Forming a Department of Health Services, Policy and Practice

The Health Services, Policy and Practice Department will focus on academic and research programs in health services/policy. 

Health services research encompasses work in the areas of:

  • Health outcomes, health care quality
  • Health policy, health care administration and management
  • Health systems research
  • Consumer education
  • Health economics, health care finance
  • Health care effectiveness, cost effectiveness, comparative effectiveness research
  • Health care access and utilization, health care for under-served populations.

Twenty universities among the prestigious members of the American Association of Universities (AAU) have accredited schools of public health.  All, except UB, have degree granting departments similar to the one to be built.  Seventeen are ranked in the nation’s top twenty schools of public health.  SPHHP leadership views the creation of a Department of Health Services, Policy and Practice with strong degree offerings as the highest priority in the School’s pursuit of this level of excellence.  In addition to enhancing the current MPH concentration, the proposed PhD program will produce students who will advance the nation’s health care system through research careers in health services, policy, management, systems, and practice.

The Division will efficiently use existing UB resources in the following ways to create an attractive environment for recruiting a Chair and subsequent faculty to the HSPP Department:

  • An initial core faculty of the Division will be formed by including current SPHHP faculty with research expertise in HSPP and interest in teaching in the PhD program;
  • An interdisciplinary group of UB faculty with research and teaching interests and expertise in various domains of HSPP will be recruited to serve in secondary faculty appointments in the Division and subsequently in the Department;
  • Participating faculty will recruit students to UB and mentor them through related masters programs prior to their entry into the HSPP PhD program.  Many of these faculty teach in the program and will guide students through dissertations in health services research;
  • Division faculty will work in close collaboration with the IHI and the newly forming Department of Biomedical Informatics (BMI) also benefitting from a 3E award in support of the SMBS’s application for a $20M Clinical and Translational Research Award (CTSA) and several IHI initiatives to create an environment supportive of HSPP research and training efforts.  The Institute for Healthcare Informatics (IHI) is a healthcare research and informatics center with a 3+HIPAA-compliant data storage and computing facility that houses large clinical and population databases.  It will serve as a catalyst for development of translational initiatives by the Department of HSPP.  It will be a unifying force that draws together UB faculty with common research interests in informatics-driven research in health services, policy, practice, or healthcare informatics.  It will provide UB faculty and students with access to large datasets and resources and will foster translational collaborations with health care organizations that supply data to the IHI.