Blog: System and Services Research for Better Health


"What does it look like when systems work better together?

At Arizona State University, a research team is exploring this very question. By integrating data sources from Arizona’s medical, mental health, and criminal justice systems, they’re looking for ways to effectively coordinate health and support services for those confronting mental health or substance abuse challenges. The study uses systems modeling and network analysis methods to see how individuals and dollars move between and within these systems. These insights will help us better understand how changes in financing and service delivery can improve health outcomes.

Over at Drexel University, a team is studying how aligning Medicaid coverage for behavioral services with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF) can reduce children’s developmental risks, improve future employment and income, and reduce the return of beneficiaries to the TANF program.

These are just two examples of research funded by Systems for Action (S4A), one of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF's) signature research programs. S4A seeks research that explores innovative ways to improve alignment between the delivery and financing systems that affect health—such as education, income and employment assistance, transportation, community development, medical and public health—to build a Culture of Health."

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