Josephine Porter serves as the Director for the Institute for Health Policy and Practice (IHPP) at the University of New Hampshire. IHPP is an applied research institute within the College of Health and Human Services. The mission of IHPP is to conduct and disseminate high-quality, cutting-edge applied research and policy work that enables health system partners to implement evidence-based strategies to improve population health. IHPP focuses its work in 5 focal areas: Health Analytics and Informatics, Long Term Care and Aging, Delivery System and Payment Reform, Public Health and Health Promotion, and Health Law and Policy. The last of these, Health Law and Policy, is a collaboration with the UNH School of Law.
Ms. Porter became the Director of IHPP in May 2016, after serving one year as Interim Director, and several years as Deputy Director. The IHPP team consists of over 20 staff members and 6-10 students, and works on a wide range of projects, supported by federal, state, and foundation sources. In addition to her leadership role in IHPP, Ms. Porter has focused her programmatic work on health data and the effective use of data to shape health policy. Ms. Porter has served as co-chair of the national All-Payer Claims Database (APCD) Council, a collaboration between the National Association of Health Data Organizations (NAHDO) and IHPP, for over 5 years. She has assisted many state governments in APCD development and effective use issues, and has spoken about the topic at a wide range of national meetings.
Within the state, Ms. Porter works on a range of health policy issues. In 2013, she was appointed by then-Governor Maggie Hassan to serve on the Governor’s Commission on Medicaid Care Management, which provides review and recommendations on New Hampshire’s implementation to Medicaid Managed Care. Ms. Porter also serves as co-chair of the Public Health Improvement Services Council, which provides input to the State of New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services’ activities.
Given the breadth of focus of IHPP, Ms. Porter is involved in a wide range of health policy projects. This includes the development of integrated models of care for primary care-behavioral health, supporting UNH’s participation in the Partnership for Healthier America’s Healthier Campus Initiative, providing support for the NH Alliance for Health Aging, developing resources to address mental health parity law, and using NH’s APCD to support a range of health transformation and policy projects. All of these projects take cross-disciplinary approaches, seeking to focus on the translation of science to practice.
Prior to her time at IHPP, Ms. Porter worked in the private sector and state government. Included in her private sector experience was time with a care management firm that shaped its business to promote shared-decision making and address issues of unwarranted variation in healthcare. Her time in state government included being the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Coordinator in New Hampshire, where she was appointed to the national-level BRFSS Coordinators group at CDC.
Ms. Porter has a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology, with a minor in Health Management and Policy, graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of New Hampshire. She earned her Master of Public Health, with honors, with dual concentrations in Epidemiology/Biostatistics and Social and Behavioral Health from Boston University.
Statement of Interest
Given the current national focus on issues related to health and health care, the need for robust, clear, and relevant health policy and health services research has likely never been greater. The members of the AcademyHealth community have an incredibly important role to play in the ongoing conversations about health care, and bringing evidence into the current debates and the inevitable debates to come. The collective force of Academy Health will be increasingly important. It is because of this role for AcademyHealth, and the vital health services research it represents, that I am interested in serving a member of the board.
As a current AcademyHealth member, I have been most active in AcademyHealth’s State and University Partnership Learning Network (SUPLN), including the opportunity to serve on the SUPLN Steering Committee. This network focuses on how universities and state governmental partners can work together to leverage their collective expertise to develop, implement, and evaluate health policy. Given the likely increasing role of state regulation and oversight in health policy implementation, I feel that this kind of expertise will be increasingly important.
As the director of an organization that spans a wide range of health topics with an interdisciplinary approach, I look forward to being able to share my experience looking across systems for evidence-based solutions as a member of the AcademyHealth board. In addition, I hope that my experience with data systems and state health policy will provide value to the organization.
The skill, knowledge, experience of the Academy Health members is unmatched. If elected to the AcademyHealth board, I would work to be sure that the science, evidence, and research generated by the AcademyHealth members is disseminated and translated such that it can be used meet the AcademyHealth goal “to improve health and the performance of the health system by supporting the production and use of evidence to inform policy and practice.”