College of Public Health Gains National Prominence
Media Contact: Keith Hautala, 859-257-1754, x231
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 19, 2008) The University of Kentucky College of Public Health will be home to the new "go-to source" for public health agencies nationwide, with the creation of a data clearinghouse and analysis center funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Library of Medicine.
Dr. F. Douglas Scutchfield, the Peter P. Bosomworth Professor of health services research and policy at UK's College of Public Health, said the housing of the center reflects the college's leadership in the emerging field of Public Health Systems and Services Research (PHSSR).
"The University of Kentucky is on the cutting edge of public health in the 21st century," Scutchfield said. "The establishment of PHSSR will allow public health researchers, practitioners and policymakers across the country to collaborate and coordinate activities in a way that would not have been conceivable a few decades ago. Creation of an online community where those interested in affecting change in public health policy and practice can exchange information and ideas in real-time will become a tremendous asset to the health of our nation."
Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, highlighted the new center for PHSSR in a speech last week to the fifth joint conference of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the National Association of County and City Health Officials, held in Sacramento, Calif.
"We're housing a data clearinghouse and analysis center at the University of Kentucky, with help from the National Library of Medicine," she said. "This will be the go-to source for the very best and latest data on what public health agencies are doing and learning."
Scutchfield said this acknowledgment, made before an audience of thousands of public health officials, is a proud moment for the college and its faculty.
"We have arrived here as the result of the hard work and dedication of program partners and our people here at the university," Scutchfield said. "They deserve to be acknowledged on a national stage for the path that they have blazed. One day, we will all remember when they took this opportunity to move the public health of our nation further around the track toward the finish line."
Dr. Stephen W. Wyatt, dean of UK's College of Public Health, acknowledged the importance of "having access to current, high-quality data for decision-making in any area, including the public health arena." He added, "how pleased we are that, thanks to the leadership of Dr. Scutchfield and the CPHSSR staff, UK's reputation for leadership in this area is rapidly expanding."
Additional information about the center is available on the Web at www.publichealthsystems.org or by contacting Kara Richardson, communications coordinator, at 859-218-2289.