Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy


The Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy at the Muskie School of Public Service is dedicated to developing innovative, evidence-informed, and practical approaches to pressing health and social challenges faced by individuals, families, and communities. To serve this purpose, we engage expert staff in areas of:

Partnering with clients throughout the nation, from state and federal agencies to the private sector, more than 200 research staff provide policymakers and practitioners with new knowledge, skills, and solutions to support healthier, stronger communities through:

  • Research and policy analysis
  • Training and technical assistance
  • Program development and implementation

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What Makes the Cutler Institute Unique?

Capacity for Change
Solutions to complex issues are rarely one-dimensional. Work in the Cutler Institute occurs within a collaborative context, with a mission to improve health and human services bridging the institute’s primary research areas: children, youth and families; disability and aging; justice policy; and population health and health policy. With such wide-ranging capacity, the institute has the unique ability to pull from expert staff and resources across disciplines to provide global, multidisciplinary approaches to complex issues.

More than 60 percent of our expert staff hold advanced degrees in areas of policy, social work, law, education, business administration, and public health, and bring to the institute decades of experience in the field. They care deeply about the issues that face our communities and are committed to finding solutions.

Real-world Solutions
The Cutler Institute is distinguished by its practical approach and prides itself on its ability to bridge the theoretical and the applied, helping to translate best practices into every day practice for government and community agencies.

Staff at the Cutler Institute are interested in more than just a deliverable; they are committed to their clients, working closely with each- no matter the scope- to examine the root of an issue and provide sustainable solutions. They perform data collection and analysis that informs decisions; implement training that empowers the workforce; evaluate programs to ensure training is achieving the desired outcome; and educate lawmakers and community leaders to impact policy and improve our communities. This scope of services, and attention to both client and community solutions, is unique to the Cutler Institute as compared to research institutes throughout the state and region.

Learning Laboratory
As part of its mission to public service, the Cutler Institute proudly plays a role in educating and preparing future leaders of government agencies and community organizations. In addition to quality classroom learning, today’s graduate students require hands-on training from experts in the field. Staff at the Cutler Institute have the unique opportunity to work closely with graduate research assistants to engage them in cutting edge research and analysis- and to prepare them with experience applying knowledge to real-world issues.

Learn more about Catherine E. Cutler

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What makes the Cutler Institute unique? We are committed to our clients and partners and work closely with you to examine the root of an issue and provide sustainable solutions. Learn more about our work and services, and connect with our team of experts.

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Hartley Retires as Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center

David Hartley, PhD

David Hartley, PhD, the Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center (MRHRC) and a Research Professor of Public Health has announced that he will be retiring from the University of Southern Maine August 31st, 2014. David came to the University in 1994 and has directed the MRHRC since 2004. Andy Coburn, PhD, Research Professor of Public Health, will take over as the new MRHRC Director. Erika Ziller, PhD continues in her role as Deputy Director. David has had a distinguished career in rural health and rural health research, and has made lasting contributions to the field with his work on rural behavioral health, rural disparities and health, and rural active living.

A celebration will be scheduled in early fall to honor David and his many contributions to the field and the University.


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Justice Research

Cover: Maine Crime and Justice Data Book 2014

Using the most recent public safety, corrections, and court data available, the Maine Crime and Justice Data Book presents a portrait of the state's crime and justice indicators, including 10-year trends in Maine and comparisons with northern New England and the U.S. at large.

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Dementia in Maine

Dementia in Maine

As the oldest state in the nation, Maine faces the impending impact of Alzheimer’s disease on its social systems, community resources, and its health and long term care systems. This report provides a baseline picture of the current use of services by people with and without dementia in Maine. Learn more in Dementia in Maine: Characteristics, Care, and Cost Across Settings.

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