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Postdoctoral Fellowship awarded to Dr Frank Pega

Tuesday, 4 March 2014 11:16am

Dr Frank Pega

University of Otago Wellington’s Dr Frank Pega has been awarded a Health Sciences Career Development Programme Postdoctoral Fellowship. The award will support his work on a cost-utility study of housing interventions for health.

The Health Sciences Division of the University of Otago provides the fellowships annually to support outstanding researchers over two years to further establish their independent research practices.

For Dr Pega, the award will support his work to compare the cost and effectiveness of housing interventions for improving health in New Zealand. He will also determine the most cost-effective package of interventions as the preferred policy option for the New Zealand Government. This study will be conducted through the Burden of Disease Epidemiology, Equity and Cost-Effectiveness Programme and in collaboration primarily with Professor Tony Blakely and Associate Professor Nick Wilson.

Dr Pega will also continue his work on financial credit interventions, including by heading two Cochrane Reviews on the effects of cash transfers on the use of health services and health outcomes in low and middle income countries.

“There is global interest in interventions that address the social determinants of health such as housing interventions and financial credits, because these have considerable potential to improve population health and health equity,” Dr Pega says.

“My past research and this newly funded study help identity effective and cost-effective such interventions.”

After consulting for the Ministry of Social Development in New Zealand and the World Health Organization in Switzerland, Dr Pega joined UOW’s Department of Public Health in 2010. From 2010 to 2013, he studied the effects of tax credits on health outcomes in New Zealand and internationally. In 2012 and 2013, he was a visiting scientist and Fulbright –Ministry of Science and Innovation fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health in the United States.