RWJF Center for Health Policy at UNM

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What the RWJF Center for Health Policy Will Be Known For

Cultivating exceptional health policy leaders who accept the challenges of improving health and health care in America.

We will train Latino, American Indian and other ethnic minority group members as health policy leaders whose expertise in health services research and policy analysis demonstrates that diversity of perspectives leads to better health outcomes for all the people of the United States and the Americas.

Improving health policy at the local, state, regional, national and international levels requires policy analysis that is first and foremost high quality research.

The complex problems our nation and the world faces require that innovative approaches be developed to address them. These approaches can be found in interdisciplinary collaborations and transdisciplinary work that stretches the boundaries of traditional disciplines, creates new methodologies, and produces new insights and a knowledge base for action.

Focusing on applied research that addresses key underlying factors contributing to the health and well-being of Americans, in order to inform policy development and implementation.

The complexity of health and health care issues and the need for interdisciplinary teams to address them requires that every member of the team bring to the table their own disciplinary expertise to share. Thus, team members must have excellent training in their disciplines. Unfortunately, most disciplinary programs do not expose young scholars to applied research until late in their educational experiences. Yet on-the-job training from the beginning of a doctoral student's theoretical and methodological training, coupled with ongoing mentoring from senior researchers and policy analysts, adds motivation, research skills and experience that cannot be gained anywhere but out in the field.

Creating a shared learning environment for community leaders, senior fellows, fellows and staff. We all have something to learn and to teach in an interdisciplinary environment.

The RWJF Center will be a learning environment for everyone from the most senior scholars to our doctoral fellows to the most junior members of our professional staff. As well, we expect that we will both learn from and instruct community members who, as partners in our research and policy analysis efforts, can strengthen their communities and increase their resilience.

Leading innovative interventions that improve the health care received by individuals and leading the promotion of community health through preventive interventions.

Our research will have practical applications for the health of both individuals and communities. Our research will inform policy-making at the local, "private" institutional level and will inform governmental decision-making at the local, state, regional, national and international levels. We will engage in applied social science research and policy analysis as well as in demonstration research to address specific issues. For example, the RWJF Center for Health Policy will lead a statewide initiative to improve the quality of medical care available to New Mexicans by working with stakeholders such as health care providers, government representatives, patient advocates, business executives and community leaders throughout the state and the nation.

Being the consummate partner in research, policy analysis and community capacity building.

Partnerships are instrumental to successful interdisciplinary research and community-based research efforts that lead to health policy changes. As a university-wide health policy research center, the RWJF Center serves as a workshop for faculty throughout the University, serving the informational and analytic needs of civic leaders and the policy-making community. These partnerships are critical for RWJF Center Senior Fellows and Graduate Fellows to gain the experience and trust necessary to participate in the policy-making process.  This process relies on personal relationships and exchanges of information which are best conducted through trusting partnerships.

Goals 2008–2011

  1. Create opportunities for student learning from exceptional leaders to enhance development of professional competencies in health policy.

  2. Enhance leadership development and career success among health policy professionals through opportunities for lifelong learning.

  3. Lead initiatives to promote and support research that addresses critical health policy issues and improves health care management and policy decision-making.

  4. Facilitate communication among health care practitioners, policy-makers, doctoral students and faculty.