Walter Moreau, Executive Director of Foundation Communities, to speak at 2015 CHASP/SHEP Student-Alumni Mixer

The Center for Health and Social Policy (CHASP)


Social, Health, and Economic Policymakers (SHEP)

are pleased to invite you to the 

2015 CHASP/SHEP Student-Alumni Mixer

On Thursday March 26, join CHASP and SHEP for our fourth-annual evening of food, drink, and conversation at the AT&T Conference Center Tejas Dining Room. This annual tradition is a special opportunity for LBJ School students, alumni, faculty, and staff interested in social and health policy to connect. 

LBJ students at 2014 MixerProf. King and AlumsProf. Osborne & AlumsAlums & TowerAlum-Student 2014 Mixer

This year our distinguished alumni speaker for the 2015 Mixer will be Walter Moreau, MPAff 1994 and the Executive Director of Foundation Communities.

Walter Moreau headshot

In his role at Foundation Communities, Walter Moreau works in Texas to create affordable housing where families succeed. During his 25 year career he has secured subsidy financing of more than $200 million to create more than 3,500 units of service-enriched, nonprofit-owned affordable housing. FC operates ten onsite learning centers, five supportive housing communities for the homeless, and is the largest private producer of solar power in Central Texas. FC provided short and long term housing to over 400 evacuees from Hurricane Katrina. Walter led FC to develop the Community Tax Centers and Insure Central Texas, which serve over 25,000 families each year.

Moreau received the JAJ Fannie Mae Fellowship in 2007, and the Texas Houser Award in 2004. He holds a Masters Degree in Public Affairs from the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs (1994).


Come hear from this accomplished LBJ alum, catch up with your classmates and professors, and meet some new friends too.  All attendees are invited to enjoy hors d’oeuvres and a first cocktail on us. All LBJ students, alumni, faculty, and staff with an interest in health, social, or economic policy are welcome!

RSVP required: Please go to this link to confirm your attendance:


Seton and the Center for Health and Social Policy launch Innovative Research Partnership

SHF logo_ALT_2     CHASP logo

In the fall of 2014, the Seton Healthcare Family and The University of Texas (UT) at Austin Center for Health and Social Policy (CHASP) established a new research partnership to activate and conduct original non-clinical health and health policy research studies in Central Texas.  Seton and UT-Austin share a vision for combining the resources of a major hospital system with the resources and expertise of a nationally-recognized university to launch productive research collaborations that will generate important new knowledge and guidance for improving health policy, health care services delivery and health outcomes.  A central goal of this initiative is to build a long-term partnership that will secure the involvement of high-quality research faculty and personnel, develop infrastructure and capacity for responsiveness to research and community health needs, and leverage other research funding opportunities, particularly as the Dell Medical School takes shape in Austin.

In working toward this goal, Seton and CHASP are launching a research competition to encourage interactions and collaboration among members of the research faculty of UT Austin, along with colleagues and potential research partners in the Seton Healthcare Family and Seton’s other health care services delivery partners, including Central Health – Travis County’s Healthcare District – and Community Care Collaborative, jointly owned and operated by Central Health and Seton.  An inaugural call for proposals from UT faculty and trainees, UTCHASPSeton call for proposals 1.23.15, is focusing on research that addresses how we can transform health care to more efficiently and effectively meet the physical, mental and social needs of individuals and advance the broader Central Texas’ capacity to assess the impact of health interventions and improve health outcomes.   This first call for proposals includes a description of the current funding priorities and areas of interest, as well as an appendix with a detailed list of the proposal review criteria: Proposal review criteria_UTCHASPSeton Program 1.23.15.  Proposals may request up to $50,000 of funding for one year and must be submitted by April 20, 2015.  Any UT faculty member or postdoctoral fellow (with support of a faculty member) can apply.

CHASP is managing this partnership at UT-Austin in conjunction with a Joint Operating Committee that includes Ryan Leslie, Ph.D., Seton vice president-Analytics & Health Economics; Thomas (Tate) Erlinger, MD, Seton vice president-Clinical Effectiveness; Maninder (Mini) Kahlon, Ph.D., Vice Dean of Strategy and Partnerships at the Dell Medical School; Professor Karen Rascati of UT Health Outcomes & Pharmacy Practice; and Professor Carolyn Heinrich, (CHASP director) and Professor Todd Olmstead of the LBJ School/CHASP and Research Scholar at the Seton/UTSW Clinical Research Institute.  Another important objective of the research partnership is to support the active dissemination of research findings to the broader public (as well as in academia) in ways that will maximize the policy and societal impacts of the research.

For questions about the research partnership or the research program call for proposals, please contact Carolyn Heinrich at or Dr. Esmeralda Garcia Galvan at


Cynthia Osborne and CFRP Initiate State-level Conversation on Toxic Stress and Early Childhood

CHASP faculty Cynthia Osborne and her research group, the Child and Family Research Partnership (CFRP), co-hosted “Toxic Stress and Early Childhood: What Policy Makers and Funders Need to Know” on November 14, 2014. The event marked the first state level conversation about the physiological and costly implications of adverse childhood experiences  (ACE), also known as toxic stress, and the current and potential policies developed to support Texas children and families.  The event was co-hosted with TexProtects and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, and attendees included policy leaders, physicians, researchers, and advocates.

Dr. Andrew Garner, one of the nation’s leading pediatric neuroscientists studying the effects of toxic stress on early brain development, was the keynote speaker and presented “Peering into the Black Box: Understanding the Link Between Significant Adversity or Violence in Childhood and Poor Adult Outcomes”.  Representative John Zerwas (Texas House of Representatives, District 28), Chair of the Health and Human Services’ House Appropriations subcommittee, provided opening remarks.

“Multiple stressors in early childhood get under the skin and have long lasting effects that harm the child, family, community, and ultimately the state,” said Dr. Cynthia Osborne, Associate Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and CFRP Director. “The implications of not addressing early childhood toxic stress are significant. It’s much more than just science – what and when targeted social policies are implemented are key.”

At the event, Dr. Osborne presented early findings from CFRP’s evaluation of the Texas Home Visiting Program that serves families with evidence-based early childhood intervention programs. Sarah Abrams with the Health and Human Services Commission and Sasha Rasco of the Department of Family and Protective Services discussed their prevention initiatives. Madeline McClure and Sophie Phillips of TexProtects also discussed the history and progress of home visiting in Texas.

For links and more about “Toxic Stress and Early Childhood: What Policy Makers and Funders Need to Know,” please go to


Cynthia Toxic Stress event


CHASP thanks Wendy Gonzales for her assistance in preparing this story.

Todd Olmstead Transforming Emergency Health Care through Research

Todd Olmstead, a CHASP faculty member and the James M. and Claudia U. Richter Fellow in Global Health Policy, is directing a Policy Research Project (PRP) aimed at rethinking the delivery of pre-hospital emergency care. Olmstead’s PRP, titled “Improving ATCEMS Integration with Local Healthcare Networks,” will help Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services (ATCEMS) consider its future options in the face of a changing health care scene. “Emergency departments are exactly where you want to go if you’re in a car wreck or have a stroke or heart attack, but they’re not great places if you have a bad cold or a mental illness,” says Olmstead.

With multidisciplinary degrees in Public Policy, Operations Research, and Industrial Engineering, Dr. Olmstead has a unique perspective on the issue. His interests in behavioral health and transportation logistics make him ideal for a PRP focused on reimagining emergency services in the context of an evolving healthcare industry.

“A lot of patients call EMS, believe it or not, because they need a ride, but EMS can’t take them to their primary care physician, so they bring them to the Emergency Department,” says Olmstead.

As a researcher, Professor Olmstead’s goal is to provide policy makers with critical information to help them evaluate alternatives for addressing the myriad issues related to improving health outcomes and the cost-effectiveness of health care.  In his work with the Seton Healthcare Family, Olmstead advises clinicians about research infrastructure and helps evaluate the impact of pilot programs. Olmstead also has a unique partnership with the Dell Medical School.

Olmstead’s PRP ultimately intends to help ATCEMS consider its future options in the face of a changing healthcare scene. The end product for the fall semester will be a concrete list of alternatives to be considered by ATCEMS Chief Ernie Rodriguez and Medical Director Paul Hinchey, M.D. In the spring, students will flesh out selected alternatives, outlining costs, benefits, and stakeholder analysis.

CHASP thanks Meenakshi Awasthi, MGPS 2016, for her contributions to this story.