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Dr. Wong presents in the Center for Health-system Improvement Works-in-Progress Seminar Series Jan 9

Jan 5, 2024, 09:35 AM by SCOA

CHI Works-in-Progress Seminar Presents: Rebeca Wong, PhD

The Center for Health-system Improvement (CHI) is dedicated to bridging the gap between the desire to improve clinical care and rigorous research methodology, helping to transform UTMB into a learning health system.

We hold bi-monthly works-in-progress seminars where UTMB faculty and trainees discuss projects in various stages of development.

This week's presentation will be given on January 9th at 12noon in JSA 4.108 IM Admin Conference Room or Zoom by Rebeca Wong, PhD on the "Longitudinal Representative Population Studies: the potential for discovery post-COVID”:

Longitudinal observational studies that represent a given population have unique potential for research contributions. These studies usually have multiple purposes, observe heterogeneous populations, and include follow-up over time. This allows the study of trajectories of disease, functionality, and even mortality. The Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS) has a 20-year follow-up of adults aged 50 and older (NIA/NIH AG018016). The study is comparable to the U.S. Health and Retirement Study, and other similar international studies in 40+ countries. Dr. Wong will include an overview of the potential of longitudinal population studies focusing on the MHAS and will provide illustrative findings using MHAS data, including initial results of comparisons before and after COVID-19, and the promise for future research.

Dr. Wong is a Mexican scholar who received a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan. Before joining the faculty of UTMB in 2008, she served in the faculty of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Georgetown University Department of Demography, and the University of Maryland Population Research Center.

Dr. Wong's research agenda focuses on the determinants and consequences of population aging, in particular in Mexico and among immigrant Hispanics in the U.S. She has pioneered the use of cross-national approaches to study health outcomes among international migrants, and has completed recent work on cognitive function, disability and chronic diseases among elderly in the U.S. and Mexico, socioeconomic gradients of health, poverty and utilization of health services, co-existence of infectious and chronic diseases, and the impact of the social security and health care reform among elderly in Mexico. She serves as Principal Investigator of the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS), financed by the U.S. National Institute on Aging (NIA/NIH) and the Mexican Statistical Bureau (INEGI). The study seeks to locate research on Mexico's unique health dynamics in a broad socioeconomic context, and it includes a national longitudinal survey of multiple purposes among the population of middle and old age. The study just celebrated 20 years of follow-up. A description of the study and a list of publications using MHAS data is available at

Dr. Wong has edited volumes and published in numerous professional journals and makes presentations regularly at national and international conferences. She has served on the editorial boards of the journals Demography, J. of Aging and Health, J. of Gerontology: Social Sciences, and Papeles de Poblacion. She has served in various national and global committees including as a member of the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development/NIH, of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Population, the International Outreach Committee of the Population Association of America,  study sections of the National Institutes of Health, and as member of the Board of Directors of both the Population Association of America and the Mexican Society of Demography.


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