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Mission & Role

Rutgers Center for State Health Policy informs, supports, and stimulates sound and creative state health policy in New Jersey and around the nation. The Center provides impartial policy analysis, research, training, facilitation, and consultation on important state health policy issues.

About Rutgers Center for State Health Policy

Rutgers Center for State Health Policy (CSHP) is an initiative within the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, which is part of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. The Center was conceived in response to the unique and essential role of the states in the formation and implementation of sound health policy in the American system of federalism. The passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 has further elevated the importance of informed decision making by states.
Research Focus
Established in 1999 with major funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Center combines Rutgers University's traditional academic strengths in public health, health services research, and social science with applied research and policy analysis initiatives. The Center’s signature areas of research include Access and Coverage, Health and Long-Term Care Workforce, Health System Performance Improvement, Long-Term Services and Supports, and Population Health.  
Within this core portfolio, CSHP marshals the expert resources of a team of multidisciplinary faculty and staff to:
  • Conduct rigorous, timely, and impartial research on health policy issues;
  • Provide objective and practical evaluation of programs and policy choices;
  • Convene the health policy community in a neutral forum to promote an active exchange of ideas on critical issues;
  • Educate current and future health policy makers, researchers, and administrators; and 
  • Promote the practical application of scholarship in health policy.
The Center’s work is supported by grants and contracts from a broad array of federal and state agencies as well as health care philanthropies and private organizations. CSHP’s diverse funding portfolio includes the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the NJ Department of Banking & Insurance, the NJ Department of Children and Families, the NJ Department of Health, the NJ Department of Human Services, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and The Nicholson Foundation. The Center exclusively conducts research in the public interest, publishing and disseminating its findings broadly.


CSHP’s Principles for Selecting Projects

CSHP engages in projects that are consistent with its mission of informing, supporting, and stimulating sound and creative state health policy in New Jersey and around the nation.
To achieve this mission, the Center limits its engagement to projects that meet all the following guidelines:
  • The project will provide impartial information that has a high likelihood of being useful in health policy formation, implementation or evaluation or would otherwise advance important, generalizable knowledge about health and healthcare services.
  • The Center has the capacity and resources (e.g., datasets) to conduct the project with a high level of scientific rigor and expertise.

Working with Sponsors

CSHP does not engage in research or other activities intended to support policy or legislative advocacy. However, the Center’s focus on producing impartial information that is policy relevant will often be used by others for their own advocacy purposes. The Center will always seek to identify and address research questions in a comprehensive and balanced way, and will draw conclusions based on its analysis regardless of project sponsorship.

However, if project sponsorship (e.g., by a stakeholder group) raises a reasonable likelihood that external audiences would question the impartiality of the work, the Center will engage external advisors and/or share preliminary findings with alternative stakeholders with diverse perspectives to assure that the body of work is not unduly influenced by the perspectives of the sponsor.

Regardless of project sponsorship, the Center is committed to transparency in its work, thus it always retains rights to publish its findings. Project sponsors are offered the opportunity to review and comment on draft publications within reasonable periods of time (e.g., 30 days) prior to release, but the Center always reserves the right to draw its own conclusions based on its research and, consistent with the policy of Rutgers University, does not accept conditions of funding that preclude the public dissemination of findings.

In general, the Center publishes its work in peer-reviewed publications or as reports on its website. In rare circumstances for governmental sponsors (e.g., when giving specific programmatic operational advice), the Center will prepare consultation memoranda for the sponsor which it does not publish. As an instrumentality of the State of New Jersey, Rutgers is subject to the New Jersey Open Public Records Act.