For Immediate Release:
August 29, 2016
Lauren Adams

Washington, D.C. (08/29/16) – In the first step of what is hoped to be an ongoing collaboration, AcademyHealth named the Sax Institute’s Steve Makkar, Ph.D., as a Senior Scholar in Residence.

Makkar is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Sax Institute in Sydney, which works to promote evidence-based health policymaking in Australia. At the Institute, Makkar has focused on assessing policymakers’ use of research in health policy development and the capacity of policy agencies to undertake evidence-informed health policymaking.

“AcademyHealth and the Sax Institute share the common goal of moving health services research findings into policy and practice. Steve’s work fits squarely within AcademyHealth’s Translation and Dissemination Institute’s efforts to improve the art and science of how we translate knowledge into action,” said Michael E. Gluck, Ph.D., senior director, translation strategies and co-director of the AcademyHealth Translation and Dissemination Institute. “We look forward to working together and learning from one another.”

At Sax, Makkar contributed to the development of the first tool to evaluate the capacity of government agencies to use research in health policymaking. The tool measures seven characteristics of an agency that support research use such as staff training, research resources and systems to undertake in-house research and evaluations or strengthen relationships with outside researchers. Agencies can use the tool to identify opportunities to improve their ability to use evidence in developing health policy.

While at AcademyHealth, Makkar will work with Translation and Dissemination Institute staff to develop a project that will apply this measurement tool to federal and state health policy agencies in the United States. The work will shed new light on how agencies make policy decisions and support the creation of tools to improve research use that can be applied in other countries. Makkar will be in-residence at AcademyHealth until February 28, 2017.

“Working with AcademyHealth allows me to continue my work in understanding how research is integrated into policy with an international perspective,” said Makkar. “I’m looking forward to building on our mutual commitment to informing health policymaking with evidence.”


About the AcademyHealth Senior Scholars Program
The Senior Scholar in Residence Program provides an opportunity for AcademyHealth members to experience first-hand the role that health services research can play in informing national policy issues. The program provides an opportunity for the Senior Scholars to deepen their understanding of how health services research informs national policy; brings new and innovative thinking and research to national policy discussions; and increases interactions between AcademyHealth members and staff in order to increase their mutual understanding of key health issues and to help them better serve the field. To learn more about the AcademyHealth Senior Scholars in Residence Program, visit

About AcademyHealth
AcademyHealth is a leading national organization serving the fields of health services and policy research and the professionals who produce and use this important work. Together with our members, we offer programs and services that support the development and use of rigorous, relevant and timely evidence to increase the quality, accessibility, and value of health care, to reduce disparities, and to improve health. A trusted broker of information, AcademyHealth brings stakeholders together to address the current and future needs of an evolving health system, inform health policy, and translate evidence into action. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter @AcademyHealth.