About the Center

The National Coordinating Center for Public Health Services and Systems Research and Public Health Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRN) works closely with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to expand the production and application of scientific evidence about how best to organize, finance, and deliver public health strategies that improve population health. Housed at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., the Coordinating Center conducts activities within four specific cores: Extramural Research, Intramural Research and Methodology, Stakeholder Engagement and Translation, and Administration.

Extramural Research

Led by project manager Ann Kelly, the Extramural Research Core administers the Center’s grant programs that solicit, select, and support PHSSR research projects conducted by outside investigators and networks. To date, the Coordinating Center, in collaboration with colleagues at the National Network of Public Health Institutes, has supported more than 120 PHSSR studies funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Intramural Research and Methodology

Led by Dr. Glen Mays, the Intramural Research Core administers the Center’s internal research activities that function to develop, demonstrate, and improve the empirical methodologies, measures, and data sources used in PHSSR studies. This body of research focuses on four areas: (1) tracking the impact of health reform on the organization, financing, and delivery of public health strategies; (2) developing and refining methods to estimate the costs of implementing high-value public health strategies and foundational public health capabilities; (3) developing and refining methods for measuring the delivery of public health strategies at local, state and national levels, including measures of reach, volume, intensity, quality, and equity; and (4) developing and refining methods for linking and using existing data sources to support studies of the organization, financing, and delivery of public health strategies.

Stakeholder Engagement and Translation

Led by Dr. Anna Hoover, the Stakeholder Engagement and Translation Core is the hub for the Coordinating Center’s stakeholder engagement, research translation, communication, and dissemination activities.  This core provides multiple channels through which to translate evidence built through both the Extramural Research and the Intramural Research Cores to policymakers, practitioners, and researchers, while directly engaging collaborators, partners, and other potential stakeholders in identifying future research priorities for the field.


Led by program manager Lizeth Fowler, the Administration Core oversees proposal development and coordination, identifies funding opportunities for grantees, develops requests and calls for proposal, and provides logistical support for Coordinating Center activities.