Harwin de Vries winner 2015 INFORMS Health Applications Society Student Paper Competition

Econometrician Harwin de Vries, PhD student at Erasmus School of Economics, has recently won the 2015 INFORMS Health Applications Society Student Paper Competition. The prize was awarded in Nashville at the bi-yearly at the INFORMS Healthcare conference organized by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.  

Four of the many students from around the globe who had submitted their paper, were selected for the final presentation session at the conference. The papers were assessed for methodology and potential for impact. The other finalists were PhD students from Stanford University, Harvard University, and the University of Alberta.

De Vries’ paper “The Roadside Healthcare Facility Location Problem” is joint work with his PhD supervisors Prof. Albert P.M. Wagelmans (Econometric Institute, Erasmus School of Economics) and Prof. Joris van de Klundert (Institute of Health Policy & Management). It presents optimal solution methods for locating roadside clinics to provide essential health services to African truck drivers. African truck drivers carry a high burden of communicable diseases such as TB and HIV/AIDS. The authors present evidence based models to quantify the effects of location decisions on truck driver health and present models and methods to optimize these effects through the location decisions. This research originated from close cooperation with NGO North Star Alliance and has been implemented with the help of the ORTEC Consulting Group. It has benefitted from a Rotterdam Global Health Initiative seed money grant.