Public Health Research

Bringing Research to Practice

Our Research and Evaluation Team conducts rigorous research in mental health and substance use recovery and prevention, homelessness, trauma, and child welfare. Our researchers leverage diverse educational, professional, and personal backgrounds to improve the lives of vulnerable populations through bold ideas and innovative approaches.

Our team designs and implements comprehensive research studies and program evaluation and participates in product and intervention design, implementation and dissemination, and translation of research findings into practice. We employ mixed method approaches to conduct pilot studies, small exploratory prevalence studies, larger randomized controlled trials, multisite demonstration projects, formative and summative evaluations, and systematic and scoping reviews.

We partner with academic institutions, community-based organizations, and other private organizations to ensure that our research is meaningful, relevant, and impactful.

Our Expert Team

Kathleen Ferreira leads C4’s team of applied researchers as they advance the knowledge base in fields of homelessness, trauma, mental illness, addiction, and recovery. For more information, contact Kathleen Ferreira. Click on team member’s name to learn more.
Kathleen FerreiraKathleen Ferreira, Ph.D., Director of Research and Evaluation
Ellen BassukEllen Bassuk, M.D., Founder and Senior Technical Advisor
Wilkey Catriona Wilkey, M.P.H., M.S.W., Deputy Director
Rosie Donegan, M.A., Research Coordinator
Cheryl GagneCheryl Gagne, Sc.D., Senior Associate
Neil GreeneNeil Greene, M.A., Associate
Jeff OlivetJeff Olivet, M.A., Senior Advisor
Kristen Paquette, M.P.H., CEO
Molly RichardMolly Richard, B.A., Research Coordinator
Randi Rosenblum, Ph.D., Researcher
Alex ShulmanAlex Shulman, M.A., Program Assistant
VolkKatie Volk, M.A., Senior Project Director
Laura Winn Laura Winn, M.A. Deputy Director
Svetlana YampolsayaSvetlana Yampolskaya, Ph.D. Statistical Consultant

Our Principal Investigators

Examples of Our Work

Testing New Approaches to Substance Use Prevention

Through Project Amp, we piloted a young adult peer-delivered brief mentoring intervention for youth at risk of substance use disorders. Our research examined preliminary effectiveness. Visit to learn more.

Developing a Child Screening Tool

With funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and in partnership with Artemis Associates, C4 is developing the Neurodevelopmental Ecological Screening Tool (NEST)–an online screening tool for children from ages 3-5. For use by service providers and parents in low-resource environments, the tool assesses how a child is developing and identifies ways to minimize risk factors and build resilience. We are testing the tool with a racially and culturally diverse group of children experiencing homelessness at programs around the country.

Creating a Game to Teach Motivational Interviewing Skills

Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), C4 developed and conducted pilot research on an interactive, skills-based online simulation game to teach and reinforce MI skills. A Phase 2 small business innovation research (SBIR) grant now supports full product development and a large-scale randomized controlled trial to measure effectiveness.

Studying Social Media Usage Among Young People with Schizophrenia

Substance Abuse Recovery
This two-year study, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, examines how young people with schizophrenia use social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. By comparing their social media use to that of young people without mental illness, and determining the role of social supports in their choices, we are attempting to understand how the Internet might play a role in their recovery.

Measuring the Impact of Online Training

With small business innovation research (SBIR) funding from NIMH and in partnership with Columbia University and the Hunter College School of Social Work, C4 conducted a randomized controlled trial comparing online training with face-to-face training in Critical Time Intervention (CTI). Examining outcomes among 180 service providers, we found that while learners preferred the personal contact of face-to-face training, knowledge gains and retention were better for online course participants. The study also measured client-level outcomes for more than 600 program participants, showing dramatic improvements in housing in both study conditions. Learn more in the American Journal on Distance Education.
  • Homelessness Prevention
  • Homelessness Prevention
  • Homelessness Prevention
  • Homelessness Prevention