Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Monday, March 27, 2017

Wolfe, Pop Health colleague honored for mental health policy, economics research

Bobbi Wolfe Bobbi Wolfe

La Follette School Professor Bobbi Wolfe and Marguerite Burns of UW–Madison’s Department of Population Health Sciences received the Willard Manning Award in Mental Health Policy and Economics Research from the International Center of Mental Health Policy and Economics. Both are affiliates of the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) at UW–Madison.

They received the honor for their paper The Effects of the Affordable Care Act Adult Dependent Coverage Expansion on Mental Health in the March 2016 issue of the Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics. Their study provided the first estimates of mental health outcomes responsive to changes in mental health care use and/or the increased financial security that insurance provides.

“The vast majority of mental illnesses emerge before individuals reach age 24,” they wrote. “Public policy designed to expand health insurance coverage to this population has the potential to influence mental health in a relatively short time frame.” 

The award, given in memory of Willard Manning, journal editor from 2008 – 2014, was announced March 24 in Venice. A selection committee of associate editors selected the paper by Wolfe and Burns based on its scientific merit and exceptional research value in the development of the interdisciplinary field of mental health policy and economics.

Professor John Mullahy, a colleague of Burns and Wolfe at UW-Madison, wrote about Manning in the journal Health Economics, shortly after Manning’s 2014 death. Mullahy is a faculty affiliate of the La Follette School and IRP. Wolfe served as IRP director from 1994-2000.