Regina A. Shih

Regina A. Shih
Senior Policy Researcher
Off Site Office


Ph.D. in psychiatric epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; B.A. in neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

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Regina Shih (she/her) is a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation with over 15 years of research experience on the intersection between environmental health and behavioral health. She coleads the California Neighborhoods Count study, a survey sponsored by the State of California that surveyed 23,000 households in 173 neighborhoods across the state, and will measure the success of California's unprecedented efforts to encourage participation in the 2020 U.S. Census. Her recent environmental health work includes (1) understanding environmental contributions to mental health and substance use disorders; (2) developing a national database of demographic, social, economic, and physical characteristics of neighborhoods and testing how they influence cognitive aging and dementia risk; (3) estimating chemical exposure risks following climate change-related weather events; and (4) clarifying the health effects of lead exposure and ambient air pollution. Her behavioral health work includes (1) improving sleep policies in the military; (2) identifying multi-level risk and protective factors for adolescent substance use; and (3) evaluating public health approaches to improving dementia caregiving. Shih is skilled at leading sophisticated mixed-methods studies that incorporate large epidemiological study designs, qualitative data collection, and advanced statistical analyses including latent variable modeling. She holds a Ph.D. in psychiatric epidemiology from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Board Member, National Alliance for Caregiving

Recent Projects

  • California Neighorhoods Count
  • Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Access to Home- and Community-Based Services
  • Age Friendly Initiatives and Community Resilience
  • Public Health Approaches for Dementia Caregiving
  • Neighborhood Characteristics and Cognitive Decline

Selected Publications

Siconolfi D, Shih RA, Friedman EM Kotzias VI, Ahluwalia SC, Phillips JL, Saliba D, "Rural-urban disparities in access to home- and community-based services and supports: Stakeholder perspectives from 14 states. ," Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 2019

Siconolfi D, Ahluwalia S, Shih RA, Friedman E, Saliba, "Engagement of providers and advocates in a rebalancing initiative to increase HCBS access for Medicaid beneficiaries," Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 2020

Shih, Regina A., Thomas W. Concannon, Jodi L. Liu, and Esther M. Friedman, Improving Dementia Long-Term Care: A Policy Blueprint, RAND Corporation (RR-597), 2014

Weden MM, Shih RA, Kabeto MU, Langa KM., "Secular trends in dementia and cognitive impairment of U.S. rural and urban older adults.," American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2018

Shih RA, Rodriguez A, Parast L, Pedersen ER, Tucker JS, Troxel WM, Kraus L, Davis JP, D’Amico EJ, "U.S. prevalence and predictors of informal caregiving for dementia," Health Affairs, 2015

7.Shih RA, Rodriguez A, Parast L, Pedersen ER, Tucker JS, Troxel WM, Kraus L, Davis JP, D’Amico EJ, "Associations Between Young Adult Marijuana Outcomes and Availability of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries and Storefront Signage," Addiction, 2019

Kovalchik SA, Friedman EM, Miles JNV, Slaughter ME, Shih RA, "Racial/Ethnic Composition and Segregation and Trajectories of Cognitive Decline Among U.S. Older Adults," Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 2015

Ahluwalia SC, Friedman EM, Siconolfi D, Saliba D, Phillips JL, Shih RA, "Promises and Pitfalls of Health Information Technology for Home- and Community-Based Services," Journal of Applied Gerontology, 2021

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care, and Services; Public Radio East, NC

Commentary: The Star-Ledger; U.S. News & World Report