Glen Mays, M.P.H., Ph.D.

July 1, 2007


Glen P. Mays, M.P.H., Ph.D, is an associate professor and chair pro tem at the Department of Health Policy and Management, Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health and director of the Ph.D. Health Systems Research program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). He is also an associate professor of health policy at the William J. Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas . Dr. Mays' research focuses primarily on the financing and organization of public health services, health insurance, and medical services and how each is affected by institutional and socioeconomic factors. Dr. Mays has also completed work evaluating state initiatives to expand health insurance coverage, and disease management and health promotion strategies adopted by private health insurers and employees. In addition to his academic appointments, Dr. Mays acts as director of the Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ)-funded Arkansas Consortium for Health Services Research and formerly served as a senior researcher for the Center for Studying Health System Change.

Dr. Mays received his bachelor's degree in political science from Brown University , and his M.P.H. and Ph.D. in health policy and administration from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship in health economics at Harvard University School of Medicine, Dr. Mays was awarded the Dissertation-of-the-Year award by the Association for Health Services Research for work examining the effects of managed care contracting on community health centers' ability to provide care to the uninsured. In June 2007, Dr. Mays was awarded the Public Health Systems Research (PHSR) Article-of-the-Year award for the American Journal of Public Health article, "Institutional and Economic Determinants of Public Health System Performance." Dr. Mays has published more than 50 journal articles and books.

Currently, Dr. Mays is the principal investigator for a HCFO-sponsored study examining changes in local public health spending and their implications for community health. The study uses data on nearly 3,000 local public health agencies followed over a 12-year period to explore the nature of spending dynamics and disparities. His findings reveal wide variation in per-capita spending levels across communities, with more than a third of these communities experiencing reductions in spending between 1993 and 2005. Agencies serving rural and minority communities were significantly more likely than their counterparts to experience spending reductions. Mays' research team exploited this cross-sectional and longitudinal variation in spending to estimate its possible effects on community health, using an instrumental-variables approach to account for the targeting of public health funding to high-need communities. Preliminary estimates suggest that increases in local public health spending were associated with modest but significant reductions in mortality and disease burden. Dr. Mays believes the study's findings will inform resource allocation decisions for public health services and help policymakers understand the effects of spending discrepancies on the health of communities.