UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

website-UCLAAre you looking for current, easy-to-use health data for grant proposals and/or research papers? Could your staff/organization use some training on how to use health data, create an effective media advocacy plan, conduct program evaluation, or perform a community-based assessment? Is having a source of recent publications on a wide array of health related topics such as: access to health care, health care economics, health status and conditions, health insurance coverage and programs, and health promotion/disease prevention important in your work? If so, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Center for Health Policy Research website is an excellent resource to add to your ‘Favorites’ or bookmarked sites.

The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research is one of the nation’s leading health policy research centers and a premier source of health policy information for California. Established in 1994, the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research is based in the School of Public Health and affiliated with the School of Public Affairs. The Center also, in collaboration with the California Department of Health Services and the Public Health Institute, conducts the California Health Information Survey (CHIS). Done every two years, this survey provides one of the most relied on, comprehensive sources of health information on Californians for policy makers, researchers, health advocates, media, and the general public.

CHIS recently released data from its 2005 survey and much of it is easy to use. The first wave of CHIS 2005 data variables have already been incorporated into AskCHIS which is the survey’s popular, user-friendly web tool. Additional variables will be added in the coming weeks. Available at no cost on the CHIS website, AskCHIS allows users to quickly obtain survey statistics for hundreds of health topics and trend data across survey years. Users can also break down their results by geography, age, race/ethnicity and many other demographic variables. Those with the capability to analyze the raw data can also visit the website and download CHIS 2005 public use files free-of-charge, and view accompanying technical documentation.

As mentioned above, the Center’s CHIS data is a valuable source of information for grant proposal applications, health policy development, and in forming media strategies. For example, using available health data, advocates can identify target audiences to work with and develop messages that will attract media interest and reach those who have the ability to effect policy. The UCLA Center on Health Policy Research provides trainings to advocates, organizations, and coalitions on how to develop such media strategies and, in general, how to turn CHIS’ rich health research data into action and policy that benefits the communities they serve. For a listing of the diversity of trainings the Center provides, visit the Health Data/Community Trainings page.

If you haven’t already, visit the Center’s site and the CHIS homepage for some of the most comprehensive health information available on Californians.

Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.