Focus on Research: Health Services Research

The recently reconfigured Health Services Research Focus Area (RFA) has an ambitious goal – to provide a platform for health services research and advance the science of health services and translational research, ultimately resulting in improved population health outcomes. This will address many of the areas that NEOMED has worked toward since the founding of the University – addressing the gaps in the health care system, along with social determinants of health, that fuel chronic health conditions that contribute to health disparities, morbidity, and mortality.  

The Health Services RFA was previously known as the Community-based Mental Health RFA. The group, led by Kris Baughman, Ph.D., associate professor of family and community medicine, and Natalie Bonfine, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry, led the proposal to change the name.

“The timing was optimal to re-focus the Community-based Mental Health Research Focus Area using a wider theoretical and methodological lens, so that social and behavioral science, population health and translational research may be conceptualized within an RFA at NEOMED,” Dr. Baughman said. “This was a faculty-driven effort.” 

“Health services research comprises a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the way organizations, structures, processes, technology, social factors and personal behaviors influence access,” Dr. Bonfine added. “This RFA will address the innovative delivery of health care services, the translation of science and technology into practice, and the integration of behavioral health and primary care.”  

Drs. Baughman and Bonfine also placed heavy consideration in having the aim of the Health Services RFA align with the current strategic plans of the University and the College of Medicine. This will be accomplished with a focus on: 

  • Contributing to the reputation of NEOMED and the Center for Integrated Primary Mental Health Care as an innovative model of translational research and primary and mental health care integration. 
  • Enhancing faculty success in terms of research and scholarly productivity and career advancement.  
  • Connecting faculty and clinical partners within a collaborative research environment that supports key initiatives for the University and College of Medicine.  
  • Developing research-related learning opportunities for NEOMED students. 
  • Improving population- and individual-level health and service outcomes.   

Learn more about the researchers and current work in the Health Services RFA. 

A version of this article previously appeared in the Strategic Planning newsletter.

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