Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Dedicated to the welfare of children, youth and families throughout Maine and the nation
Providing technical assistance and innovative research to improve care for older adults and those with disabilities
Aging man
George Shaler accepts Douglas Yearwood National Publication Award for Statistical / Management at the National Forum on Criminal Justice in Atlanta, Georgia.
Photo of George Shaler accepting the Douglas Yearwood Award
The Institute conducts policy-driven research, evaluation, policy analysis and technical assistance focusing on the public health system and the delivery of health care services.
Andy Coburn
Impacting health policy and public health in Maine and across the nation
The Center informs healthcare policymaking and access to and delivery of rural health services
Maine Rural Health Research Center logo
We develop, manage, and evaluate initiatives that test solutions to address access to and quality and cost of healthcare
Access to healthcare photo
We evaluate public health initiatives, assess performance and quality, and develop tools and measures
Word art for public health systems and practice

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:

Children, Youth, and Families
The Cutler Institute’s Children, Youth, and Families Program advances the well-being of children and families by improving the public and private systems that serve them. We work to include the voices of children, youth and families, and to engage community. Our approach empowers and strengthens the clients we serve. We have earned a national reputation for excellence in research, policy development, program evaluation, training, and technical assistance.

Disability and Aging
The Cutler Institute’s Disability and Aging program is a team of multi-disciplinary professionals with extensive experience working in close collaboration with states to provide technical assistance, conduct evaluations, identify best practices, and perform policy analysis work.

Justice Policy
Working across disciplines and perspectives, the Justice Policy program's applied research informs policy development and practice in civil and criminal justice systems.

Population Health and Health Policy
The Population Health and Health Policy (PHHP) program at the Cutler Institute conducts policy-driven research, evaluation, policy analysis and technical assistance focusing on the public health system and the delivery of healthcare services.

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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News & Events

photo: Karen Pearson with Community Paramedicine poster at EMS Conference in Rockland, ME
Karen Pearson and George Shaler of the USM Muskie School presented findings from their evaluation of the Maine EMS Community Paramedicine Pilot Program at the EMS Conference in Rockland on November 13, 2015. The Community Paramedicine Pilot Program is comprised of 12 pilot sites located across the state of Maine. Community Paramedicine is the practice by an emergency medical services (EMS) provider in an out-of-hospital setting, providing patient evaluation and treatment within their scope of practice, directed at preventing or improving a medical condition as requested or directed by a physician. Pearson and Shaler found that, overall, Maine's Pilot Program highlighted the need for innovative solutions to integrating care coordination for patients with chronic conditions or who are at high risk for re-hospitalization.
Jean Talbot, Research Associate with the Maine Rural Health Research Center, and colleagues have published their study of the role of rural residence and single motherhood as risk factors for smoking. Their findings indicate that rural mothers are significantly more likely than their urban counterparts to be smokers, smoke frequently, and smoke heavily, even after adjusting for factors known to increase smoking risk. Talbot suggests that policymakers should consider methods for extending insurance coverage for smoking cessation interventions through the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid. Additionally, anti-smoking initiatives at the local, state, and national levels could play an important role in decreasing rural-urban disparities in smoking-related morbidity and mortality.
Photo: Anush Y. Hansen
David Hartley and Anush Yousefian Hansen of Maine Rural Health Research Centerare authors of a research brief which focuses on the evidence base for rural obesity rates as it relates to physical activity. They note that rural residents, who face high rates of obesity, limited access to healthcare providers, and high levels of poverty, have been identified as a "priority population" in the fight against obesity. In this brief, Hansen and Hartley describe the current research on the rural built environment that may be related to obesity or physical activity, and outline key policy implications.

New Jersey's Manage By Data Program: Changing Culture and Capacity to Improve Outcomes

Photo of the cover of New Jersey's Manage By Data Program: Changing Culture and Capacity to Improve Outcomes

This report, authored by Muskie School of Public Service researchers David Lambert and Julie Atkins, presents five strategies that organizations can follow to change their culture by moving toward data-driven decision making.

2015 Disproportionate Contact: Youth of Color in Maine's Juvenile Justice System Report

A new report released by the Muskie School of Public Service reveals a racial bias towards minority youths in Maine's juvenile justice system.

"Disproportionate Contact: Youth of Color in Maine's Juvenile Justice System" examines racial disparities in the system and provides recommendations on how to move toward racial equity. Robyn Dumont, Erica King and George Shaler of the Muskie School's Justice Policy Program authored the mixed-method report.

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.

Nellie Mae Education Foundation nominates Pious Ali for the Lawrence W. O'Toole Award

Pious Ali

Pious Ali, Youth and Community Engagement Specialist in Cutler’s Children, Youth, and Families Programs, has been nominated for the Lawrence W. O’Toole Award by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Pious is one of six nominees from the New England states.

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation believes that student-centered learning – where learning is personalized, engaging, competency-based and not restricted to the classroom – will prepare young people to graduate high school ready to contribute to their communities and succeed. This award is given out each year to an individual, school district, or non-profit that has exhibited great leadership in moving student-centered approaches to learning forward in the New England region.

The winner will be selected by online voting and will be awarded a $100,000 grant to help advance student centered learning!


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