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Brown ArrowPublic Health Services and Systems Research

Public Health Services and Systems Research (PHSSR) examines questions that relate to the financing, organization and delivery of public health services - and how those factors translate to population health.

Note: Links are for U.S. resources only.

Public Health Services and Systems Research News

  • 2014 Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals Now Available--22-AUG-2014 - The 2014 version of the Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals (Core Competencies) is now available. Following a year-long review and revision process, the Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice recently released this updated version of the Core Competencies for use by public health practitioners, educators, and researchers.

Data, Tools, and Statistics

  • 2013 National Profile of Local Health Departments - (National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO))  - The report includes statistical data on: Jurisdiction, Governance, and Partnerships, Leadership, Workforce, Finance, Programs and Services, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Assessment, Planning, and Improvement, Public Health Policy, and Information Technology.
  • 3-Step Competency Prioritization Sequence - (Public Health Foundation (PHF))  - This set of 3 quality improvement tools introduces an efficient, step-by-step process for selecting Core Competencies domains for workforce development that address gaps in current workforce strengths, while building competencies that will best advance a public health organization's strategic goals.
  • Community Health Status Indicators (CHSI) - (Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) U.S.)  - County-specific data and reports on health status indicators. States and counties can use the indicators to check county health status, compare one's county to peers and the U.S., and characterize the overall health of the county and its citizens to support health planning.
  • Community Tool Box - (Community Tool Box, Work Group for Community Health and Development, University of Kansas U.S.)  - The Community Tool Box is a global resource for free information on essential skills for building healthy communities. Its goal is to promote community health and development by connecting people, ideas and resources
  • Competency Assessments for Public Health Professionals - (Public Health Foundation (PHF))  - The Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals (Core Competencies) represent a set of skills desirable for the broad practice of public health that professionals may want to possess as they work to protect and improve the nation's health. The Core Competencies offer a starting point for public health professionals in identifying professional development needs and developing a training plan.
  • County Health Rankings & Roadmaps - (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), University of Wisconsin)  - Provides county-by-county health rankings for each of the 50 states and Washington DC, explanations of each health factor, and actionable strategies to improve the health of communities across the nation.
  • Data Sets: Open Government at HHS - (Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) U.S.)  - Search HHS agency datasets, including an interactive CMS dashboard, which allows the public to visualize and analyze Medicare spending, starting with inpatient hospital spending.
  • Health Disparities Toolkit for Public Health Agencies to Improve Their Practices - (National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF))  - Researchers at the University of Washington School of Nursing in Seattle created a Health Disparities Toolkit, a searchable database of summaries of 27 programs and tools to address health disparities from local health departments. The toolkit was designed to provide policy-makers, public health systems researchers, and public health leaders with inspiration and ideas for implementing programs to address health disparities and inequities.
  • Health System Measurement Project - (Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) U.S.)  - This web tool enables the viewing of data on a given topical area from multiple sources, comparing trends across measures and national trends with those at the state and regional level. For example, an individual could use the Measurement Project to monitor the percentage of people who have a specific source of ongoing medical care or track avoidable hospitalizations for adults and children by region or ethnic group.
  • HSRR (Health Services and Sciences Research Resources) - (National Library of Medicine, National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology)  - HSRR is a searchable database of information about research datasets, instruments/indices and software employed in Health Services Research, the Behavioral and Social Sciences and Public Health. The database includes brief descriptions of research resources and links to PubMed.
  • HSRR (Health Services and Sciences Research Resources)Public Health Systems Research Subset - (National Library of Medicine, National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology)  - HSRR is a searchable database of information about research datasets, instruments/indices and software. Users may examine and compare characteristics of some of the resources employed in Health Services Research, the Behavioral and Social Sciences and Public Health. The database includes brief descriptions of research resources and links to PubMed. It also includes URLs of providers for additional information or access to the resources.
  • LawAtlas: Policy Surveillance Portal - (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF))  - This is a gateway to key laws aimed at improving our health or access to health care. It includes interactive maps, policy surveillance reports, and downloadable data.
  • National Public Health Performance Standards Program - (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC))  - The National Public Health Performance Standards Program (NPHPSP) is a collaborative effort to enhance the Nation's public health systems. Seven national public health organizations have partnered to develop national performance standards for state and local public health systems.
  • Public Health Economics and Tools - (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC))  - CDC has compiled a set of economics tools to assist researchers in cost analyses, conomic evaluations, modeling, and regulatory analysis.

Grants, Funding, and Fellowships

  • APHA Internships & Fellowships - (American Public Health Association (APHA))  - Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for unpaid APHA internships that offer practical work experience.
  • Funding Opportunities: National Coordinating Center for PHSSR - (University of Kentucky College of Public Health)  - Check here for new research funding opportunities managed through the National Coordinating Center for PHSSR and Public Health PBRNs. Other websites with potential funds are also listed.
  • NACCHO Career Network - (National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO))  - Interactive job board for online employment connections with a focus on local health departments and public health professions. Employers can post jobs online and search for qualified candidates. Job seekers can learn about employers and employment opportunities in public health, post resumes, browse and view available jobs.
  • Tobacco Control Regulatory Research (R01) - (National Institutes of Health (NIH))  - This grant would encourage research to inform development and evaluation of regulations on tobacco product manufacturing, distribution, and marketing.
  • Tobacco Control Regulatory Research (R03) - (National Library of Medicine (NLM) U.S.)  - This grant would encourage research to inform development and evaluation of regulations on tobacco product manufacturing, distribution, and marketing.
  • Tobacco Control Regulatory Research (R21) - (National Institutes of Health (NIH))  - This grant would encourage research to inform development and evaluation of regulations on tobacco product manufacturing, distribution, and marketing.

Guidelines, Journals, Other Publications

  • The CDC Public Health Law News - (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC))  - The CDC Public Health Law News is a monthly e-mail digest of current, worldwide news stories, court opinions, announcements and special features related to public health law and legislation. The News is free and available to anyone with an interest in public health law.
  • Common Ground: Transforming Public Health Information Systems - (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF))  - This White Paper presents the results of an RWJF funded initiative, which focused on helping public health agencies their information systems and systems performance, to better respond to health threats and chronic diseases.
  • For the Public's Health: The Role of Measurement in Action and Accountability - (Institute of Medicine (IOM), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF))  - To inform the public health community and all other sectors that contribute to population health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation commissioned the IOM to examine three major topics that influence the health of the public-measurement, laws, and funding. In this, the first of three reports, the IOM reviews current approaches for measuring the health of individuals and communities and suggests changes in the processes, tools, and approaches used to gather information about health outcomes and their determinants.
  • Frontiers in Public Health Services & Systems Research - (National Coordinating Center for Public Health Services and Systems Research, Public Health Practice Based Research Networks US)  - As noted on its website, this online journal features peer-reviewed articles that offer brief descriptions of preliminary findings from an ongoing or recently completed empirical study or quality improvement project that answers a question of importance regarding the organization, financing, and delivery of public health services; the structure, operation, and management of public health delivery systems; the application of quality improvement methods in public health settings; and/or the impact of these endeavors on population health.
  • Genomics & Health Impact Update - (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC))  - Published by the Office of Public Health Genomics (OPHG), the Update offers links to genomics news and publications relevant to population health and health care. The Update highlights family health history and genomic tests, along with relevant data, policy, and legislation.
  • Grey Literature Report - (New York Academy of Medicine)  - Bimonthly publication that alerts readers to new grey literature publications in health services research and selected public health topics.
  • PHSSR & PBRN Review - (Center for Public Health Systems and Services Research (CPHSSR) U.S.)  - Published by the Center for Public Health Systems and Services Research, this three section e-newsletter typically includes a recent selection of PubMed search results relevant to PHSSR, general PHSSR news and a feature of one of the Center's mini-grantees.
  • Primary Care and Public Health: Promoting Integration to Improve Population Health - (Institute of Medicine (IOM))  - the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resources and Services Administration asked the IOM to examine the integration of primary care and public health. The interactions between the two sectors are so varied that it is not possible to prescribe a specific model or template for how integration should look. Instead, the IOM identifies a set of core principles derived from successful integration efforts - including a common goal of improving population health, as well as involving the community in defining and addressing its needs.
  • Priority Areas for Improvement of Quality in Public Health images/pdf.gif icon - (Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) U.S.)  - This November 2010 report details recent activities led by the Assistant Secretary for Health to identify priority areas for improvement of quality in the public health system.
  • Public Health Accreditation Board - (Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB))  - Provides information about a national voluntary accreditation program for state, local, territorial and tribal public health departments. The goal of the accreditation program is to improve and protect the health of every community by advancing the quality and performance of public health departments.
  • Public Health Commons™ - Digital Commons Network offers free access to full-text articles and research from international colleges and universities.

Key Organizations/Programs

  • AcademyHealth Public Health Systems Research Interest Group - (AcademyHealth)  - This Interest Group of more than 1,500 individuals-including researchers, students, public health practitioners, federal agency staff, and policymakers-shares an interest in exploring and enhancing the U.S. public health system by formulating, translating, and applying the PHSR evidence base."
  • American Public Health Association (APHA) - APHA is an Association of individuals and organizations working to improve the public's health and to achieve equity in health status for all. We promote the scientific and professional foundation of public health practice and policy, advocate the conditions for a healthy global society, emphasize prevention and enhance the ability of members to promote and protect environmental and community health.
  • Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) - The Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) is the voice of accredited public health education, representing the schools and programs accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), as well as associate members, which are schools or programs that intend to become fully accredited. ASPPH is the membership organization for these prestigious academic institutions.
  • Center of Excellence in Public Health Workforce Research and Policy - (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Public Health Foundation (PHF))  - Based at the University of Kentucky, College of Public Health, the COEWRP is funded through a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Public Health Foundation to address the dearth of organized, interdiscipinary research about the characteristics and functions of the nation's public health workforce and the ability to develop cohesive policy and to fully understand the effect of that workforce on the public health system and population health.
  • National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) - NACCHO is the national organization representing local public health agencies. NACCHO works to support efforts that protect and improve the health of all people and all communities by promoting national policy, developing resources and programs, seeking health equity and supporting effective local public health practice and systems.
  • National Association of Local Boards of Health (NALBOH) - NALBOH represents the grassroots foundation of public health in America, and is the only organization in America dedicated to preparing and strengthening boards of health, empowering them to promote and protect the health of their communities through education, training, and technical assistance.
  • National Coordinating Center for Public Health Services and Systems Research (PHSSR) - (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), University of Kentucky College of Public Health)  - Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the National Coordinating Center for Public Health Services and Systems Research and the Public Health Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRN) National Coordinating Center, both housed at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., collaborate to explore the impact of specific public health strategies on the quality and performance of the United States public health system.
  • National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) - Membership organization that fosters networking and collaboration among public health institutes and multi-sector partners. Programs include the National Public Health Performance Standards Program and a program dedicated specifically to PHSSR.
  • National Public Health Leadership Development Network - is a consortium of organizations represented by both academics and practitioners dedicated to building public health leadership programs and skills in order to achieve optimal health outcomes in communities.
  • National Public Health Performance Standards Program (NPHPSP) - (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC))  - National Partnership initiative that has developed National Public Health Performance Standards for state and local public health systems and for public health governing bodies to support performance assessment and systems improvement.
  • Practice Based Research Networks - (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF))  - The Public Health Practice - Based Research Networks (PBRN) Program is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that supports the development of research networks for studying the comparative effectiveness, efficiency and equity of public health strategies in real-world practice settings. A PBRN brings public health agencies together with academic research partners to identify pressing research questions of interest, design rigorous and relevant studies, execute research effectively, and translate findings rapidly into practice. The National Coordinating Center for the Public Health PBRN Program, based at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, provides resources and technical assistance to the networks for developing and operating research projects. The Coordinating Center also organizes cross cutting and multi - network research studies designed to evaluate and compare public health strategies implemented across diverse practice settings.
  • Public Health Accreditation Board - (Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB))  - Provides information about a national voluntary accreditation program for state, local, territorial and tribal public health departments. The goal of the accreditation program is to improve and protect the health of every community by advancing the quality and performance of public health departments.
  • Public Health Foundation (PHF) - Dedicated to achieving healthy communities through research, training, and technical assistance. For more than 35 years, this national, non-profit organization has been creating new information and helping health agencies and other community health organizations connect to and more effectively use information to manage and improve performance, understand and use data, and strengthen the workforce.
  • Public Health Informatics Institute - (Public Health Informatics Institute (PHII))  - The Institute is known for its expertise as a neutral convener of public health professionals and their stakeholders, transforming health practitioners' ability to apply information effectively in order to improve health outcomes worldwide. The Institute partners with and is funded through grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements with, national public health organizations, healthcare organizations, foundations, and government agencies, to further our collective interest in improving public health through the effective application of information and information technology.
  • Public Health Institute (PHI) - The organization generates and promotes research, leadership and partnerships to build capacity for strong public health policy, programs, systems and practices.
  • Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange (PHQIX) - (RTI International, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF))  - Searchable site for public health professionals interested in learning and sharing information about quality improvement (QI) in public health.
  • Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) - The Society of Public Health Education (SOPHE) is an independent, international professional association made up of a diverse membership of health education professionals and students. The Society promotes healthy behaviors, healthy communities, and healthy environments through its membership, its network of local chapters, and its numerous partnerships with other organizations.
  • World Health News - (Harvard School of Public Health)  - Online news digest from the Center for Health Communication at the Harvard School of Public Health. The site covers critical public health issues from around the world.

Discussion and E-mail Lists

  • ePublic Health Blog - (National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO))  - Blog to facilitate dialogue among local public health (LHD) professionals interested in e-public health and informatics.
  • Public Health Economics - (University of Kentucky)  - The blog of Glen P. Mays, F. Douglas Scutchfield Endowed Professor of Health Services and Systems Research at the University of Kentucky.

Meeting/Conferences/Webinars

  • AcademyHealth Public Health Systems Research Interest Group Annual Meeting - (AcademyHealth)  - An annual conference held in conjunction with the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting that features cutting edge public health research. The purpose of the meeting is to showcase research, facilitate networking, and encourage discussion on research and policy issues surrounding public health systems research.
  • Annual PHSSR Keeneland Conference - (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), University of Kentucky College of Public Health)  - An annual conference sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the University of Kentucky Center for Public Health Systems and Services Research, and the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health at the University of Arkansas. The goal of the conference is to connect public health researchers, practitioners and policymakers and provide a forum for researchers to exchange ideas about new areas of interest, encourage new entrants to the discipline and develop new data sources and methods.
  • ISDS 2014 Annual Conference - (International Society for Disease Surveillance (ISDS))  - December 10-11, 2014, Philadelphia, PA. The theme for this year's conference- Public Health Surveillance - Challenges and Solutions for the Road Ahead- will highlight key challenges voiced by the public health surveillance community, and include strategies for incorporating the latest approaches, methodologies, and results into data-driven practices, programs, and policies.
  • NNPHI Annual Conferences - (National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI))  - Information about the annual conference of U.S. public health institutes.
  • PHSSR Research-In-Progress Webinars - (Public Health Services and Systems Research Practice-Based Research Networks (PHSSR) USA)  - This series of webinars are freely available. Information on the current schedule of events and login information are provided.