Skip to Content

My Arnold School


Core for Applied Research & Evaluation

The Core for Applied Research and Evaluation (CARE) is a newly formed office arising from the recent integration of two University of South Carolina research offices in the Arnold School of Public Health: the Center for Health Services and Policy Research (CHSPR) and the Office of Research’s Evaluation, Translation, and Community Engagement. This integration yields over 30 years of core methodological expertise in program evaluation, survey development, qualitative research, primary and secondary data analysis, quality improvement methods and consultation, community engagement, strategic planning and organizational development.

Services

CARE helps its partners to improve public health practice and systems through:

  • Developing and conducting surveys, focus groups, and interviews
  • Evaluating the implementation of evidence-based programs in real world settings
  • Quality improvement services, including process maps
  • Group facilitation, especially planning processes
  • Engaging communities in all phases of research

Our team has a long and successful track record in providing evaluation and other expertise to its partners in the following content and skills areas:

Behavioral Health

For fifteen years, CARE team members have provided evaluation services and technical assistance on the provision of behavioral health services in S.C. In 2001, CARE team members provided evaluation services on a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant, Measuring Outcomes of Residential Treatment for Emotionally Disturbed Children. This grant was a collaboration of state agencies including SCDMH, S.C. Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, the Continuum of Care and private behavioral health providers. Evaluation services from the CARE continued on various projects including a SAMHSA grant, Evaluation of the State Incentives Grants for Treatment of Persons with Co-Occurring Substance Related and Mental Disorders and SCDHHS’s Evaluation of the PRTF Waiver. Currently, CARE is evaluating implementation of SAMHSA’s SBIRT curriculum in USC graduate health training programs and a second SAMHSA grant, Palmetto Coordinated System of Care, to assess the effectiveness of wraparound services to prevent placement of children in residential treatment facilities.

Systems Transformation

The CARE team has a long history of collaborating with state agencies to evaluate systems of care to improve the health of various populations such as the elderly and disabled, veterans, children with behavioral health issues, populations with co-occurring disorders, and under- and un-insured populations. In addition to the grants/contracts mentioned above, the team has collaborated with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging to evaluate its CMS grant, Systems Transformation Grant funded (2005-2010) on the impact of aging and disability resource centers (ADRCs) across the state; the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) on a Duke Endowment-funded project, AccessHealth, to evaluate the impact of collaborative networks of care for under- and un-insured populations; and the Live Well Kershaw grant funded by a state proviso to evaluate the impact of safety net collaboration in Kershaw County to meet the needs of the under- and un-insured populations.

Qualitative Methods

For a majority of our past and current evaluations and other projects, our team has emphasized use of qualitative methods, including focus groups, interviews and surveys to gather perspectives of projects’ key stakeholders. These methods are used to understand the context for quantitative data findings— to “tell the story.” The above grants all included some type of qualitative evaluation component, primarily interviews and focus groups. Other collaborations for which the CARE team provided qualitative evaluation methods include S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control’s (SC DHEC) Maternal and Child Health Title V Needs Assessment to provide direction to the agency’s Maternal Child Health Bureau for its five-year Title V block grant application. Currently, the team is also providing qualitative evaluation services to the S.C. Children’s Trust’s HRSA grant, Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home-visiting (MIECHV) Program to improve maternal and child health outcomes and to the S.C. Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy’s Office of Adolescent Health grant to increase the capacity of organizations’ and to expand communities’ provision of teen pregnancy prevention programs.

Quality Improvement

In the past ten years, the team has increased its expertise and use of quality improvement methodologies and tools. Quality improvement and evaluation methods have much in common and their integration is becoming increasingly more common. We believe that the use of both approaches improves the efficiency and effectiveness of program implementation. CARE has worked with S.C. Department of Health and Human Services for over ten years to evaluate its Medicaid eligibility determination processes to identify areas for policy and process improvement. Currently, the team is providing quality improvement consulting to the Palmetto Coordinated Systems of Care, the MIECHV grant, a CDC- funded, Colorectal Cancer Screening Program in South Carolina, to increase colorectal cancer screenings across the state, and the S.C. Adolescent and Reproductive Health Leadership Institute, a Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina- funded initiative to increase access to quality reproductive health services for adolescents.

In addition, CARE team members have expertise and experience working with the underinsured and uninsured populations, the elderly, persons with brain injury and/or spinal cord injury, and on public health issues related to obesity, food and nutrition systems, maternal and child health and reproductive health.

CARE is focused on evaluation and public service designed to improve the practices of the health care delivery system and the health policies of South Carolina and beyond. Because we are interested in reaching out to the larger community, most of our projects are conducted in partnership with State agencies, professional organizations, advocacy groups, or health care providers.

The CARE team’s expertise is evidenced in 1) regular invitations to provide technical assistance and consultation, 2) invitations to present at academic and professional conferences and journals, and 3) its strong and ongoing professional collaborations with its partners. See a list of the projects [pdf] we have supported since 2012. 


Staff

Kelly Breland (Business Manager)

Business Manager, Core for Applied Research & Evaluation 
Office of Research
Phone: 803-251-2298
Email: winburnk@mailbox.sc.edu 

Garnel Cauley (Project Manager)

Project Manager, Core for Applied Research & Evaluation 
Office of Research
Phone: 803-251-6315
Email: gcauley@mailbox.sc.edu 

Casey Childers (Research Associate)

Research Associate, Core for Applied Research & Evaluation 
Office of Research
Phone: 803-251-2298
Email: childe22@mailbox.sc.edu 

Ibrahim Demir (Research Assistant Professor)

Research Assistant Professor, Core for Applied Research & Evaluation 
Office of Research
Phone: 803-777-3534
Email: demiri@mailbox.sc.edu 

Pam Gillam (Director)

Director, Core for Applied Research & Evaluation 
Office of Research
Phone: 803-251-2297
Email: gillamps@mailbox.sc.edu 

Holly Hayes (Research Associate)

Research Associate, Core for Applied Research & Evaluation 
Office of Research
Phone: 803-777-1889
Email: hayeshg@mailbox.sc.edu  

Kelli Kenison (Research Assistant Professor)

Research Assistant Professor, Core for Applied Research & Evaluation 
Office of Research
Phone: 803-251-2291
Email: kenison@mailbox.sc.edu 

Mark Macauda (Research Assistant Professor)

Research Assistant Professor, Core for Applied Research & Evaluation 
Office of Research
Phone: 803-777-1100
Email: macauda@mailbox.sc.edu 

Dave Murday (Research Associate)

Research Associate, Core for Applied Research & Evaluation 
Office of Research
Phone: 803-251-2237
Email: murday@mailbox.sc.edu 

Shannon Porto (Project Assistant) 

Project Assistant, Core for Applied Research & Evaluation 
Office of Research
Phone: 803-251-2257
Email: smithsm5@mailbox.sc.edu 

Lauren Workman (Research Assistant Professor)

Research Assistant Professor, Core for Applied Research & Evaluation 
Office of Research
Phone: 803-251-6303
Email: workmanl@mailbox.sc.edu