Following President Clinton's health care reform effort 18 years ago, a small group of faculty in the UCLA School of Public Health joined together to create a new health policy research center. The center would use policy research to help improve health care access and quality and the public's health.
The vision that motivated us was a center that would serve as a focal point for faculty research to inform the policy process. The center would communicate directly with policy makers and advocates to translate the results of our research into evidence that policy audiences could use in their work. It would be a bridge between the university and the policy world, with communication flowing in both directions.
The result was the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research which opened in early 1994 with a staff of eight, including founding director and distinguished scholar and health policy advocate E. Richard Brown
. Eighteen years later the Center has grown to become one of the nation's leading health policy research centers, with a staff of more than 75, including some of UCLA's leading health policy and public health experts.
The Center's success can be measured by many indicators, but the key one is the impact of its work on health policy. The Center's work is used in a wide range of health policy development and advocacy, both in California and nationally.
Its impacts are seen in efforts to expand health care coverage for low- and moderate-income children, to the crafting of broad state-based health care reform proposals, and the implementation and evaluation of federal health care reform intended to improve coverage, access and quality of care, and reign in health care costs. The Center's work also informs efforts to combat obesity and rising diabetes rates, improve access to fresh produce, reduce reliance on unhealthful foods, and enhance active living. The Center's work has also aimed a spotlight on disparities in health and health care with a goal of reducing inequities in health and social policy.
One of the Center's largest and most impactful projects has been the creation of the California Health Interview Survey
. CHIS, as it is widely known, uniquely provides statewide and local-level estimates for California's diverse population. It is nationally recognized as a state-of-the-art health survey, particularly for its inclusiveness of ethnic and racial diversity, the breadth of health issues it covers, its extensive stakeholder participation in designing the survey, and its comprehensive dissemination of results and data to diverse constituencies. CHIS data have helped inform policy from Sacramento to the chambers of the U.S. Congress, move state and national debates, and improve the health of all Californians.
In January 2012, Dr. Gerald F. Kominski
became Center Director. A professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management of UCLA Fielding School of Public Health since 1989 and a founding member of the Center, Dr. Kominski is a respected and widely-published authority on health care reform, health care economics, and efforts to improve the efficacy of public insurance programs. The Center's Associate Director is Dr. Steven Wallace
, professor and Chair of the Department of Community Health Sciences in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and a noted UCSF-trained sociologist and gerontologist.
The Center relies entirely on private funding to conduct its essential research and to offer it and CHIS data free of charge to the public. If you would like to support our work, please donate now
or contact A.J. Scheitler for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org