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The Center for Rural Pennsylvania 2017 Research Grant Projects

Availability of Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction in Rural and Urban Pennsylvania
Dr. Harry D. Holt of West Chester University of Pennsylvania will assess medication-assisted treatment (MAT) services in rural and urban Pennsylvania. He and his team of researchers will use GIS modeling to determine access to MAT services. They will also examine cost reimbursements and MAT expenses and provide policy considerations based on their findings.

An Economic Evaluation of the Pennsylvania State Forest System
Dr. Bing Ran of Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg will conduct an economic evaluation of the Pennsylvania state forest system. The study will include several research approaches, including a market-based economic benefits and impact analysis; a nonmarket valuation; an analysis of state forest management practices; and an analysis of the payments in-lieu-of-taxes system. Policy considerations based on the research findings will also be presented.

Employment Opportunities for Rural Residents with Disabilities in Pennsylvania
Dr. Susan Boser of Indiana University of Pennsylvania will examine the opportunities and barriers to integrated employment for individuals with disabilities, options and challenges for community providers to address these barriers, and strategies other states are using. Policy considerations based on the research findings will also be presented.

Inventory and Analysis of Historic Preservation Ordinances in Pennsylvania
Dr. Steven Burg of Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania will create an inventory of municipal historic preservation ordinances in Pennsylvania along with the methods used by municipalities to protect historic resources. The research will evaluate current statutes to determine their impact on municipal historic preservation activities.

Comparing Rural and Urban Drug Use and Violence in the Pennsylvania Youth Survey
Dr. Jennifer Murphy of the Pennsylvania State University - Berks will analyze the 2015 Pennsylvania Youth Survey to identify differences between rural and urban schools in substance use and violence. She also will be analyzing the data to identify trends and any school-specific programs that may have contributed to decreased rates of substance use and violence.

Analysis of Cost-of-Living Data for Pennsylvania Counties
Dr. Kenneth Louie or the Pennsylvania State University - Erie will use data from the C2ER County Cost of Living (COL) Index to determine urban-rural cost-of-living differences and to identify and quantify the factors that determine each county's COL. The researchers will provide information on why the COL is higher or rising faster in some Pennsylvania counties compared to others.