Proceedings of the Complexity in Health Group

The Center for Complexity in Health announces today the launching of their new white-paper outlet, the Proceedings of the Complexity in Health Group. 

The PCCH is an annual publication designed both to showcase and provide a publication outlet for some of the main avenues of research being conducted in the Complexity in Health Group, Robert S. Morrison Health and Science Building, Kent State University at Ashtabula.  These areas include medical professionalism, community health, allostatic load, school systems, medical learning environments and case-based modeling—all explored from a complexity science perspective. 

The studies published in the PCHG are generally comprehensive, in-depth explorations of a topic, meant to provide a wider and more complete empirical and theoretical backdrop for the specific studies that scholars involved in the Complexity in Health Group (CHG) regularly publish in various disciplinary journals.  Such an outlet as the PCHG is useful given the conventions (e.g., page constraints and narrowness of focus) typical of most research periodicals, which make it very difficult to publish relatively complete statements on a topic in complex systems terms.  While PCHG studies augment, acknowledge and cite CHG work published in other venues, each PCHG study is an original, distinct manuscript.  Finally, PCHG studies are peer-reviewed.  Prior to publication each study is sent to colleagues for review and criticism to ensure the highest quality of published proceedings possible. 

PCCH and all of its studies are the copyright © property of the Complexity in Health Group, Kent State University at Ashtabula.  Manuscripts published in the PCHG should be cited appropriately, as in the following example:

Castellani, B., Rajaram, R., Buckwalter, JG., Ball, M., and Hafferty, F. 2012. “Place and Health as Complex Systems: A Case Study and Empirical Test.” Proceedings of the Complexity in Health Group, Kent State University at Ashtabula, 1(1):1-35.

Our first publication is an in-depth exploration of several key issues in complexity science and its intersection with the study of community health--CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD. First, how does one determine the empirical utility of defining a community as a complex system?  What unique insights emerge that could not otherwise be obtained?  Second, how does one conduct a litmus test of one’s definition of a community as a complex system in a systematic manner—something currently not done in the complexity science literature?  Third, how does one use the methods and techniques of complexity science to conduct such a litmus test, in combination with conventional methods such as statistics, qualitative method and historical analysis?  In our study we address all three questions, as pertains to a case study on the link between sprawl and community-level health in a Midwestern county (Summit County, Ohio) in the United States and the 20 communities of which it comprised.

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