Regents approve UNMC Center for Health Policy

The center will serve as a bridge to help shape health policy decisions.

Health care reform, distracted and impaired driving laws, and strategies to increase the size of the health care workforce are samples of policies that will be researched and analyzed in the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s new Center for Health Policy.

The center, approved today by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, will serve as a bridge between academic health researchers, state and local government, health care organizations and community leaders to help shape health policy decisions.

The center will become the premier resource for leaders who seek policy solutions that improve the health of Nebraskans. Through the center, UNMC faculty and students will conduct interdisciplinary research and provide objective analysis of health policies.

Ayman El-Mohandes, M.B.B.Ch., M.D., M.P.H., dean of the College of Public Health, said the center will have special emphasis on health care reform and how it impacts health care delivery and public health.

“This is a critical time in the history of health care in the United States,” Dr. El-Mohandes said. “The center will work to analyze, interpret and predict how new and evolving legislation and policies affect the health of people in Nebraska and around the country.

The economy, advanced technology and recent federal legislation have had an impact on the training of health care professionals, delivery of care and the way research is conducted, said Jim Stimpson, Ph.D., associate professor of Health Services Research and Administration and the director of the new center.

These changes affect health promotion and disease prevention, access and quality of care, the health care workforce and cost effectiveness, all of which require extensive study and monitoring, he said.

The center will conduct timely policy analysis, issue policy briefs, organize policy forums, analyze issues beyond the scope of health services research and serve an educational function through training grants and policy fellowships.

Training can be provided through the Nebraska Health Policy Academy that teaches public health workers to use health policy as a tool. Dr. Stimpson is the principal investigator of the Academy, which is funded by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control infrastructure grant.

Dr. Stimpson said UNMC’s center will enhance opportunities for external funding available to the University of Nebraska and boost interdisciplinary collaborations, which will help Nebraska’s economy.

Faculty members who work in health policy who want to be part of research teams are invited to join the center. More information can be found at: http://www.unmc.edu/publichealth/chp

Policy competency will expand as students and faculty members work with communities across the state to identify ways to effectively promote health, prevent injury and illness and improve the efficiency and quality of health care, Dr. Stimpson said.

Dr. Stimpson earned his doctorate degree in sociology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and received further training as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas Medical Branch. Prior to coming to UNMC, he was a faculty member for five years in public health at the University of North Texas.

He holds research grants from the National Cancer Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Through world-class research and patient care, UNMC generates breakthroughs that make life better for people throughout Nebraska and beyond. Its education programs train more health professionals than any other institution in the state. Learn more at unmc.edu.


Vicky Cerino
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-5190