“Public Health Assessment of Transportation Projects” - MassDOT Champion: Nikki Tishler
“Public Health Assessment of Transportation Projects” is an upcoming 12-18 month research project that aims to identify data-driven ways to incorporate the social determinants of health and public health outcomes into transportation planning and project development. MassDOT and the Department of Public Health have an ongoing collaborative relationship and this research project will culminate in the integration of public health data into MassDOT’s project analysis and evaluation tools to determine public health outcomes of transportation decisions and projects. This research project is championed by Nikki Tishler, Transportation Planner and Title VI Strategist in MassDOT’s Office of Transportation Planning. The research team consists of Dr. Eleni Christofa of the University of Massachusetts – Amherst Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering; Krystal Pollitt, PhD, of the University of Massachusetts – Amherst Department of Environmental Health Sciences; Karin Goins, MPH, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School and member of the Physical Activity Policy Research Network (PAPRN); and Stephanie Lemon, PhD, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School Department of Clinical Population Health Research. We look forward to the work of this interdisciplinary team, bringing together public health, clinical health, and engineering expertise to identify data-driven ways to incorporate health into transportation planning and project design.
Nikki is a Transportation Planner and Title VI Strategist with MassDOT’s Office of Transportation Planning, supporting capital planning and civil rights compliance activities at the agency. With a background in community organizing, Nikki is passionate about promoting civic engagement and improving public participation processes so that public sector activities reflect the needs and wants of the public. In her role as Title VI Strategist, she sees the consideration of civil rights and transportation equity as an opportunity to improve the customer experience for the diverse constituencies served by MassDOT. Nikki holds a Joint Master of Public Policy and Master of Arts in Women’s and Gender Studies from Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management and a BA in Civic Engagement and the Politics of Representation from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst.