Danielle Varda, PhD, of the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver has been honored with the 2009 Public Health Systems Research Article of the Year Award by AcademyHealth and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Her article, entitled, “Core Dimensions of Connectivity in Public Health Collaboratives,” published in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, was selected for the third annual award.

“It is such an honor to receive this award and very exciting to be able to contribute to the public health systems research community in this way,” said Varda.

AcademyHealth supports research into health care policy and improved decision making.

Public health systems research is a field of inquiry examining the organization, financing, performance, and impact of health systems—defined as the constellation of governmental and non-governmental actors that influence population health, including health care providers, insurers, purchasers, public health agencies, community-based organizations, and entities that operate outside the traditional sphere of health care.

Her article addressed a hot topic in health care policy: the challenge of measuring the effectiveness of collaborations among agencies to develop health care policies and to provide health care services. Varda said the research on ways to measure collaboration is the first step in the process. The next step, which she plans to pursue, is to measure the outcomes when services are developed through collaboration among various organizations.

Varda was awarded travel assistance to attend the organization’s Annual Research Meeting in Chicago this month as well as a $1,000 cash award.

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