Advancing the Science of Delivery

For almost a decade, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has supported major efforts in enhancing the field of public health services and systems research (PHSSR) as part of their larger efforts toward advancing the science and practice of public health.

A new environment including fiscal pressure, reductions in resources, and health care reform have all led to new challenges in the field of PHSSR. However, support from RWJF since 2004 has resulted in better practice-based research and helped attract other stakeholders to this growing field. A collection of research projects aimed at delivering evidence about the organization, financing, and delivery of public health services is currently being supported by RWJF.

Key Findings:

  • RWJF has established funding for investigator-initiated research projects in PHSSR and has invested in expansion and enhancement of data collection.
  • RWJF created a National Coordinating Center for PHSSR established at the University of Kentucky. It is currently working to detect collaborative research opportunities with a variety of federal agencies.

Research that can be applied and translated into the public health field and in real-life community settings is a major concern. To address this, RWJF supported the launch of a program in 2008 to develop practice-based research networks in public health. (It was modeled after a similar system utilized in primary care.) Also, RWJF is currently working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on a shared vision which helps establish PHSSR priorities for the next few years.