Students Classroom

Message from the Medical College of Wisconsin Center for Advancing Population Science (CAPS) Director

Welcome to CAPS

Health services research is a multidisciplinary field that incorporates research on social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes, health technology, and health behaviors. It offers a unique position to understand how access to care, systems and cost of care, and the social determinants of health intersect to create disparities and influence health. For that reason, while the Center for Advancing Population Science (CAPS) is a multidisciplinary team of researchers covering a variety of disease areas, spanning influence from individuals to health systems to policy, I see the Center as fitting into the broad focus of health services.

Our mission is to develop, test, and implement innovative strategies for transforming healthcare that optimizes quality, value, and cost. We aim to influence our local neighborhoods, the health systems in Wisconsin and throughout the United States, and the global community thorough innovative and collaborative research designed to improve population health. Healthcare systems are beginning to emphasize health of the populations that access their care, rather than the individual patient currently seeking care. As a result, providers and systems need information on how to address determinants of their health, how to eliminate disparities in race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or geographic location common in healthcare, and how to design systems that minimize cost and maximize quality.

To address the changing field of healthcare we began a strategic planning process in 2017 to realign the vision, mission, and strategic goals of the Center. The approach provided all faculty and staff members affiliated with the Center an opportunity to participate in strategic planning process.

Center members were given the opportunity to provide thoughtful feedback, recommendations, and suggestions regarding the Center’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as part of a team-based SWOT analysis. We then held a Strategic Planning Retreat, open to all faculty and staff members, to discuss the survey findings, contribute ideas, and brainstorm strategic goals. The Center’s new name, logo, vision, mission, and goals were approved by the MCW board of directors in 2018.

The CAPS vision is to become a global leader in healthcare transformation through innovative research by 1) building a cohesive and dynamic research infrastructure able to respond to the changing healthcare environment, 2) recruiting and mentoring multidisciplinary investigators, 3) building healthier communities and eliminating inequalities in health at the local, national, and international level, 4) creating a pipeline of health services researchers and innovators, and 5) disseminating and implementing evidence-based strategies to transform healthcare. We have developed five units to facilitate collaboration and networking, serve as a home for Center members to pursue competitive grant funding, and develop the next generation of health services researchers.

As we look to the future of healthcare transformation, we invite faculty from all academic institutions and community-based organizations in Southeastern Wisconsin in this dynamic work. Whether your work is focused locally, nationally or internationally, we welcome you to join our team in informing and empowering populations, health systems, and nations in advancing health at a population level.