Public Release: 

UK public health research center given grant

University of Kentucky Center for Public Health Systems and Services Research awarded $600,000 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

University of Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. (August 7, 2009) − The University of Kentucky College of Public Health's Center for Public Health Systems and Services Research (CPHSSR) has been awarded a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The $600,000 grant will be used to create an integrated dataset that will assist those researching how to improve the performance and impact of national, state and local public health services. Users will be able to search for key public health data, including information about local and state health departments and local boards of health.

The project will combine survey data collected by the National Association of County and City Health Officials, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, and the National Association of Local Boards of Health. The information gathered will be put into a single dataset with common geographic variables, a common data dictionary and the ability to link to other sources such as U.S. Census data. Taken together, the surveys measure the characteristics and performance of many different public health system components. Jeffery Jones and Martha Riddell, along with associate dean for workforce development Cynthia Lamberth, will serve as co-directors of this grant.

"This integrated dataset will provide researchers access to information that is critical to answering questions that can lead to translational practice decisions," said Lamberth. "Our goal is to improve the utility of the data for researchers and to assist those new to this field of inquiry with technical assistance."

Stephen Wyatt, dean of the College of Public Health, sees this grant as confirmation that UK continues to prove itself on a national level.

"This grant is further evidence that this UK research center and the associated faculty and staff have established themsevles as a national leader in public health systems research," said Wyatt. "The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's support of this stream of research continues to be critical and over time should strengthen public health service and systems research across the United States."

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The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change.

More information is available online by visiting the CPHSSR website or by calling Kara Richardson at (859) 218-2289.

We "see blue" at the University of Kentucky. We're home not only to powerhouse basketball and the best of intercollegiate athletics; we're also nationally ranked in more than 70 academic programs. We're charting an aggressive, exciting path toward becoming a Top 20 public research institution. "see blue." is a lot of things, but most of all it's about helping students realize their potential and harness the power of their dreams. For more about UK's efforts to become a Top 20 university and how we "see blue," visit www.uky.edu/OPBPA/business_plan.htm

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