College of Public Health researcher Examine Impact of System Changes on Public Health

College of Public Health researcher Examine Impact of System Changes on Public Health

Athens, Ga. –  Phaedra Corso, professor of health policy and management at the University of Georgia College of Public Health, will examine howreallocating Georgia’s funding for local public health infrastructure, will impact health outcomes in Georgia.

Corso received funding for her study through a new round of research supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), aimed at examining how recent dramatic changes in the operation of the nation’s public health system impact its effectiveness in such critical roles as emergency preparedness and reporting of disease outbreaks.

The award is one of seven new research awards administered by the National Network of Public Health Institutes and funded as a part of an initiative on “natural experiments” in public health delivery developed by the National Coordinating Center for Public Health Services and Systems Research (PHSSR), a RWJF-funded center housed at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health.

“Public health has experienced powerful economic, environmental, and informational shocks to the system in recent years,” said Glen Mays, Ph.D., M.P.H., professor of public health at the University of Kentucky and co-principal investigator of the National Coordinating Center. “Through these natural experiment studies, we can accelerate system improvements by carefully examining which responses work best, for which populations, and under what circumstances.”

The economic recession, innovations in information technology and new policy initiatives are just some of the forces changing how public health services are organized, financed, and delivered across the nation. These shifts create “natural experiments” – changes in public health delivery that occur in some communities, but not others – that researchers can use to study the effects of public health strategies on population health.

Corso’s research will provide relevant information to public health practitioners and policy-makers, contributing evidence that is urgently needed to improve the population’s health and the quality, efficiency, and equity in public health practice, improving population health.

Posted October 9, 2012.