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Arnold School Collaborations with Prisma Health

The Arnold School has active and rich relationships with investigators and clinical and operational partners at Prisma Health.  We integrate our disciplinary expertise to be a leader in population health science working together with Prisma Health and the Care Coordination Institute. 

We collaborate with

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CCI Health



To promote a culture of inquiry in a dynamic health system to improve patient outcomes.


Advancing international standards in health services research and education to improve the lives of people in South Carolina and beyond.


Assessing the Burden of Diabetes By Type in Children, Adolescents and Young Adults, (DiCAYA): South Carolina Youth (Component A).

The purpose of this research grant is to assess the incidence and prevalence of diabetes among children, adolescents and young adults in the U.S. and provide estimates by diabetes type, age, sex, race/ethnicity and geographic area. 

PI: Angela LIese, PhD; Co-I: Caroline Rudisill, PhD

USC Prevention Research Center (PRC) and Core Research Project: National Implementation Study of the Faith, Activity, and Nutrition (FAN) Program.

This faith-based program targets organizational change within the church to be more supportive of phyical activity and healthy eating. 

PI: Sara Wilcox, PhD; Co-I: Caroline Rudisill, PhD

Modeling Small Area Estimate of Children’s Mental Health and Mental Disorders Using National Survey Data.

The primary goal of this project is to identify disparities in children's mental health and well-being across U.S. counties and Census divisions, adn related modifiable factors at the individual and area levels. 

Co-I: Stella Self, PhD

The Development and Evaluation of a Patient-Centered Opioid Discharge Prescribing Guideline within the Electronic Health Record of a Health System. 

This project will evaluate a Patient-Centered Opioid Prescribing Tool (PCOPT), which is a clinical decision support (CDS) tool designed to generate opioid prescribing recommendations that are personalized to each patient, using the effectiveness-implementation hybrid Type II study design from implementation science that blends implementation and clinical effectiveness components. 

PIs: John M. Brooks, PhD and Alain Litwin, MD

Impact of genetic susceptibility along the continuum from Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS) to Multiple Myeloma (MM). 

Alyssa Clay-Gilmour is a subrecipient on an R01 with the Mayo Clinic / NIH.

Site PI: Alyssa Clay-Gilmour, PhD

Genetic Epidemiology of Exceptional Survivors with Acute Leukemia Who Received Blood and Marrow Transplantation.

The major goals of this project are to test association with germline susceptibility variants with risk of acute leukemia in excpetional survivors compared to poor survivors. 

PI:  Alyssa Clay-Gilmour, PhD

Effectiveness of End-of-Life Strategies to Improve Health Outcomes and Reduce Disparities in Rural Appalachia. 

This research project provides higher level evidence by conducting a sophisticated and methodolically rigorous analysis of administrative data to create a unique nationally-represented data set stemming from the first ever longitudinal invesgiation comparing the effectiveness of end-of-life strategies to improve pediatric health outcomes and reduce disparities in rural Appalachia. 

Co-I: Melanie Cozad, PhD 

Effectiveness of Concurrent Care to Improve Pediatric & Family Outcomes at End of Life. 

This project study investigates the impact of concurrent hospice care compared to standard hospice care in improving continuity and quality of pediatric end of life. 

Co-I: Melanie Cozad, PhD 

Effects of Musculoskeletal Surgery Rate of Medicare Costs.

This study will use documented geographic variation in early surgery rates as natural experiments and apply instrumental variable estimators to assess the impact of higher rates of early surgery on outcomes and costs. 

PI: John M. Brooks, PhD

Improving Health Outcomes through Community Collaborations to Address Food Access and Food Insecurity in a Large Healthcare System.

This study sets up and evaluates a primary care-based universal food insecurity screening with referral to community resources to improve health outcomes for at-risk patients with type 2 diabetes and/or hypertension. 

Site PI: Caroline Rudisill, PhD

Evaluating the Implementation and Cost of Integration of a Clinic-Community Physical Activity Model into a Major Health System.

John M. Brooks, PhD received a subaward from Duke Endowment to evaluate the implementation, costs and benefits of integrating the Exercise is Medicine intervention into Prisma Health System. 

PI: Jennifer Trilk, PhD

Subaward Site PI: John M. Brooks, PhD

RunRA – A Mechanism for Evaluating the Use of PROs and Preferences within Clinical Practice.

This project's goals are to validate the effectivness of RunRA in improving shared decision making, treatment adherence, disease burden while reducing decision conflict, and to understand the ways RunRa may potentially alleviate decision conflict with patients in high-disease activity state. For more information on RunRA, please visit the following articles: Researchers partner with patients to develop mobile app for enhanced physician-patient communitcation and App for Rheumatoid Arthritis. 

PI: Melanie Cozad, PhD

Changes in exosomal urinary MicroRNA expression in obese children as an early biomarker for chronic kidney disease.

The WeLKME Study (Weight-loss changing kidney microRNA expression Study) in collaboration with UofSC, Prisma Health and Clemson University researchers and doctors are interested in finding out the effect of being overweight on children’s kidneys. Being overweight puts kids at risk for high blood pressure and diabetes and this risk can start in early childhood or teenage years. We are exploring microRNA changes in urine for weight loss and chronic kidney disease. 

Multi-PIs: Alyssa Clay-Gilmour, PhD; Sudha Garimella, MD

Clinical applicability of proposed algorithm for hematologic genetic screening of patients diagnosed with myeloid malignancies and aplastic anemia in a community based hospital.

This study implemented a proposed algorithm for referral to hematologic genetic screening of patients disgnosed with AML/MDS/AA in a community based health system.

Multi-PIs: Alyssa Clay-Gilmour, PhD;  Elizabeth Cull, MD;  Aniket Saha, MD

Does financially incentivizing physical exercise in physicians impact care quality indicators, patient experience, clinical productivity and provider wellbeing?

In fiscal year 2019, Prisma Health's Emergency Medicine department offered providers financial incentives for exercise. It is the first time that any Prisma Health department has undertaken such an initiative. This project investigates whether the incentives influence exercise participation, well-being (measured as burnout), care quality, patient experience, clinical productivity and academic productivity. 

Multi-PIs: Zehra Valencia, PhD; Caroline Rudisill, PhD; Matthew Bitner, PhD; John Supra, PhD; Thomas Britt, PhD

Examining the factors that predict differences in costs among participants in the MyHealthFirstNetwork Medicare Shared Savings Program over 2015-2017


Bringing together research and operational priorities- evaluation of technology and EMR-based strategy to screen for an intervene on Social Determinants of Health (SDoH)-related needs at Prisma Health.
A Data-Driven Model to Predict Demand for COVID-19 Care in the Prisma Health System. 

PI: Stella Self, PhD

Prisma Health System CCDR Seed Grant. Educating and enabling Patients in Shared Decision Making for Metastatic Breast Cancer through mHealth Technology. 

This project is focused on identifying patient therapeutic goals and preferences through mHealth technology. Using their mobile app to enhance communication between physicians and patients with reheumatoid arthritis as a model, the team's goal is to create a similar tool to educate patients with metastatic breast cancer and enable them to participate in shared decision-making about their treatment. 

PI: Melanie Cozad, PhD

Leveraging Electronic Health Records to Assist with Identifying Patients with Opioid Use Disorder

This project leverages electronic health records to assist with the diagnosis of individuals who have opioid use disorder--an epidemic that impacts approximately two million Americans. 

PI: Chen Liang, PhD

Reducing Medication-related Harm through Personalized Dischage Summaries 

This project is aimed at creating customized discharge summaries to decrease the prevalence of medication-related harm, which occurs at high rates during care transitions. 

PI: Chen Liang, PhD

Enhancing Teach-Back Methods in Virtual Care Visits 

With the rapid shift to telemedicine--accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic--researchers and clinicans recognize the importance of ensuring enhanced physician-patient communication. With this project, Dr. Natafgi will design and evaluate an innovative platform tht will provide health literacy training for primary care medical residents. 

PI: Nabil Natafgi, PhD


Analysis of COVID-19 in Prisma Health staff and patients: Monitoring the virus landscape and progression.

This project works with Prisma and USC of Department of Internal Medicine, to routinely monitor the infection status of front-line medical personnel treating Covid-19 patients and monitor the virus load of admitted patients to predict the course of disease. We have adopted and verified two independent testing strategies for SARS-CoV-2 with clinically obtained materials from infected patients

PI:   Melanie Cozad, PhD

Development of RunRA: A Mobile Application in the Self-Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis

To address the gap of a lack of high-quality mobile applications that can be used by patients and rheumatologists to achieve the highest value care, the PI developed a prototype mobile application called RunRA through prior funded research. With this ASPIRE II award, the research team will develop a dashboard display of data for rheumatologists and make the app more functional for patients by shortening a validated, outcome measure that is collected within it. 

PI: Melanie Cozad, PhD

Evaluating a technology EMR-based strategy to intervene on social determinants of health-related needs in a large health system

This pilot grant will provide funding to link three data sets (NowPow referrals, patient EMR records and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental (SCDHEC)/US Census Bureau data) and examine the first year of electronic referrals via NowPow for SDoH-related needs at Prisma Health. The linkage between NowPow, the EMR and SCDHEC and Census data allows for rich health services research and geospatial analysis as well as funding potential.

PI: Caroline Rudisill, PhD

Funded By: UofSC Big Data Health Science Center

Personalizing Evidence for Shoulder Fracture Patients Using the Instrumental Variable Casual Forest Nonparametric Machine Learning Algorithm.

This project proposes adapting a new novel nonparametric machine learning algorithm - the Instrtucmental Variable Causal Forest Algorithm (IV-CFA) - to personalize evidence on the effects of early surgery on both benefits and costs for Medicare patients with proximal humerus fractures. 

PI: John M. Brooks, PhD

Funded By: UofSC Big Data Health Science Center 

SC Strong Study

A new statewide project that will help leaders better understand disease impact and identify potential health inequities in our state. 

Academic Member of Community & Scientific Advisory Board: Stella Self, PhD

Funded By: SC DHEC 


Arnold School Satellite Campus – Greenville

John Brooks

Dr. Brooks is a health economist focused on estimating comparative effectiveness research (CER)  using observational healthcare databases. He has a PhD in economics from the University of Michigan and was a Service Fellow at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, as well as a Professor at the University of Iowa prior to coming to the University of South Carolina.  He is presently the Director of Center for Effectiveness Research in Orthopaedics (CERortho) with a goal of promoting CER in orthopaedic care including tackling the theoretical and empirical issues with CER.

Phone:  864-797-7674
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Sample Publications:

Brooks JM, Titler MG, Herr K, Ardery G, Xie X. “The Effect of Evidence-Based Acute Pain Management Practices on Inpatient Cost,” Health Services Research 44(1), February 2009, pp 245-263.

Floyd SB, Thigpen C, Kissenberth MJ, Brooks JM, Association of Surgical Treatment With Adverse Events and Mortality Among Medicare Beneficiaries With Proximal Humerus Fracture. JAMA Network Open. 2020; 3(1): e1918663. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.18663

Brooks JM, Cook EA, Chapman CG, Schroeder MC, Chrischilles EA, Schneider KM, Kulchaitanaroaj P, Robinson JG. Statin Use After Acute Myocardial Infarction by Patient Complexity: Are the Rates Right? Medical Care. April 2015 53(4): 324-331 doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000000322.

Alyssa Clay Gilmour

Dr. Alyssa Clay-Gilmour is a Genetic Epidemiologist, with expertise  in cancer pathology and prevention, molecular and clinical epidemiology, and large-scale genomics. Her research focuses on applying genetic/molecular epidemiological approaches to investigate disease risk. Specifically, her research focuses on Blood Cancers (acute/chronic leukemia), Multiple Myeloma, and Blood and Marrow Transplantation. She is also actively involved in epigenomic and pharmacogenomic projects.

Phone: 720-352-6641
Twitter: @alyssa_clay
More information

Sample publications:

Clay-Gilmour A, Chattopadhyay S, Hildebrandt MAT, Thomsen H, Weinhold N, Vodicka P, Vodickova L, Hoffmann P, Nöthen MM, Jöckel KH, Schmidt B, Langer C, Hajek R, Hallmans G, Pettersson-Kymmer U, Ohlsson C, Späth F, Houlston R, Goldschmidt H, Manasanch EE, Norman A, Kumar S, Rajkumar SV, Slager S, Försti A, Vachon CM, Hemminki K. Genome-wide meta-analysis of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) identifies risk loci impacting IRF-6. Blood Cancer J. 2022 Apr 13;12(4):60. doi: 10.1038/s41408-022-00658-w. PMID: 35418122; PMCID: PMC9007981

Clay-Gilmour AI*, Macauda A*, Försti A, Hilscher T, Goldschmidt H, Campa D, Vachon C, Canzian F. on behalf of the IMMEnSE consortium and InterLymph MM working group. “Does a Multiple Myeloma Polygenic Risk Score Predict Overall Survival of Myeloma Patients?”. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 2022

April Osteen

April is an administrative coordinator for the Center for Effectiveness Research in Orthopaedics (CERortho) and the Arnold School of Public Health-Greenville (ASPH-Greenville). She is responsible for managing the operations of the CERortho and ASPH-Greenville, as well as conducting complex administrative duties involved with research grants and endowment funding.
Phone: 864-449-4854
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Caroline RudisillDr. Rudisill is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Promotion, Education and Behavior and a health economist who conducts applied economics research related to health behaviors and health systems and policy. She has particular expertise in the health economics of type 2 diabetes and primary care and has using financial incentives and other tools from behavioral economics in health care settings to change behavior.  She has worked as a health economist in the United Kingdom and the United States and continues research in both countries. 

Phone: 864-797-7933
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Sample Publications:

Costa-Font, J., Rudisill, C. & Salcher-Konrad, M. (2020). Relative Consent’ or ‘Presumed Consent’? Organ donation attitudes and behaviour, European Journal of Health Economics,

Gulliford, M.C., Charlton, J., Booth, H.P., Fildes, A., Khan, O., Reddy, M., Ashworth, M., Littlejohns, P., Prevost, A.T. and C. Rudisill. (2017). Costs and outcomes of increasing access to bariatric surgery for obesity: cohort study and cost-effectiveness analysis using electronic health records, Value in Health, 20: 85-92.

Dolan, P. and C. Rudisill. (2014). The effect of financial incentives on chlamydia testing rates: Evidence from a randomized experiment, Social Science & Medicine, 105: 140-148.

Stella Self

Dr. Self’s research focuses on Bayesian spatio-temporal modeling with applications in a variety of areas including infectious disease forecasting, ecology, and pollution. She is interested in developing computationally scalable Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms for fitting these models. 

Phone: 864-797-7698
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Sample Publications

Self, S., McMahan C., and Russell, B. (2021). Identifying meteorological drivers of PM2.5 levels via a Bayesian Spatial Quantile Regression, Environmetrics.

Brown  D.,  McMahan  C.,  and Watson S. (maiden name) (2019).   Sampling  strategies  for  fast  updating  of  GaussianMarkov random fields. The American Statistician, doi:10.1080/00031305.2019.1595144.

Self, S.,  McMahan  C.,  Brown  D.,  Lund  R.,  Gettings  J.,  and  Yabsley  M.  (2018).   A  large  scale  spatio-temporal binomial regression model for estimating seroprevalence trends.Environmetrics,29,doi:10.1002/env.2538.


Examples of Arnold School Ongoing Research Efforts with Prisma Health

A new statewide project that will help leaders better understand disease impact and identify potential health inequities in our state.

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CDC funded five year project assessing the burden of Diabetes by type In Children, Adolescents and Young Adults known as DiCAYA using EHR data and targeted chart review according to previously developed algorithms. 

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NIH funded study to determine if an mHealth sedentary reduction intervention is an effective approach to decrease sedentary time in patients after total knee replacement

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Funding from a one-year $100,000.00  grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), the co-principal investigators will develop a diabetes-focused Virtual Patient (VIP) Engagement Studio to remotely connect with diabetes patients who are typically hard to reach.

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Funded by the Duke Endowment, this study will assess whether patients with diabetes and/or hypertension who receive food assistance demonstrate benefit in terms of improved quality of life and clinical and food access outcomes, reduced health resource use and overall reduced health care spending.


Funded  by the UofSC ASPH Dean's Office and Prisma Health, this study seeks to characterize and identify trajectories of health care spending for individual patients with type 2 diabetes who experience hospitalization for a major acute cardiovascular event (MACE) (e.g. myocardial infarction, stroke).  This study uses claims and electronic medical record (EMR) data from 2015-2017 for an MSSP population from the largest ACO in South Carolina.  This work contributes a methodology for examining patient cost trajectories that allows health systems and policy makers to point to specific services and programs for interventions that suggests ways for that cost trajectory to be intervened upon.  

Funded by the UofSC Big Data Health Sciences Center and Prisma Heatlh, this work aims to understand Prisma Health efforts of surveying patients for social determinants of health needs.  This project investigates the characteristics of individuals making and receiving SDoH-related referrals (e.g. comorbidities, health service use) as well as which parts of the community are most being touched by SDoH-related referrals.


Funded by Prisma Health, this project involves the development of a Bayesian susceptible-infectious-recovered (SIR)-type model to predict the number of hospitalized and ventilated COVID-19 patients in the Prisma Health system. 
View a preprint describing the model.

This project was conducted with Drs. Kacey Eichelberger, Kathryn Isham, Caroline Cochrane, Ryan Batson, and Meredith Aragon, and examined the effect of delaying elective induction of labor to 39 weeks gestation on maternal and neonatal outcomes using data on 600,000+ births in South Carolina.  Propensity scores were used to adjust for possible confounding factors.  Two manuscripts are currently in preparation.

This project is a secondary analysis of data collected as part of the CRADLE Study, a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effect of Centering Pregnacy group prenatal care.

Funded by the UofSC office of Research: COVID-19 Research Initative, this project works with Prisma and USC of Department of Internal Medicine, to routinely monitor the infection status of front-line medical personnel treating Covid-19 patients and monitor the virus load of admitted patients to predict the course of disease. We have adopted and verified two independent testing strategies for SARS-CoV-2 with clinically obtained materials from infected patients. 

Funded by Prisma Health's Transformative Research Grant, 2020-2021-Prisma Health System Transformative Research Grant, the WeLKME Study (Weight-loss changing kidney microRNA expression Study) in collaboration with UofSC, Prisma Health and Clemson University researchers and doctors are interested in finding out the effect of being overweight on children’s kidneys. Being overweight puts kids at risk for high blood pressure and diabetes and this risk can start in early childhood or teenage years. We are exploring microRNA changes in urine for weight loss and chronic kidney disease. 

More information

Funded by Prisma Health's CCDR Seed Grant, this hematologic study aims to determine the effectiveness and impact of a proposed algorithm and questionnaire on rates of genetic screening referrals and criteria documentation in medical records for myeloid malignancies. We are particularly interested in understanding the differences between pediatric, Adolescent and young adult, and adult referral and genetic screening rates

Funded by Pfizer Grants for Independent Learning and UofSC's ASPIRE II, RunRA is a mobile health application designed by patients with rheumatoid arthritis for patients. It enables patients to share a more holistic picture about themselves with their rheumatologist and reduce perceived barriers by improving physician-patient communication – moving the patient from a passive to active participant in the clinical management of their disease. 

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Funded by Prisma Health's CCDR Seed Grant, the objective of this grant is to generate preliminary evidence on therapeutic goals and preferences of patients with metastatic breast cancer; information that is essential for developing a shared decision-making (SDM) support tool. Since treatment for metastatic breast cancer is highly patient preference sensitive, the purpose of SDM tool is to help ensure the selected therapy is the highest-value treatment option for the patient.


Funded by AHRQ,  CERortho researchers were awarded nearly $1.4 million from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.  Dr. Brooks and the CERortho team, along with Mike Kissenberth (Sports Medicine Physician with Prisma Health Upstate), Chuck Thigpen (ATI and the Hawkins Foundation) and Sarah Floyd (Clemson University), will use the four-year, R01 grant to examine how early surgery affects health outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries with shoulder conditions.

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Funded by the Magistro Foundation, CERortho researchers lead by Dr. Charles Thigpen won a grant from the Foundation for Physical Therapy to assess the outcome effects of a program for Prisma Health employees to promote the use of physical therapy first for new orthopaedic problems.  

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CERortho built with Prisma Health the Orthopaedic Patient Data Repository (OPDR) to perform Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER), Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR), and quality assessment.  The repository follows longitudinally from diagnoses to outcomes the universe of patients with orthopaedic conditions within Prisma. This diagnosis-focused repository approach is distinct from other registry databases in orthopaedics which only follow patients with a given treatment. 

CERortho teamed with Prisma health to build the SSAR. The SSAR chronicles athletic exposures, medical histories, injuries, treatments, and outcomes, for all middle and high school athletes in Greenville County, South Carolina.  The database is longitudinal enabling CERortho to follow individual athletes in the population from 7th through the 12th grade. The SSAR is unparalleled nationally as the only database on middle and high school athletes encompassing a consistent geographic-based population with the ability to follow athletes over time.  Greenville County contains 16 middle and high schools with very diverse student populations.  With Prisma now including the Midlands of South Carolina it is hoped that the SSAR will soon include school systems in that region.



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