Defragmenting Health and Social Systems: Pitch Your Research Idea Now

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Systems for Action research program announced our 2nd call for proposals for new research last month. The May 5 deadline for brief proposals is fast approaching, but you still have time to pitch your idea. With this call we will build upon the strong cohort of intramural and extramural studies launched last year through the S4A program, which aim to answer a fundamental and urgent question:

How can we better align delivery and financing systems for medical, social, and public health services in ways that improve health and health equity?

Research shows us with increasing clarity that social, economic, and environmental conditions strongly influence health and health equity for individuals, families, and communities. But we also know that services and supports designed to improve these conditions—such as housing, transportation, education, income and employment assistance, child and family supports, and legal and criminal justice services —are often disconnected from the medical services and public health programs tasked with improving health. As a result, people experiencing adverse social, economic and environmental conditions are more likely to develop costly and preventable health conditions, but they are less likely to benefit from the medical and public health services available to them. We need more scientific evidence about productive and feasible ways to defragment our medical, social, and public health systems in order to solve these coordination problems.

For colleagues who have a special interest in the organization and economics of public health services, the S4A program is a golden opportunity for studying the ways in which public health strategies can help to connect the dots between the medical and social service needs faced by individuals and communities. All of the research supported through S4A pursues an overarching focus on how system alignment strategies can help to achieve health equity by activating key drivers represented in the RWJF Culture of Health Action Framework.

This year we seek research proposals in two different categories: (1) a category for exploratory and developmental studies and (2) a category for full research studies that examine impact and effectiveness.

Submit your research idea today!

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