I’m interested in addressing health disparities and
creating health equity across government levels.
– Reginald Tucker-Seeley, MA, ScM, ScD
Healthcare careers are rewarding and fulfilling because people get to partner with communities to find ways to solve health-related problems. In this week’s episode, let’s get to know my guest, Reginald Tucker-Seeley, MA, ScM, ScD, and see how he’s making a difference in health disparities and health equity.
Part One of ‘RWJF Health Policy Fellows:
An Interview with Reginald Tucker-Seely’
Reginald Tucker-Seeley, MA, ScM, ScD, is the inaugural holder of the Edward L. Schneider Chair in Gerontology and assistant professor at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. He manages the Tucker-Seeley Research Lab at the gerontology school. He completed master and doctoral degrees in public health (social and behavioral sciences) at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) and a postdoctoral fellowship in cancer prevention and control at HSPH and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
His research has focused primarily on social determinants of health across the life course, such as the association between the neighborhood environment and health behavior; and individual-level socioeconomic determinants of multimorbidity, mortality, self-rated physical, mental and oral health, and adult height.
Dr. Tucker-Seeley has received funding from the National Cancer Institute for research focused on developing measures of financial well-being for cancer research. The first grant was an R21, “Development of a measure of financial well-being: Expanding our notion of SES,” The second grant was a K01 Career Development grant, “Financial well-being following a prostate cancer diagnosis.” He is also interested in how the neighborhood environment is defined and measured.
I recognized the demographic shift and we’re going to have more older adults. We need to have policy solutions for addressing it. – Reginald Tucker-Seeley, MA, ScM, ScD
Dr. Tucker-Seeley was a 2017-2018 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow. We did our policy fellowships at the same time, and that’s how we are connected. Reggie became involved in the aging space because he recognized the impending demographic shift in the number of older adults, which will require policy solutions for aging well.
His primary interest originally was in the financial well-being of individuals. He was drawn to the health and retirement study, which is a large population study of adults over age fifty. This rich dataset had many financial related questions and it became a way for him to marry his interest in financial well-being and the lives of older adults. He completed his doctoral training at the Harvard School of Public Health, where he did the three paper format for his dissertation using the health and retirement study. He focused on financial hardship and its association with health outcomes, in addition to looking at the association between physical activity, behavior and perceived safety.
He has a longstanding interest in the impact of health and social policy on racial/ethnic minorities and across socioeconomic groups. He has experience working on local and state-level health disparities policy and measuring and reporting health disparities at the state level. Tucker-Seeley was selected for the 2017-2018 cohort of the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship Program. The fellowship includes a one-year residency in Washington, D.C., working either in a federal congressional or executive office on health policy issues.
Tens of thousands of bills are introduced every year, but only one to two percent make it into law. – Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP, FAAN (24:14-24:20)
Before joining the USC faculty, Reginald was an assistant professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and in the Center for Community Based Research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Prior to graduate study at Harvard, he received an undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Tulsa. He worked in the accounting/auditing field for five years, most recently as an internal auditor at St. Louis University. He also completed an MA degree in human development counseling from St. Louis University and a clinical counseling internship at the Washington University Student Health and Counseling Service.
Part Two of ‘2020: ‘RWJF Health Policy Fellows:
An Interview with Reginald Tucker-Seely’
I looked at the fellowship experience as a learning opportunity. – Reginald Tucker-Seeley, MA, ScM, ScD
Reginald lived in Rhode Island, the smallest U.S. state by area and the seventh least populous, making it very easy to be active in state health policy. He was on a commission for Health Advocacy and Equity, and that commission was a legislatively mandated body that required writing a state-level health disparities report every two years. Even with public health training experience, he thought, “If I don’t know how to do this, chances are most of our students don’t know how to do this either.” So, he ended up developing a new course at Harvard called Measuring and Reporting Health Disparities that included a three-part case study that would take students through the process of having to write a state-level health disparities report.
He didn’t have any federal health policy experience during his time as an assistant professor at Harvard. That’s how he found the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship program and also the White House Fellowship Program. The Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship program includes a three-month orientation on how federal health policy gets made. He knew it would provide him the resources to add the federal component to his teaching.
How to Connect More with Reginald Tucker-Seeley:
I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (‘96) and Master of Science in Nursing (‘00) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). I truly enjoy working with the complex medical needs of older adults. I worked full-time for five years as FNP in geriatric primary care across many long-term care settings (skilled nursing homes, assisted living, home and office visits) then transitioned into academic nursing in 2005, joining the faculty at UNCW SON as a lecturer.
I obtained my PhD in Nursing and a post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing Education from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing (2011) ) and then joined the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor. My family moved to northern Virginia in 2015 and led to me joining the faculty at George Washington University (GW) School of Nursing in 2018 as a (tenured) Associate Professor where I am also the Director of the GW Center for Aging, Health and Humanities.
Find out more about her work HERE.