Modeling the health impacts of a shift to active travel: methods and models

Location: Portland State University, Parsons Gallery (Urban Center 212G)
June 29, 2016 1:30 pm - June 29, 2016 2:30 pm

Guest Lecturer James Woodcock, UK Clinical Research Collaboration

Modeling is the simulation of a partial representation of a system. It can help us answer questions that no single empirical study can answer. Modeling enables us to estimate longer term and population wide health effects of interventions, integrate evidence from different domains, consider hypothetical ‘what if’ scenarios, and address issues of cost and cost-effectiveness. Modeling can also be used to investigate how health related practices might change in complex systems.

Modeling studies can be cheaper and quicker than real-world studies and do not require the intervention to actually be implemented. They can therefore support getting the best value from intervention studies and natural experiments. In public health modeling at the UKCRC Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR), evidence from many different primary studies is used plus insights from experts and other stakeholders. Simulation of models containing uncertainty can be used to indicate where the gaps in knowledge are most critical for decision making.

This lecture will describe the UK Clinical Research Collaboration's approach to modeling the health impacts of transportation decisions. 

TREC is hosting this event, in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority.

Dr. James Woodcock is the primary faculty developer of the Integrated Transport and Health Model (ITHIM). He is an MRC Population Health Scientist fellow at the UKCRC Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR). James joined CEDAR in 2011 and started leading the new Public Health Modelling Group in 2013. He graduated in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Keble College, Oxford and then took an MSc in Public Policy at UCL, where he developed his interest in public health. In 2009 James joined LSHTM as a lecturer in epidemiology, completing his PhD there in 2010. James’ research focuses on modelling health and sustainability. He has particular interest in how we can improve health in the transition to a low carbon transport system. His work investigates both the health impacts of changes to transport and food systems, developing detailed and realistic exposure scenarios, and modelling and how changes could be brought about.

He is also working with Dr. Rachel Aldred on England's National Propensity to Cycle Tool.

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