Using System Dynamics Modeling to Foster Real-Time Connections to Care

Prime Institution: Yale University

While the deployment of first responders in the field for overdose provides life-saving resuscitation and naloxone, data are lacking to understand when treatment referrals are offered and the time between overdose to treatment engagement. In this project, investigators will use a system dynamics model to assess the impact of Good Samaritan laws and naloxone distribution on overdose mortality. The investigators will also implement and evaluate a novel, scalable telehealth platform at the time of an opioid overdose that links people who have overdosed with access to medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD), harm reduction services, and recovery supports. Evaluation data will be integrated with the system dynamics model to inform if, where, when, and what interventions should be implemented in the future. The long-term goal is to disseminate these novel systems dynamics modeling and telehealth strategies nationally, improving access to MOUD and reducing overdose morbidity and mortality.

Rebekah Heckman

Rebekah Heckmann, MD, MPH, MPA, Yale University, MPI

Dr. Rebekah Heckmann is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Yale School of Medicine. She is also a Research Scientist at the Yale Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, the Director of Resident Research for the Department of Emergency Medicine, the Associate Medical Director of the Project ASSERT Program, and Core Faculty for the Yale Program in Addiction Medicine. She completed her residency in emergency medicine and served as chief resident at the University of Washington before pursuing a health policy research and translation fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. While working as an attending physician at Brigham and Women’s, she earned a Master in Public Administration degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Dr. Heckmann has extensive experience performing health policy analysis and working within public health and global health systems. She focuses her research activities on using quantitative social science methods, including system dynamics modeling, to design and advocate for evidence-based health policy. She is board certified in emergency medicine and addiction medicine.

Nasim Sabounchi

Nasim Sabounchi, MS, PhD, Yale University, MPI

Dr. Nasim Sabounchi is an Associate Professor at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, where she is also affiliated with the Center for Systems and Community Design (CSCD). She is an industrial and systems engineer, and a systems scientist in the field of public health and health care and recipient of the Systems Science Scholarship, Academy of Health—Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She bridges her engineering knowledge with behavioral and social sciences research with the goal of expanding the tools for modeling problems within health and social systems. Dr. Sabounchi contributes to the advancement of system dynamics modeling and computer simulation for studying complex health and social systems and leads various projects in the domain of public health and health policy analysis, including enhancing access to care for socioeconomically disadvantaged populations and Medicaid recipients, prevention of prescription misuse, antibiotic resistance, Lyme disease, HPV, and epidemics. Furthermore, she has extensive experience in developing system dynamics simulation models through group model building with various stakeholders, including residents in low-income communities, policymakers, physicians, and basic scientists.