2021 Seed Grants

Seed Grant Awardees

The Hopkins Business of Health Initiative (HBHI) is pleased to announce our 6 seed grant awardees for grants to support the convening, planning, and capacity building that make projects possible. Read about the winning projects and project teams below. 

Thank you to our review committee for their excellent work: [Andrew Ching (Carey), Emilia Simeonova (Carey), Kathy McDonald (Nursing/Medicine), Matthew Eisenberg (JHBSPH), Sanjay Desai (Medicine)].

Project Title: Virtual JHM Telemedicine Symposium: Preparing an Ambulatory Workforce for Telemedicine Practice in a Post-COVID World

Brian Hasselfeld, MD (SOM) (PI) and Maura J. McGuire, MD (SOM)

Project Description: We will convene a virtual multidisciplinary telemedicine symposium to envision and plan workforce education to support the rapidly evolving practice of telemedicine, focusing on ambulatory care delivery. The challenge this symposium will seek to address is that the rapid rise in telemedicine has led to substantial variation in staffing, templates, workflows, and patient experience. The symposium seeks to explore and refine solutions, such as a standardized virtual video visit experience as a pathway to better care quality patient experience, and cost efficiencies.

Project Title: Establishing an HBHI Maryland Data Hub

Joseph Levy, PhD (JHSPH) (PI) and Elyse Lasser, MS (JHSPH)

Project Description: Given that Maryland is on the leading edge of experimentation with hospital payment policy, we will create an HBHI Maryland Data Hub to facilitate the study of health care delivery transformation in the state. Our goal is to both obtain and support easy access to key datasets that provide a comprehensive picture of costs and outcomes for all Maryland patients: (1) The Health Services Review Commissions Statewide Inpatient and Outpatient Data (HSCRC Case-Mix); and (2) The Maryland All-Payer Claims Database.

Project Title: Building Models to Aid in the Development of Policy During a Pandemic

Nicholas Papageorge, PhD (Economics) (PI), Michael Darden, PhD (Carey), David Dowdy, MD (JHSPH), and Christopher Carroll, PhD, (Economics). With collaborators Bart Hamilton, PhD (Washington University, St. Louis) and Julia Marcus, PhD, MPH (Harvard)

Project Description: Preparation for future pandemics should include the construction of better tools to answer policy questions, taking the spread of illness, human behavior and the tradeoffs between health and economic well-being into account. This project seeks to establish a dialogue across disciplines that will eventually lead to a unified framework to improve models that inform pandemic policies. In particular, we propose to host a study group that brings together top thinkers in macroeconomics, microeconomics, and epidemiology. The group will assemble to identify areas of tension between existing models; propose potential solutions to these tensions; and, more generally, assess the possibility of developing models of pandemics that are tractable yet useful. The immediate output will be a short, nontechnical summary paper aimed at Health Affairs that clarifies these tensions, discusses what can and cannot be learned form existing models and describes models of pandemics should do. The long-term goal is for HBHI members to be instrumental in developing a workhorse pandemic model that guides policy during a pandemic.

Project Title: Age-Friendly Health System: Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Michele Bellantoni, MD (SOM) (PI), Cynthia Boyd, MD, MPH (SOM), Samuel C. Durso, MBA, MD (SOM), and Bruce Leff, MD (SOM)

Project Description: Health systems are poorly designed for the needs of older adults, particularly those with cognitive, mental or functional difficulties. The consequences, costly direct harm to patients and their caregivers, are not tenable as the population ages and as health care reimbursement moves towards value-based care. We envision an Age-Friendly Health System at Johns Hopkins Medicine as a model for the nation. We propose to use HBHI seed funds to begin this process that will move us towards this vision. This process will involve developing a strategic plan to turn Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center (JHBMC) into an Age-Friendly Health System of integrate health care delivery. JHBMC, a hub for innovation, program development and evaluation, will serve as a model for the rest of the health system.

Project Title: Workgroup on Overuse of Healthcare

Jodi Segal, MD, MPH (SOM) (PI), Aditi Sen, PhD (JHSPH), and Vadim Dukhanin, MD, MPH (JHSPH)

Project Description: To address persistent and destructive waste in health care, we will convene an interest group of committed and diverse researchers including clinicians (SOM), economists (BSPH/HPM), implementation scientists (Armstrong Institute), finance experts (Carey), and bioethicists (Berman). This working group will advance new, interdisciplinary collaborations to identify determinants of overuse which are amenable to intervention and propose transdisciplinary approaches towards waste reduction. These collaborations will draw on the data resources of HBHI and build on clinicians’ roles in JHM including in operations and in Hopkins inHealth and lead to new funded research projects and testable interventions. The goal is to generate new projects to test the effects of forced reduction of low-value services during COVID-19 and generate clinical and policy recommendations for long-term reductions in these services.

Project Title: Determining Risk Factors for No-show or Same-day Cancellations of Appointments in Dermatology

Kristin Bibee, MD, PhD (SOM) (PI), Kathy McDonald, PhD, MM (SON, SOM), Kathleen Sutcliffe, PhD (Carey, SOM)

Project Description: The American outpatient medical system revolves around the use of appointments as the modality for the exchange of goods and services between providers of healthcare and the consumers of healthcare. Therefore, there is a push for streamlined utilization of scheduling templates to allow for optimization of appointment scheduling to maximize the provider’s billable encounters in a given time. While efforts are made to get the right patient scheduled for the right type of appointment with the right provider, less effort has been put towards ensuring the scheduled patient shows for the appointment or notifies the provider in sufficient time to reassign the appointment time to another patient. By advancing predictive models and integrating output of these models with design improvements engaging patients and providers, our aim is to build new and innovative efficiencies into appointment completion. Using Dermatology at JHU as a proof of concept, our how is to expand our model across other JHU outpatient departments and possibly to other academic dermatology clinics outside of JHU.

A request for proposals For HBHI Seed Grants 2021

We request proposals from HBHI Core Faculty for seed grants to support the convening, planning, and capacity building that make projects possible. We are looking to make small investments with potential for big impact. Deadline will be March 15, 2021. Budget requests should not exceed $10,000.

The Hopkins Business of Health Initiative (HBHI) unites the Carey Business School, the Bloomberg School of Public Health, School of Nursing, and School of Medicine around a shared vision of a better health system for all Americans.

At HBHI, we take a business-inspired conceptualization of health as a product from a complex process. To develop integrated solutions to improve health for everyone, HBHI unites a community of scholars that study a variety of key inputs to this system including explorations of health care, health behaviors, public health, and healthy communities. HBHI’s mission is to facilitate new research collaborations across disciplines and practices and enable solutions that integrate these health inputs and processes for the greatest societal health output.

In 2020, HBHI, like the world, rapidly shifted to our new surroundings and funded several high-impact projects to stimulate cross-disciplinary research on the business of health and COVID. For 2021, HBHI’s theme is “envisioning the business of health in a post-COVID world”. Our priority areas of interest include:

  • Sustaining technological adoption that advances heath efficiently and equitably.
  • Optimizing health care delivery for a post-COVID world.
  • Understanding and advancing behaviors that advance individual and community health
  • Reconsidering health effects of social safety net in light of COVID including insurance, employment policies, worker safety, role of delivery system, and supply chain fragility.

Seed grant requests should propose convening, planning, and capacity building activities that demonstrate the potential for impact within an HBHI-related topic while advancing interdisciplinary collaboration.

Potential seed grant activities

  1. Convening: At HBHI, we believe convening people across disciplines is at the core of producing high- impact thinking, discussion, and research. You should propose to use seed funds to create one of the following:
    1. Symposium: Organize a symposium on a specific topic that brings together leaders from academia, policy, industry, and practice.
    1. A mini-retreat, conference, or seminar series to convene for the purposes of sharing ideas and developing new collaborations.
  2. Interest group: Galvanize an interest group or workgroup to advance new collaborations around a specific topic. You should propose to leverage seed funds for one or more of the following:
    1. A mini-pilot program to kick-start innovation and collaboration
    1. A data collaborative to advance projects around a common data source. Funds may be used to purchase data and support data and program management.


Please submit proposals to Jamey MH Longden jhollow9@jhu.edu with subject line “HBHI RFP2021”. Proposals should be a combined pdf electronic version of the following proposal elements:

Project Description (one page, single-spaced, 11-point font minimum) which contains the following information:

  • Describe topic of interest. Discuss its significance for advancing health and how the topic connects to HBHI areas of interest.
  • Describe proposed activities and plans for execution. Include specifics such as who, what, and when.
  • State desired outcome. What projects would be made possible by seed grant activities?
  • Provide a timeline with milestones and deliverables. Awards will start April 1, 2021 and programs can last from 6 months to a year.

Project Budget: clearly describe and justify the specific items to be funded by the grant (not to exceed one page). Formal budget and application approvals will be required after proposal is selected. Indirect costs are not permitted. Funds are intended to support research assistants, data acquisition, and travel for visitors if we are to move on-site. Faculty salary support is permitted, but not preferred.

Biosketches or CVs: Principal Investigator (PI’s) and Co-Investigator NIH biosketches or CVs with selected relevant publications, current research support, and research support received during the past three years.

Successful applications will be scored based on the following criteria:

  1. Potential for impact on the business of health. Great weight for topics in HBHI priority areas.
  2. Advances interdisciplinary collaboration. How well does the proposal demonstrate the potential for new connections and collaborations? Do the new connections and collaborations cross schools and disciplines?
  3. Solid plans for execution. Plan seems feasible with strong leadership and supporting collaborators to follow through on proposed ideas.
  4. Impact on HBHI community. If the seed grant were to realize its full potential, the desired outcome would expand the HBHI community through: (1) new funded research projects, (2) a larger research program, and/or (3) greater HBHI visibility and reputation.