Danielle Varda Awarded Robert Wood Johnson Foundation PHSSR Grant

Photo of Danielle VardaOn Feb. 23, 2015, the National Coordinating Center for Public Health Services and Systems Research at the University of Kentucky’s College of Public Health announced the recipients of  9 research grants totaling approximately $3.2 million. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the grants support investigators who will expand the evidence for policy and administrative mechanisms to improve the quality, efficiency, and value of public health systems and service delivery across the United States.

Danielle Varda, SPA associate professor, is co-PI on a two-year, $346,000 grant with Lisa VanRaemdonck, who leads the Colorado Practice Based Research Network. Also on the team are Adam Atherly and Greg Tung from the Colorado School of Public Health, and Rachel Hogg, SPA postdoc. Their project is titled Hospital Investment and Interaction in Public Health Systems.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this new RWJF initiative that will expand the scope and rigor of the field of public health systems and services research,” says Varda. “This project will use some of the only existing data on hospital-public health partnerships and hospital investment in community benefits to answer important research questions, as well as provide evidence for practitioners and policy-makers to engage in innovative collaborations.”

A description of the project from the proposal:

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) creates new requirements for nonprofit hospitals to assess community health needs and develop implementation plans for local public health priorities. University of Colorado Denver investigators seek to inform community strategies to increase hospitals’ involvement in public health systems by examining hospital investments and interactions with other public health organizations in their communities. Investigators will study the association between hospital indicators, such as size and strength of relationships with other organizations, with two outcomes: 1) hospital interactions in their communities using the investigator’s PARTNER survey data on partnerships between hospitals and public health, and 2) hospital community benefit investments reported on IRS 990 and Schedule H forms. Initially, the study will employ a Delphi technique with practice and research experts to hypothesize hospital indicators, and then obtain data on the identified indicators. The study’s translation tool will enable other communities to use an interactive registry of indicator and outcome measures to design their hospital-public health integration strategies.

Congratulations Danielle and team!



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