Public health school debuts website for health care news, research

Media Credit: Dean Whitelaw | Photographer

Jane Thorpe, the interim chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management, and Kellyn Betts, the website’s content editor, will help the public health school run its website.

The Milken Institute School of Public Health launched a website this week to showcase the school’s health care research and expertise.

The website – GW Health Policy and Management Matters – launched Tuesday and features blogs on topics like health equity and Medicaid and videos covering issues like sexual violence within the context of public health. Creators of the website said they hope the site will dually serve as an academic hub for health care professionals and a space for the public health school to highlight academic and research achievements.

Jane Thorpe, the interim chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management who is helping promote the website, said the site will feature students who win awards and faculty members who release new research and reports. She said she will help gather information about current happenings at the public health school to hand off to faculty heading the website.

“We want to make sure that we are also showcasing the incredible work that they do in their field from a practice perspective, as well as our alumni, our students, our staff – give them really an opportunity to highlight and make that material available,” she said.

The website’s content is broken down by both “topics” and “tags” that can direct a visitor to a specific area of interest, like health equity, substance abuse or tobacco. Thorpe said some of the website’s key focus areas include health economics, Medicaid and comments on “important government reports.”

“Our website publishes important research about both health policy and health administration because they are deeply intertwined and have such a significant impact on one another,” she said in an email.

Thorpe said the website’s leadership team hopes to attract a “broad range of individuals” who are interested in the public health school’s work. She said consumers could include policymakers, academics, journalists, students, alumni, faculty at GW and other institutions, think tanks and health care organizations.

“By publicizing research aimed at strengthening the evidence for effective interventions, effective decision-making and priority-setting in health administration and management, the website will also provide a great service to researchers and administrators in healthcare management,” Thorpe said in an email.

She added that the team will track users to provide analytics to the Kovler Fund of Local Community Foundation. The team will also collect statistics about user demographics to ensure that the website’s curators are “providing relevant, accessible information that’s of interest to our audience.”

Kellyn Betts, the website’s content editor, said she works to keep track of topics that the website should cover, like health care policy and management issues and research conducted by staff and alumni. Betts said she works with three faculty advisers who are “experts” in the field of health policy and management: Doug Anderson, a teaching associate professor of health policy and management; Janet Heinrich, a research professor of health policy and management; and Naomi Seiler, an associate research professor of health policy and management.

Betts said she talks with the advisers after she identifies topics of interest for the website, and a faculty member is responsible for vetting any material prior to publication. She said she recently interviewed Allison Russo, a Democratic state representative for the 24th District of Ohio, about her work promoting health policy in her state.

“I’m hoping that we’ll have a lot more material like that,” Betts said.

She added that the website’s team plans to reach out to stakeholders who previously subscribed to the now-defunct Health Reform GPS website, a site launched by researchers in the public health school in 2012 to track the Affordable Care Act. She said the format of the new website was “inspired” by Health Reform GPS, which she said was “very successful” in alerting the way people thought about changes to the Affordable Care Act.

Anderson, a teaching associate professor of health policy and management and the management expert for the website, said the site is a “cutting-edge” tool that demonstrates the public health school’s engagement in both health policy and management.

“The faculty here, both on the policy side and the management side, are really on the leading edge of reform and transformation, and this is our website to get that information out and share ideas and content,” Anderson said.

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