Ensuring an Evidence-Based Approach to [Re]building the Public Health System
AcademyHealth, funded by Kaiser Permanente, is engaging leaders in public health research and practice on a priority-setting initiative to define a research agenda for the evidence needed for a reimagined public health system.
Public health leaders, practitioners, and policymakers need current, relevant, and reliable research to inform public health practice strategies capable of achieving a public health system transformed for success in the 21st century. The value of a public health system with the capacity, resources, and competencies needed to effectively address emergencies and persistent health inequities received heightened attention due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the need for research evidence to guide and evaluate these system improvements remains absent in most discussions.
With funding from Kaiser Permanente, in collaboration with the American Public Health Association (APHA) and leveraging AcademyHealth’s Public Health Services and Systems Research (PHSSR) Interest Group, this 12-month initiative will develop a renewed research agenda for the evidence needed to inform and improve public health programs, systems and services in the next decade. This project draws from the previous PHSSR research agenda, published in 2012, and will engage key leaders in PHSSR and public health system transformation. Further, the renewed agenda will ensure strong focus on the most pressing issues facing public health leaders today, including:
• policy and law,
• public health data infrastructure to inform real-time decisions,
• workforce capacity and burnout, and
• the social determinants of health.
Through a participatory approach, involving establishing a Guiding Council and convening a multistakeholder deliberative dialogue to conduct priority-setting, this project will serve as a foundational step in creating a robust evidence base to:
• recenter and reinvigorate PHSSR experts,
• reflect on research priorities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,
• develop a roadmap that can be used to address research gaps on public health system performance, and
• strengthen efforts to advocate for dedicated federal PHSSR funding.