UK Researchers’ Work Featured in America’s Health Rankings Annual Report
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 22, 2011) — Two University of Kentucky researchers make the case for research into the effectiveness of public health strategies, in one of eight “insights of thoughtful health leaders” featured in the latest edition of America’s Health Rankings: A Call to Action for Individuals and Their Communities.
The 22nd edition of America’s Health Rankings, the longest running state-by-state analysis of the nation’s health and the factors that affect it, is produced by United Health Foundation in partnership with the American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention.
Glen Mays and Dr. F. Douglas Scutchfield, researchers with the National Coordinating Center for Public Health Services and Systems Research (NCC) at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, co-authored the article, “Addressing Unwarranted Variation in Population Health Strategies: Mobilizing Multi-Sector Action and Evidence.”
In the article, Mays and Scutchfield outline the challenges of population-based public health strategies, including a shortage of efforts to improve physical and nutritional environments; finding common ground among multiple organizations to produce collective actions; a lack of resources and preparedness of public health agencies to perform broader initiatives, rather than only clinical preventive services; and a lack of information about the most effective strategies to improve public health.
The rapidly growing field of public health services and systems research addresses the need for more and better information, building the evidence needed to improve policy and administrative decision-making in public health. The NCC works to provide evidence on the most effective strategies – what they are and why they work.
“The current policy discourse around health reform increasingly reflects the need for greater emphasis on prevention as part of the pathway toward a higher-performing health system. This objective will require more and better information about how to deliver effective prevention strategies to the populations that can benefit most from them,” Mays and Scutchfield write in the report.
The complete article is available at http://www.americashealthrankings.org/Commentaries/Commentary3.aspx
Housed at the UK College of Public Health, the NCC is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. For more information about the Center and its work, visit www.publichealthsystems.org.
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