Staff Spotlight July 2017 – The Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC)
What is your group’s name?
The Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC) is housed within the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. The center has 60 staff members plus 13 affiliated university faculty members.
Who heads GHPC?
Karen Minyard, Ph.D., has led the center since 2001. There are also four directors with shared leadership responsibilities — Ann DiGirolamo, Ph.D., Glenn Landers, Sc.D., Chris Parker, M.B.B.S. and Angela Snyder, Ph.D. Together, they work to grow the center as a whole by providing strategic leadership for development of project portfolios, research capacity, and competency areas.
Tell us about your group’s mission.
GHPC’s mission is to integrate research, policy and programs to advance health and well-being.
How long has the group been formed?
The center was established in 1995 and since that time has worked with diverse public and private clients at the local, state and national levels to impact health in more than 1,200 communities across the country. We provide evidence-based research, program development and policy guidance to connect decision makers with objective information needed to make informed decisions about health policy, financing and program implementation.
How does GHPC conduct its work?
GHPC views its work as related components of a continuous cycle. We conduct research, collect and analyze data, and translate the findings for use by a broad range of stakeholders. In turn, we evaluate policies and programs for effectiveness, further contributing to the research base available to decision makers.
Our core services fall into the areas of research and evaluation, technical assistance, policy and economic analysis, meeting design and facilitation, strategic planning, workforce development, awards and grants management, and backbone and organizational support.
What subject-matter areas does GHPC cover?
GHPC seeks to fulfill its mission of improving health status at the community level through partnering with others to foster collaboration and innovation in how health care is delivered and financed.
The center focuses on some of the most complex policy issues facing health care today including behavioral health, child health and well-being, community health systems development, health and health care financing, health in all policies, health system transformation, long-term services and supports, population health, and rural health.
Highlight some of your accomplishments?
- As health reform is currently being debated at the national level, GHPC is undertaking a comprehensive effort to understand and translate health reform proposals for our local, state and national partners. We formed a Health Reform Work Group, which is composed of a multidisciplinary team of faculty and staff from Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, the J. Mack Robinson College of Business, the College of Law, and the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Team members have expertise in health policy, health care administration, economics, insurance, finance, employee benefits, risk management, long-term care, public health, and law.
The work group operates in real time to track and analyze health reform proposals, and to translate and disseminate information to stakeholders. This work will assist our partners in building a knowledge base to inform decision making from a systems perspective; and help stakeholders build their capacity to strategically plan in a time of health system transformation. The work group will track the implementation of any law that emerges with keen interest on its impact in Georgia, regarding rates of uninsured, responses from private and public markets, regulations, court decisions, and responses from other states.
- To assist public health leaders in thinking adaptively and planning strategically through health and health care system transformation, GHPC, along with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Network of Public Health Institutes, developed the online tool Leading through Health System Change. In 2016, the team updated and relaunched the widely used planning tool with fresh content on the Affordable Care Act, new examples showcasing best practices from across the country, and integrated learning modules specific to public health topic areas. The new website — still a free resource — provides users with a powerful, source for health reform information, a learning process for adaptive thinking and step-by-step guidance for strategic planning.
- GHPC serves as the national coordinating center for Bridging for Health: Improving Community Health Through Innovations in Financing, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The center works with selected communities that are pursuing innovations in financing and collective impact that aim to improve health equity and realign investments in population health.