Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Population Health and Health Policy

Brenda Joly, Ph.D.

Associate Research Professor, Public Health
Brenda Joly, Ph.D.


405 Wishcamper Center

Office Hours

Office hours by appointment

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 228-8456

“Public health is a multidisciplinary field with opportunities for everyone. Our program is committed to making sure that our students have the knowledge they need to succeed and the skills necessary for improving the health of our communities.

- Brenda M. Joly, Associate Research Professor,  Master of Public Health Program, Muskie School of Public Service

Academic Degrees

M.P.H., University of South Florida, College of Public Health, 1997

Ph.D., University of South Florida, College of Public Health, 2001

As a graduate student at the University of South Florida, Brenda Joly remembers standing on a street corner counting bike helmets as children rode by.  That project was about bicycles and child injuries and it was the start of a career focused on improving the health of people and communities.

How can a public health system do a better job of reducing chronic illness and preventing premature death? This question is central to Dr. Joly’s research and teaching at USM. She takes a systematic approach to evaluating the performance of public health programs. “I study different types of public health interventions and try to figure out what makes them successful and what leads to better health outcomes for our communities.”

Dr. Joly teaches three courses in the Master of Public Health Program at USM: Social and Behavioral Health, Applied Public Health Research and Evaluation and Public Health Practice. When she is not teaching, she spends her time  evaluating public health efforts at the local, state and federal levels. Currently, she is part of a national CDC evaluation team looking at ways to improve the performance of state, local, tribal and territorial public health departments.

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Dr. Ziller to speak on Rural Implementation and Impact of Medicaid Expansions

The impact of the ACA Medicaid expansion on health care coverage and access in rural areas is largely unknown and will depend on the different state policy contexts in which the expansions are implemented and on existing system capacity. Understanding how many rural residents are likely to become newly eligible for Medicaid under the ACA, as well as their characteristics and health status, will provide important information to aid policymakers in structuring outreach and enrollment strategies and ensuring that the healthcare infrastructure and delivery systems in rural areas can address the needs of these individuals.

On March 18th, Dr. Ziller, Deputy Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center at the University of Southern Maine, will present via a SHARE webinar, nationally representative information identifying rural-urban differences among low-income non-elderly adults (18 to 65) in the following areas:

  • Medicaid eligibility, pre-ACA
  • Medicaid participation, pre-ACA
  • New Medicaid eligibility in 2014

Dr. Ziller will also analyze the characteristics associated with any rural-urban differences in the above areas. Characteristics to be considered include age, gender, employment, education, income, Census region, health status, current relationship to primary care provider, primary care supply, and FQHC availability.

This webinar is based on Dr. Ziller's research under a State Health Access Reform Evaluation (SHARE) grant to inform federal and state implementation of the ACA Medicaid expansion by estimating the size and characteristics of the rural population likely to be newly eligible.
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