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National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR)

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Introduction to Health Services Research : A Self-Study Course

Module 3: Selected Players (Federal and Private) (Page 20 of 27)

Kaiser Family Foundation

Snapshot of the Kaiser Family Foundation home page. Click to visit the site. Close the open window to return to this page.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (http://www.kff.org/) is an independent philanthropy focusing on the major health care issues facing the nation. The Foundation is an independent voice and source of facts analysis for policymakers, the media, the health care community, and the general public.

The Foundation is primarily an operating organization that develops and runs its own research and communications programs, often in partnership with outside organizations.

The Foundation contracts with a wide range of outside individuals and organizations through its programs and also continues to make a small number of grants for unsolicited proposals each year.

Foundation research focuses on several areas of interest as evidenced by their topical navigation bar. Among the topics are health policy, media and public education, health insurance/costs, Medicaid/SCHIP, Medicare, prescription drugs, state health policy, and South Africa.

Of particular interest to students and faculty is the KaiserEDU.org site. Intended to make access to the latest data, literature, news, and developments in health policy easier it "features topic navigation from the home page with tutorials, reference libraries, and issue modules; research tools consisting of searchable databases and links to publicly-available national surveys and data sources; a journal browser with links to the most recent table of contents of leading health policy journals; and a directory of fellowships in health policy." As well, a syllabus library provides an opportunity for faculty to share syllabi for health policy courses.

Kaiser also runs several other Web sites in addition to KaiserEDU.org: Kaisernetwork.org, StateFacts.org, GlobalHealthReporting.org and GlobalHealthFacts.org.

Kaisernetwork.org "is a free online resource for timely and in-depth coverage of health policy news, debates and discussions."

Snapshot of the KFF StateFacts.org home page. Click to visit. Close the opened window to return to this page. Statehealthfacts.org "is designed to provide free, up-to-date, and easy-to-use health data on all 50 states. Statehealthfacts.org provides data on more than 450 health topics." Both are important sources of information.

GlobalHealthReporting.org "provides timely news summaries and information on HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria for journalists and others."

GlobalHealthFacts.org offers current "country-by-country public health data presented in tables and interactive maps."

Notification Services

In addition to useful links from their home page, Kaiser has an email alert that you can sign up for. The signup form is located on the home page in the left navigation bar at the bottom but it is better to create a profile to receive targeted email alerts and to access personalized information from the site. Creating a profile gives you access to weekly emails, personalized saved links, summaries of the latest news, alerts to new state-level data, to tutorials, to new issue modules and to other information. It is definitely worth signing up for these notifications.

Discussion Questions

  1. Among librarians who have worked in health services for many years, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a favorite, along with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation site. What makes these two sites so valuable to health services librarians? Describe two sections of each site that are or will be useful to you.
  2. Health policy both drives and informs health services research. Discuss.
  3. What topics can you find in the Kaiser Family Foundation syllabus library? What advantages are there to reviewing a course syllabus for content?
  4. Why do librarians need to keep up with sources of current information on global health? Investigate some infectious disease statistics and generate at least two maps. Does it help you in your work to be able to study maps generated on infectious disease conditions?
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