Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Maine Rural Health Research Center, Population Health and Health Policy

Jean Talbot PhD, MPH

Research Associate
Jean Talbot PhD, MPH


404D Wishcamper

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 228-8480

Education: MA, Psychology, Mount Holyoke College, S. Hadley, MA; PhD, Clinical Psychology, Clark University, Worcester, MA; Post-doctoral Fellowship, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY; MPH, Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine.

A clinical psychologist by training, I focused in over ten years of practice on providing behavioral health interventions in inpatient facilities, community mental health agencies, university medical centers, and primary care. My encounters with vulnerable populations in these settings convinced me of the need for addressing health care disparities, improving service delivery, and understanding the impact of population-level risk factors on physical and behavioral health. In response to these insights, I became committed to a career in behavioral health policy analysis and services research.

My portfolio of research with the Maine Rural Health Research Center at the University of Southern Maine includes Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the health status of rural residents; behavioral health disorders and service use in rural areas; evaluation of the Mental Health First Aid intervention for rural areas; the role of CO-OP insurance plans in rural areas; and rural demography and aging.

Please visit the Maine Rural Health Research Center to view or download additional Working Papers and Research & Policy Briefs authored by Jean Talbot.


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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