Founded in 1982 as the Association for Health Services Research, AcademyHealth has been the tireless champion for the field of HSR for four decades. Thanks to the support of strong volunteer leadership, an engaged and diverse membership, and the efforts of a distinguished list of staff and alumni, AcademyHealth has long been the go-to professional association for health services and policy researchers and the professionals in the public and private sectors who use evidence to improve health and health care for all. We also serve as trusted source for evidence and analysis used in health policy decision making.
Historically, AcademyHealth has led by recognizing and validating the best work in the field at our meetings and events, convening diverse and multidisciplinary experts to address complex issues affecting the delivery, value, quality, and equity of care, amplifying research and researchers, and advocating for the funding, data, and other resources necessary to do this work.
Our 40th Anniversary, though, is much more than a look back. It is an opportunity to consider our impact over time and adapt in ways that allow us to both respond to current needs and lead the field forward. Adaptive leadership is particularly critical as we are called upon to respond to the challenges of achieving evidence based, equitable care amid the continued disruption and uncertainty in our collective lives.
Starting tomorrow, we will begin using a 40th logo as a visual commemoration of the Anniversary. We are also developing year-long programming that bridges the past and future. To begin, I’ll be conducting a series of interviews to spotlight new voices and ideas. Each will be recorded and posted on our YouTube channel.
We’re also soliciting contributions to our blog that consider and promote innovation in how we organize, incentivize, fund, and conduct research. After all – while the current research ecosystem within which HSR exists has advanced our knowledge, policies, and practices tremendously, it is also flawed. To date, the research workforce is insufficiently diverse, too many studies are not driven by the questions and information needs of our users, data and methods too often leave out the very populations who are most affected, and incentives and structures do not sufficiently reward impact or implementation. I firmly believe we can do better! Join us in using this anniversary to shake things up by pitching your blog ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In June, we are planning some additional recognition around the ARM, including a special reception. It will be nice to have a little fun after a tough couple of years. Make sure you register and bring your dancing shoes!
The final aspect of our 40th Anniversary recognition supports our ongoing effort to expand our community and embrace professionals investigating cost, quality, access and equity in new domains and with new data and methods – look for more on that member drive this summer.