Four new research studies aim to improve health across entire communities by integrating the delivery and financing of medical care, public health, and social services. As part of the new Systems for Action: Systems and Services Research to Build a Culture of Health Research Program, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation today announced $1 million in funding to support studies led by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Drexel University, Michigan State University, and the University of Delaware. The Systems for Action National Coordinating Center, housed at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, will manage these studies as part of its national portfolio of research focused on systems and services research.
Systems for Action uses thorough scientific methods to discover how best to deliver and finance the constellation of services that support health in American communities. These studies include, but extend beyond, the medical and health sectors to address issues such as housing, transportation, food security, employment, education, and criminal justice that support a Culture of Health in U.S. communities.
Each team of investigators will receive up to $250,000 in funding over two years to test innovative ways of aligning the delivery and financing systems for multiple services, with a focus on the health and economic outcomes that result. Research findings will shape future directions in health and social policy, while informing clinical and administrative practices used by the professionals that work in these diverse but inter-related sectors.
“Health and social services are supported through a fragmented mix of agencies, community institutions, and funding streams that contribute to the large differences in health outcomes and costs that we see across the U.S.,” said Dr. Glen Mays, director of the Systems for Action National Coordinating Center. “These studies will help us learn how to restructure delivery and financing systems in ways that give everyone an equal chance to be healthy.”