Current Projects


Empire State Healthcare Survey
Hessam Sadatsafavi, CIHF Postdoctoral Associate
Lu Kong, Ph.D. student
Rohit Verma, CIHF Executive Director

CIHF embarked on a survey initiative in an effort to take the pulse of New Yorkers in regards to their needs and expectations for their own healthcare. The collected data will help researchers and industry leaders discover the most pressing concerns from specific demographics within our population, and understand the demands for change of current standards.

The 2016 Empire State Healthcare Survey, conducted by CIHF through Cornell University’s Survey Research Institute (SRI), polled 800 New Yorkers of all backgrounds and political inclinations between February and April 2016. Residents were asked how they would rate their last hospital experience, their preferred outpatient care setting, their view of the impact of computer use on care, and what they think is the most urgent issue that needs to be addressed in the U.S. healthcare system. Preliminary results and extracted data from 2016 can be found here.

The 2016 data is supplemented by a second survey initiated by CIHF and conducted by SRI in 2017 which further refined the questions. The two years of combined data provides a benchmark of New York State residents’ attitudes, behaviors, and preferences about healthcare. Data from 2017 can be found here.


Many countries are struggling with chronic diseases related to poor diet, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity. In response, governments and public health officials have sought policies to promote healthier diets. One important strategy is to require that restaurant menus list the calories associated with each menu option. That requirement was included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but has not yet been implemented. In this research project, a randomized controlled field experiment was conducted that tests how consumers respond to calorie information when choosing foods in restaurants.

Specifically, restaurant patrons were randomized into treatment and control groups by table. The control group tables received the usual menus (with no calorie counts) and the treatment group tables received the same menus but with calorie counts listed for each item, in a manner that complies with the requirements of the ACA. All food and beverage orders were recorded and matched to each patron. Additionally, patrons were surveyed after the completion of their meal to gather their opinions about health, exercise, nutrition, and calorie labels.

While data is continuing to be collected in the field, preliminary results suggest that calorie counts may result in modest reductions in the number of calories ordered. One clear and consistent result is that those exposed to the calorie information are more supportive of requiring it to be listed.

CawleyJohn Cawley
Professor, Department of Policy Analysis and Management, Department of Economics
Cornell University


SusskindAlex Susskind
Associate Professor, School of Hotel Administration
Cornell University


Hessam Sadatsafavi, CIHF Postdoctoral Associate
Mardelle Shepley, CIHF Associate Director
Bahar Niknejad, Researcher at Weill Cornell Medicine, Internal Medicine Resident at Eastern Virginia Medical School

Premature and sick infants often have to spend a part of their most crucial development stages in an NICU environment. In recent years, increasing competition and attention to patient and family-centered care, along with growing evidence regarding advantages of single-family rooms versus open-bay rooms, have contributed to private rooms becoming a part of the recommended standards in NICUs. Overall, the conventional wisdom is in favor of the added benefit of single-family rooms in terms of reductions in costly nosocomial infections, shorter length of stay, and lower direct costs of care. Nevertheless, single-family rooms require additional space that is associated with higher initial construction costs and ongoing operation and maintenance expenses, as well as additional nonclinical support personnel.

The purpose of the this study was to synthesize current evidence and evaluate whether, from a hospital perspective, cost savings can justify the additional construction and operation costs of single-family rooms units as opposed to open-bay units. We used a probabilistic approach to account for uncertainties associated with analysis parameters and quantify the overall risk of the investments. Study findings can be found at here.

Whitney Gray, Senior Vice President at Delos
Trey Curtis, Senior Research Associate at Delos
Hessam Sadatsafavi, CIHF Postdoctoral Associate
So-Yeon Yoon, CIHF Faculty Fellow
Rohit Verma, CIHF Executive Director
Mardelle Shepley, CIHF Associate Director

In the past three decades, definitions of a healthy workplace have evolved from traditional occupational health and safety (dealing with physical, chemical, biological and ergonomic hazards), to include health practice factors (lifestyle) and psychosocial factors (work organization and workplace culture). Meanwhile, under a new landscape of inherently global, digital, fast-paced, and competitive business environments, organizations increasingly recognize the significance of the physical setting for fostering creativity and innovation in the workplace. However, little empirical evidence exists that links workplace design attributes to employee and organizational outcomes. In response to this research need, CIHF and Delos have formed a partnership to study the impact of workplace strategies on objective and subjective indicators of employees’ cognitive functioning, mental and physical health, prosocial behavior, creativity, and interaction and communication patterns.


Anticipation and Surprise with a Service Experience: Implications for Subjective Wellbeing

KwortnickRobert Kwortnik
Associate Professor, Services Marketing
Cornell University


More information will be coming soon.
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