Current Projects

Quality of life is impacted through our unique histories and the environments in which we live. Our lab explores the role that the environment plays in shaping our quality of life. Our research includes the study of how social and built environments impact:
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences 
  • Multiple Chronic Conditions
  • Prevention and Interventions to address Homelessness 
  • Community Mental Health Services

Specific lab projects include: 

Housing First Program Evaluation

Since December 2014, the lab has been conducting an evaluation of the Institute of Human Services’ Housing First program. Based on national Housing First models, the program provides quick, low-barriers housing to homeless individuals and families in Honolulu and on the Waianae Coast. Once housed, clients are provided access to services and continued case management. The evaluation project is a mixed-methods study, and data includes monthly client surveys and semi-structured interviews with clients, case managers, and service providers.

Hawaii Clubhouse Program Evaluation
Beginning in January 2016, the goal of this project is to conduct an evaluation of clubhouses in Hawaii, with a specific focus on Honolulu clubhouses, and to develop an evaluation design that can be sustained internally after our initial evaluation is complete. Clubhouses are psychosocial rehabilitation programs for people with severe and chronic mental illness. These program participants are members who run the Clubhouses. Therefore, members are responsible for creating and contributing to this community, which gives them a supportive environment in which to socialize and work. The evaluation is also participatory, &, long-term, the evaluation will be sustained by members.

Treatment as Prevention (TasP): HIV Case Management Program

A collaboration with CHOW & the John A. Burns School of Medicine, this project engages HIV-positive individuals living on Oahu who have a history of noncompliance with HIV treatment. This pilot study seeks to: (1) identify individuals most in need & not currently engaged in HIV treatment; (2) characterize barriers to HIV treatment; &  (3) evaluate the effectiveness of an innovative re-engagement program aimed at promoting HIV treatment adherence and sustained treatment & suppression of HIV viral loads among these individuals.

Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Program

The EcoLab is working in collaboration with CHOW and local law enforcement to develop a pre-booking diversion program for low-level offenders. The LEAD program will work to divert individuals who commit low-level offenses (e.g., violating sit-lie laws, drug possession, prostitution) from the criminal justice system into case management services. The program aims to reduce recidivism and increase access to services. The lab is currently working on program development and designing a program evaluation plan.

Community Empowerment Resources Program Evaluation

Community Empowerment Resources provides intensive case management and psychosocial rehabilitation services to homeless individuals living with serious mental illness in Honolulu. The Ecological Determinants lab is conducting an evaluation of the program to-date and is developing an evaluation model that can be sustained long-term. Data collection methods include case manager interviews, document content analysis, and client surveys.  

Community-based Participatory Research 

The EcoLab conducts several participatory research projects, particularly using Photovoice methodology. By including members from marginalized groups as co-reasearchers, we hope to produce research  that is useful to community members and inclusive of previously marginalized perspectives. Our current projects include a multi-site photovoice project with Hawaii Clubhouses and a follow-up Photovoice project with Housing First clients. 

Subpages (1): Student Projects