Dr. Rita Hamad, MD, PHD

2018 Hellman Fellow


Assistant Professor in Residence, Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, Department of Family & Community Medicine

Project Title: The effects of U.S. poverty alleviation policy on child health

Project Summary:

One in five U.S. children lives below the federal poverty line, and two in five live below 200% of the poverty line (known as “low-income”). Low-income children have higher rates of disease and death than those who are better off. In addition to addressing these health conditions as they occur, it is critical to develop interventions that address health disparities at their source by directly targeting poverty, one of the fundamental determinants of child health disparities. The goal of this research is to inform economic interventions to target poverty.  This study will contribute to this gap by examining the child health effects of a major economic policy, the earned income tax credit (EITC).  The EITC is the largest U.S. poverty alleviation program, providing tax refunds to low‐income working families.  Despite the fact that the EITC targets families with children, studies of child health are scant.