Integrating Special Populations in Research

With our expertise in community engagement, social determinants of health, and population health data resources, NJ ACTS can help you integrate special populations into your research study design, research team, and as participants in your health research studies.

Our goal is to provide researchers with technical support in the use of powerful data resources; build research teams focused on specific special populations; strengthen partnerships with stakeholders including state health and environmental agencies; and bring researchers together across NJ ACTS with a shared focus and expertise in a full range of research strategies for optimizing their study.

We aim to enhance and facilitate use of linked data resources to expand clinical and translational research on special populations through integration of diverse databases, building on strong prior work in the linkage of large administrative, exposure, clinical and outcome data. A listing of data resources is available below.

   Who are Special Populations?

  • Children
People Living With:
  • Older Adults
  • Opioid Use Disorder
  • Racial and Ethnic Minorities
  • Low Income Individuals
  • Serious Mental Illness
  • Incarcerated and Justice Involved Individuals
2024 Seminar Series


Date Speaker Title
1 – 2 pm

Julie Robison, PhD
Professor of Medicine and Public Health Science, Center on Aging
University of Connecticut

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Hospice Use Among Medicaid-Only and Dual Eligible Decedents
Watch on YouTube
12 – 2 pm

Charles J. Neighbors, PhD, MBA
Director of NYU-HEAL
Associate Professor
Department of Population Health
NYU Langone

NYU-HEAL: Academic Public-Partnership to Improve Quality of Care for People with Substance Use Disorders
12 – 1 pm

Daniel Myran, MD, MPH, CCFP, FRCPC
Clinician-Scientist and Assistant Professor
Department of Family Medicine
University of Ottawa

Changes in Healthcare Visits Due to Cannabis Use Following Legalization of Non-medical Cannabis in Canada
Watch on YouTube

Corrie McDaniel, DO FAAP
Associate Professor of Pediatrics University of Washington School of Medicine and a pediatric hospitalist with Seattle Children’s Hospital

The Changing Landscape in Access to Care for Children Hospitalized in Non-Children’s Hospitals and the Resulting Impact to Care for Children in Rural Communities
Watch on YouTube


2023 Seminar Videos


Date Speaker Title
12-1 pm

Dr. Ji Chang
Assistant Professor,
Department of Public Health Policy and Management
New York University School of Global Public Health

Substance Use Disorder Program Availability in Safety-Net and Non–Safety-Net Hospitals in the US
Watch on youTube
1-2 pm

Pia Mauro, PhD
Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Alcohol and Tobacco Use among Older Adults in the US: A Lifecourse Perspective
Watch on YouTube

1 -2 pm

Cynthia Santos, MD
Associate Professor,
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Improving Pain Strategies in the Emergency Department
Watch on YouTube

1 – 2 pm

Sarah Pachman, PhD
Director of Research and Policy,
Bendheim-Thoman Center for Research on Child and Family Wellbeing,
Princeton University

The Future of Families and Child Wellbeing Study and Opportunities to Study Multiple Dimensions of Health
Watch on YouTube


12 – 1 pm

S. Matthew Liao, PhD
Director of the Center for Bioethics, and Affiliated Professor, Department of Philosophy at New York University

The Role of Confidence in the Hard Problem of Addiction
Watch on YouTube

1 – 2 pm

Nathan Link, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice

Incarceration, Health, and the Life Course
Watch on YouTube

1 – 2 pm

Kristen Krause, PhD, MPH
Instructor, Department of Urban-Global Public Health, School of Public Health

The Role of Resilience in Addressing Biopsychosocial and Neurocognitive Health Outcomes in Older Adults Living with HIV/AIDS
Watch on YouTube

12 – 1 pm

Jonathan Cantor, PhD
Policy Researcher, RAND Corporation

Patterns in Geographic Distribution of Substance Use Disorder Treatment Facilities in the US and Accepted Forms of Payment From 2010 to 2021
Watch on YouTube

1 – 2 pm

Elizabeth Suarez, PhD, MPH
Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research

Treating pregnant patients with opioid use disorder
Watch on YouTube

12 – 1 pm
Greta Bushnell, PhD, MSPH
Rutgers School of Public Health
Jim Lloyd, JD, MPP
Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, Rutgers

Advancing Patient Safety for Antipsychotic-Treated Children: Examining State Implementation of Safe Use Practices
Watch on YouTube


2022 Seminar Videos


Date Speaker Title and Video
December 6, 2022 Elissa Kozlov, PhD
Rutgers School of Public Health
mHealth Psychotherapy Studies with Older Adults
Watch on YouTube
November 15, 2022 Chelsea L. Shover, PhD
UCLA School of Medicine
Epidemiological Surveillance of Fatal Overdose in the U.S. Using Pooled Medical Examiner
Watch on YouTube
October 25, 2022 Sam Trejo, PhD
Princeton University
What Makes Us Unequal? Understanding Disagreement Regarding Genes and Social Inequality
Watch on YouTube
Sept. 13, 2022 Coleman Drake, PhD
University of Pittsburgh
Geographic access to medical cannabis dispensaries, cannabis use, and mental health
Watch on YouTube
June 14, 2022 Katie Devine, PhD, MPH
Rutgers Cancer Institute of NJ
Using technology to engage Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) cancer survivors in health interventions
Video Coming Soon!
Watch on YouTube
May 10, 2022 Joseph V. Penn, MD, CHP, FAPA Special Populations Behind Bars and Razor Wire: Correctional Psychiatry Challenges and Opportunities
Watch on YouTube
April 12, 2022 Katherine (Kait) Hirchak, PhD Re-Centering Evidence-Based Treatments Among Indigenous Communities
Watch on YouTube
March 8, 2022 Shobha Swaminathan, MD
Christie Lyn Costanza, MPH, BSN, RN
Jamir Tuten, BA
Engaging Underserved Communities in Clinical Trials
Watch on YouTube
February 8, 2022 Brandon D. L. Marshall, PhD Supervised Consumption Sites and Overdose Prevention in the United States: Possibilities, Prospects, and Challenges
Watch on YouTube
February 1, 2022 Megan Schumann
Patti Verbanas
Working with the News Media
Watch on YouTube


2021 Seminar Videos
November 9, 2021 Dr. Michele Pato
Dr. Carlos Pato
Large Scale Population Studies Focused on Serious Mental Illness and Disparities
View YouTube Video
November 1, 2021 Dr. Olga Jarrin Theory, Methods, and Data Resources for Research on Mitigation of Structural Racism and Discrimination in Health Care and Social Policy
View YouTube Video
October 12, 2021 Dr. Soko Setoguchi
Dr. Jennifer Miles
Dr. Bonnie Qin (CINJ)
Environmental Determinants of Health: Exploring Medicare Outcomes Using Area-Level Data
View YouTube Video
October 5, 2021 Dr. Nir Eyal
COVID Vaccine Prioritization in Low- and Middle Income Countries May Justifiably Depart from High-Income Countries Age Priorities
View YouTube Video
September 21, 2021 Dr. Dalton Conley Using Genetics to Do Social Science: Inside the Social Genomics Revolution
View YouTube Video
July 13, 2021 Dr. Hillary Samples Prescription Opioid Treatment and Risk of Adverse Opioid-Related Outcomes Among Individuals with Chronic Pain
View YouTube Video
May 11, 2021 Peter Treitler, MSW
Rusty Reeves, MD
Medications for Opioid Use Disorder and Peer Health Navigation for Persons Leaving NJ State Prisons and Returning to the Community – Early Findings
View YouTube Video
April 16, 2021 Dr. Qiana Brown Cannabis Use and Perceived Risk of Use Among Pregnant Women in the U.S.
View YouTube Video
February 16, 2021 Dr. Panos Georgopoulos Modeling COVID-19 Dynamics and Patterns Across New Jersey
View YouTube Video
Special Populations Data Resources
IFH Survey/Data Core Holdings
Available Now Available Soon
National Data Sources    
45-state Medicaid Analytic eXtract (MAX)(retired for TAF) 2001-2014  
45-state Medicaid Analytic eXtract (TAF) 2013-2016 2017-2018 Yearly Updates
Medicare, Parts A/B/D 20% 2007-2018 2019 Yearly Updates
Medicare 100% (*MBSF, MedPAR, OASIS, Home Health & Hospice) 2013-2016 2017-2019 Yearly Updates
Market Scan 1996-2018 Yearly Updates
International Data Sources    
Clinical Practice Research Datalink (UK) 1986- Yearly Updates
Local Data Sources    
New Jersey Based Data Varies Varies
Other Databases    
First Databank MedKnowledge 2017-2018  

Request a Consultation

Investigators, research team members, trainees and community members can request a consultation from the Integrating Special Populations team by contacting Kylie Davidson.

Leadership Team

Stephen Crystal, Ph.D.

Stephen Crystal, Ph.D.


Dr. Crystal is Board of Governors Professor in the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research and the School of Social Work. At the Institute, he directs the Center for Health Services Research on Pharmacotherapy, Chronic Disease Management, and Outcomes, whose programs include the AHRQ-funded Center for Education and Research on Mental Health Therapeutics. To read more about Dr. Crystal.

Dalton Conley, Ph.D.

Dalton Conley, Ph.D.


Dr. Conley is the Henry Putnam University Professor in Sociology and a faculty affiliate at the Office of Population Research and the Center for Health and Wellbeing at Princeton University.  He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a faculty affiliate at the New York Genome Center, and in a pro bono capacity he serves as Dean of Health Sciences for the University of the People.  Conley’s scholarship has primarily dealt with the intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic and health status from parents to children. To read more about Dr. Conley.

Olga Jarrín Montaner, Ph.D., R.N.

Olga Jarrín Montaner, Ph.D., R.N.


Dr. Jarrín joined the Rutgers School of Nursing faculty in 2016 after completing postdoctoral fellowships in Gerontology and Health Services Research at the University of Pennsylvania. She directs the Community Health and Aging Outcomes Laboratory and leads a five-year, $1 million study — funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) – on the effectiveness of home health care for older adults and people living with chronic illness. To read more about Dr. Jarrin.

Panos Georgopolous, PhD

Panos Georgopolous, PhD


Dr. Georgopoulos is Professor of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at Rutgers University – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He is also a member of the Graduate Faculties of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University, and a member of the Rutgers Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI). To read more about Dr. Georgopoulos.

Rusty Reeves, M.D.

Rusty Reeves, M.D.


Dr. Reeves is the Director of Psychiatry at Rutgers – University Correctional Health Care, an organization within Rutgers University that provides the medical and mental health care to New Jersey’s state prisoners. Dr. Reeves created and directs the forensic psychiatry fellowship within the Department of Psychiatry at Rutgers University – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Reeves is a Professor within the Department of Psychiatry at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications, specializing in correctional psychiatry.