The mission of the Center for Health Care and Policy Research (CHCPR) is to create and disseminate new scientific knowledge that will help private and public decision-makers to develop cost effective services and programs that improve people's health. In carrying out its mission, the Center

  • Promotes innovative research on significant health care topics;
  • Supports faculty in submitting research proposals and executing funded projects;
  • Assists in the communication of research findings to policymakers and practitioners;
  • Furthers Penn State's educational mission by facilitating research experiences for students.

Promoting Research and Scholarship to Improve Health Services

CHCPR promotes communication and collaboration across academic units and campuses at Penn State, encouraging the formation of research teams with the diversity of disciplinary perspectives and expertise needed to address complex problems in health care. The Center is actively engaged with other research units at Penn State in promoting the development of externally funded proposals on health topics. Its partners include the Department of Health Policy and Administration, the Gerontology Center, and other units in the College of Health and Human Development; the Population Research Institute; the Children, Youth and Families Consortium; the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health (located at Penn State); the Department of Health Evaluation Sciences (in the College of Medicine at Hershey); and the Penn State Cancer Institute. With significant numbers of affiliated faculty on the main campus in University Park and at the College of Medicine in Hershey, the Center is a pivotal link in efforts to expand and strengthen health care research at Penn State by promoting collaborations across the two campuses.

Research Strengths

The Center's research portfolio is funded by such major grant-makers as the The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and The Commonwealth Fund. The expertise reflected in this research is drawn from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds, including management, organizational theory, economics, sociology, public health sciences, clinical practice, gerontology, epidemiology, law, and communications.

The faculty associated with the Center are particularly well known for leadership in research on

  • Aging and Long-Term Care Our studies of the health care of older Americans address a wide range of topics, from questions of state and federal policy to managerial, technological, and clinical innovations in patient care. A team of CHCPR investigators is at the forefront of national efforts to improve the quality of long-term care, as they are leading the evaluation of a five state demonstration funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Atlantic Philanthropies to empower and improve the jobs of the front-line workers who assist patients with activities of daily living.
  • Health Disparities In addition to racial, ethnic and socioeconomic differences in health and health care, we have a special concern for the availability, quality and cost of health care in rural communities.
  • Improving Performance Through Innovation and Organizational Change We are working at multiple levels to restructure health care "systems" to improve performance. Nationally, through our evaluation of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Aligning Forces for Quality: The Regional Market Project, we are contributing to initiatives to enhance public reporting, assist physicians in improving the quality of ambulatory, chronic illness care, and increase consumer engagement. Inside health care organizations, we are helping to evaluate new technologies and their impact on staffing levels and satisfaction as well as the quality of patient care.
  • Public and Private Insurance and the Uninsured Our research is influencing the design of both public and private health insurance plans. We are informing efforts to insure the uninsured. We are contributing to the improvement of public programs by studying questions of benefit design, reimbursement, and eligibility and by evaluating the impact of legislative changes.