Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Health and Well-Being

Through technical assistance, research and evaluation, we help state policymakers identify ways to improve the health and well-being of the most vulnerable older adults and adults with disabilities.  Our work focuses on prevention and early intervention, improving the delivery and quality of care and services, and improving outcomes.  Our expertise extends across populations and settings and includes dementia care, behavioral health services, social supports and adult protective services.

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Currently, we are conducting an evaluation of the effectiveness of practice and provider level interventions to improve physician early identification of cognitive impairment among older adults, as well as patient and caregiver self-management and shared-decision making. 


Adult Protective Services

Working with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, we are analyzing Maine adult protective services data.  This analysis is used in reports to the Maine legislature as well as to inform the Department training programs, resource allocation and other administrative decisions aimed at improving program operations.  We were recently awarded a grant from the Department of Justice to link adult protective services data with Medicaid and Medicare claims data to assess the health service use and costs associated with this population.  

End of Life Care

Building on staff expertise in the delivery of end-of-life care and in the tools and training that support advance care planning, including use of the POLST form (Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment), we have a growing interest in policy issues surrounding end-of-life care and how states and healthcare providers can best safeguard individual choice and dignity in the dying process.

Wellness and Intellectual Disabilities

We worked with a team of experts, including self-advocates and members of the Maine Nutrition Network, and staff from the Maine Office of Aging and Disability Services (OADS) to develop guides, games, and toolkits that promote healthy lifestyles for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  We also trained direct service workers on how to use the tools to help consumers take charge of their health and wellness. 

Mental Illness and Chronic Conditions

In collaboration with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, we analyzed Medicaid claims data to examine the impact of co-occurring behavioral health disorders and chronic medical conditions on the cost and use of medical services, including emergency department use, hospitalization, avoidable hospitalization, readmission and outpatient care. 


Substance Use Disorders

Through technical assistance, research and evaluation, we help organizations in both the public and private sectors identify ways to integrate and provide quality care for individuals with substance use disorders (SUD). Our staff, who have both clinical and research expertise in SUD, have conducted research examining the availability, distribution and characteristics of treatment services across rural settings.  In addition, we work with providers to identify, implement and evaluate best practices for integrating SUD treatment into primary care practices.