Research Network to Tackle Public Health Concerns

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has established a public health practice-based research network—the Ohio Research Association for Public Health Improvement (RAPHI), thanks to a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

With increasing threats to public health and safety from emerging concerns such as the H1N1 virus, climate change and food-borne illnesses, the need for such a network is greater and more visible than ever, according to Scott Frank, MD, co-principal investigator, director of the School of Medicine’s Master of Public Health program and health commissioner for the city of Shaker Heights, Ohio.

“Finding solutions to health problems such as chronic disease, obesity, mental health and substance abuse will depend on an effective public health system,” says Frank.

RAPHI will allow local health departments and their communities from across Ohio to work collaboratively to conduct cutting-edge research to address the nation’s health challenges. Initial research will focus on the use of public health informatics for continuous quality improvement, community health assessment and surveillance, and the use of public health financial performance indicators in local health departments.