RAND Gulf States Policy Institute
Congressional Newsletter
Quarterly updates to Congress on RAND's work in the Gulf States region


RAND Gulf States Welcomes New Director

Gary Cecchine

Gary Cecchine is the new Director of Research for the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute. A natural scientist at RAND since 1999, Gary has led and conducted technical and policy research in such areas as science and technology, environment and energy, risk assessment, homeland security, and emergency response. He replaces Sally Sleeper, who stepped down in July after four years leading RAND Gulf States to return to full-time research.

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Gearing Up for Hurricane Season; Building Resilience


September is National Preparedness Month

FEMA's National Preparedness Month in September kicks off hurricane season and "encourages Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, and communities."

Read More FEMA fact sheet (PDF)

RAND's "Resilient Communities" Podcast Series

Resilient Communities Podcast

Recent topics in the RAND Resilient Communities podcast series include "Creating Resilient Coastal Communities," "Remaking a School System in the Wake of Natural Disaster," and "Building Strong Communities Through Affordable Housing."

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Read More Read about RAND's work to help communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural and man-made disasters

Read More Read about RAND's work on federal disaster recovery reforms

Researcher Spotlights

Anita Chandra Joie Acosta

Anita Chandra and Joie Acosta are lead authors on Building Community Resilience to Disasters: A Way Forward to Enhance National Health Security. They conducted a literature review and a series of community and regional focus groups to define community resilience in the context of national health security and to identify components for building resilience. The report is a roadmap for resilience; it describes activities that communities are pursuing and may want to strengthen for community resilience and it identifies challenges to implementation.

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Read More Read more about Joie Acosta

Prisoner Reentry and Public Health: Is Your State Ready?

a man getting blood drawn

At any given time about 6,600 people in New Orleans are on probation or parole and, like other ex-prisoners nationwide, bring to their cash-strapped communities the challenges associated with low income and medical, mental health, and substance abuse problems. However, the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is increasing access to health insurance via Medicaid for low-income individuals. What does the new legislation mean for prisoner reentry and public health? RAND researcher Lois Davis, who has examined this issue, gave a Capitol Hill briefing on this topic to Congressional staff in July.

Read More View video of Lois Davis briefing Hill staff on this topic

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Researcher Spotlight

Lois M. Davis

Lois M. Davis led a multiyear study on the public health implications of prisoner reentry in California. She is now conducting a comprehensive assessment of correctional education in the United States for incarcerated adults and juveniles. Lois is a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. Her current policy research focuses on the intersection of public safety and public health.

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Managing the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the Gulf States

someone getting an HIV blood test

HIV/AIDS can rightly be called an epidemic in the Gulf States. RAND has examined attitudes and beliefs about HIV and AIDS, the roles of faith-based and community organizations, and issues regarding AIDS treatment; this research can help Congressional, state, and local policymakers understand how to approach the challenges posed by HIV/AIDS in the region.

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Examining the Potential Impact of Alabama's Immigration Law

Montgomery, Alabama capitol building

Alabama's strict anti-illegal-immigration law raises enforcement challenges for police, schools, and other public service organizations. RAND has conducted significant immigration-related research that may be useful to federal and state governments evaluating their own policies.

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Lindsey Kozberg
Vice President, Office of External Affairs

Winfield Boerckel
Director, Office of Congressional Relations

Laura Selway
Legislative Analyst, Office of Congressional Relations

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The RAND Gulf States Policy Institute was created in 2005 to support hurricane recovery and long-term economic development in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Today, RAND Gulf States provides objective analysis to federal, state, and local leaders in support of evidence-based policymaking and the well-being of individuals throughout the Gulf States region. For more information, visit www.rand.org/gulf-states.

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