and neglect," said Marty Zanghi, the Cutler Center's youth development director.

The money -- including an expected $400,000 more in matching funds -- will pay for contracted work with agencies in the target areas, starting with the greater Portland area and Penobscot, Kennebec and Somerset counties.

Nationally and in Maine, only about 3 percent of people who grow up in the foster care system achieve a college degree, he said.

"It's dramatically lower than the rate for the general population," Zanghi said. "It's a horrible outcome."

It doesn't have to be that way, though.

"There are young people that overcome these circumstances," he said. "I know people who have master's degrees and Ph.Ds."

The Casey Foundation's national effort is being called the "Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential" (LEAP) initiative.

The initiative is working on partnerships in Maine and nine other areas: Alaska, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and New York. In each case, people will adapt two evidence-based models to meet the needs of these youth, including support to address the trauma they may have experienced in their lives.

In Maine, the work will include a pair of successful programs, Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG) and Jobs for the Future. Results will be carefully tracked, Zanghi said.

After the first year, the program is expected to grow.

"Eventually, the additional help will be available to all children, 14 and over, in the foster care system in the state of Maine," Zanghi said.

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