New Coordinating Center for PHSSR Launched at the University of Kentucky

Apr 13, 2011, 2:36 PM

Public health systems and services research has a new place to call home.

The new National Coordinating Center for PHSSR was announced Tuesday at the PHSSR Keeneland Conference by the leadership team at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health and Debra Perez of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“The ultimate goal of this Center is to provide the evidence needed to improve health in all communities,” said Perez, the Foundation’s interim assistant vice president of research and evaluation. “We’ve been in this work for five years, and we think we’ve made some really important investments, but we’ve never brought them all under one umbrella. This research is really providing the evidence for public health to allocate resources, time and talent in the interest of a healthy community.”

Perez highlighted one research effort in particular — the work of Glen Mays, professor and chair of the department of health policy and management at the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, on practice based research networks (PBRN). The networks provide real-time data and best practices to inform decision making in public health. (Read Mays' Idea Gallery piece on Economic Shocks and Public Health Decision-making: How Can Research Help?)

“Our work with PBRNs is strong and growing,” said Perez. “It supports the work that we’re doing in public health law in health impact assessments, public health accreditation and in our advocacy work.”

To learn more about the launch, watch the Center's new video on the goals and direction of its work.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.