Czarina Behrends, PhD and Benjamin Ukert, PhD Awarded Third Round of CHERISH Pilot Grant Funding


In collaboration with colleagues at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), Dr. Czarina Behrends will assess naloxone distribution patterns, outcomes and required resources in New York City. She will use these data to develop a model for optimal allocation of those resources in order to prevent overdoses. Her project will use geospatial analysis and costing information to maximize the impact of naloxone distribution in NYC. Dr. Behrends is a post-doctoral associate at Weill Cornell Medical College. Her research interests include harm reduction strategies, program evaluation and research relating to HIV and hepatitis C testing and care, with a special focus on people who inject drugs.

Dr. Benjamin Ukert’s pilot grant will describe the physician- and state-level variation in prescribing practices post C-section and knee arthroscopy, two of the most common surgical procedures in the U.S. Using private insurance claims data, Dr. Ukert will also determine the relationship between prescribing practices and the transition to prolonged opioid use. Lastly, he will also estimate the associated healthcare costs and service utilization as a result of prolonged opioid use. Dr. Ukert is a postdoctoral researcher at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics and the Injury Science Center at the Perelman School of Medicine. He is an applied microeconomist with a specific interest in the areas of risky behaviors, insurance reform, public transfer programs, and crime prevention.