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Tate Talks annual series kicks off Oct. 6

Rhema Vaithiananthan, Ph.D.
Rhema Vaithiananthan, Ph.D.

UNC School of Social Work will host Rhema Vaithianathan, professor of economics at New Zealand’s Auckland University of Technology, on Oct. 6, 2022, for the first discussion of 2022-2023 Tate Talks series. The one-hour presentation, which begins at noon in the School’s auditorium, also will be offered virtually.

Vaithianathan, director of the Centre for Data Social Analytics, specializes in health economics and data analytics and will present “Using Predictive Risk Modelling To Proactively Match Families with Services: The Hello Baby Project.” Hello Baby is a voluntary program for parents of newborns in Allegheny County, Pa., that is designed to strengthen families and improve children’s outcomes.

Although all families have the opportunity to participate in the program’s universal supports, referrals for more intensive Hello Baby service tiers are prioritized using a predictive risk model. This Tate Talk will address the technical aspects of model development, as well as issues of social license, consent and community engagement.

UNC School of Social Work Dean Ramona Denby-Brinson will introduce this year’s series. During the Q&A portion of the event, Amy Malen, assistant deputy director, Allegheny County Department of Human Services, will join in the discussion.

Tate Talks are lunchtime events featuring guest speakers whose scholarship reflects rigorous research coupled with innovative approaches to the translation and application of knowledge. This speaker series was inspired by the memory of John A. “Jack” Tate, a late Charlotte businessman and long-time supporter of the School of Social Work. Tate, who helped to raise critical funding for the Tate-Turner-Kuralt Building where the School is housed, was a passionate advocate for social change and always sought to engage with new and often divergent perspectives on issues that challenge the social work profession.

Emily Putnam-Hornstein, the School’s John A. Tate Distinguished Professor of Children in Need, is responsible for coordinating this series, which she said will continue to focus on topics related to children and their families. Putnam-Hornstein said she also plans to broaden the reach of the series, with hopes of ensuring that more diverse audiences have an opportunity to interact with guest speakers.

Participants are encouraged to register for the Oct. 6 event and to participate in a luncheon and additional discussion following the presentation.