Oklahoma Policy Institute has grown a lot in the past few years. From humble beginnings in 2008, we now have a staff of 20, including talented individuals who focus on a wide range of policy issues, intensive data analysis, outreach, communications, events and operations, and more. To give you a better idea of who we are and what we all do, we are running an OK Policy Blog series highlighting our staffers.
For this edition, here’s Bobby Koolis, one of our Mental Health Policy Fellows:
What do you do at OK Policy?
Currently, I’m working on a research project about mHealth (which I think is short for Mobile Health). Particularly, I’m looking at how these technologies can better engage patients both during and after treatment. Few patients receive proper follow up care after inpatient treatment, and there are several innovative mobile health technologies in use that have great potential to expand access to care!
I also meet with a variety of stakeholders to learn more broadly about the mental health landscape in Oklahoma, and use that information to consider future projects and issues to work on.
What’s your favorite thing about doing this work?
The people. I love sitting down and meeting with people who have lived experiences and can put a human face on often abstract policy concepts. Mental health ties closely into many other policy issues, and nearly everyone is affected in one way or another.
Finding policy solutions to these important issues is very rewarding. I also work with an awesome team at OK Policy!
What would you most like Oklahoma to become a “Top 10 State” in?
Access to mental health resources. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done in the mental health field, but for that reason, I think Oklahoma is in a great position to innovate how its citizens access mental health treatment and resources.
What else should OK Policy’s readers know about you?
I moved to Oklahoma at the end of July 2019. I grew up in Connecticut, went to school in New Hampshire, and had never been to Oklahoma before coming to work for OK Policy!