HSPP Key Partners

HSPP Partners and Collaborators

Brown University

At the Alpert Medical School, HSPP faculty partners include the Departments of Medicine, Neurology, Surgery, Neurosurgery, Psychiatry, OB/GYN, Neurosurgery, Dermatology, Anesthesia, and the Brown Center for Biomedical Informatics (BCBI). On-campus partners include the Departments of Economics, Sociology, Political Science, and Computer Science.

Academic Medical Centers

The clinical homes for most of the Alpert Medical School Departments noted above are in Brown’s teaching hospitals. Rhode Island has two main academic health care systems that house Brown’s teaching hospitals – Lifespan and Care New England. Lifespan includes five teaching hospitals: Rhode Island Hospital, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Miriam Hospital, Bradley Hospital, and Newport Hospital. Care New England includes Women & Infant’s Hospital, Bradley Hospital and Kent Hospital.

Warren Alpert Medical School
Warren Alpert Medical School

One important collaboration with Brown’s Academic Medical Centers is the Providence-Boston Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), which is now in its 22nd year. The CFAR is an NIH-funded partnership between Brown and Boston University that is based at Miriam Hospital. Dr. Wilson is Co-Director of the CFAR’s Developmental Core. A second important collaboration, known as Advance-CTR, is a large, state-wide, NIH-funded award whose goal is to develop infrastructure to support clinical and translational research. This partnership, which includes the University of Rhode Island, is based at Women and Infant’s Hospital. Dr. Wilson is Director of the Advance-CTR Professional Developmental Core. The Department also collaborates with the Center for Health and Justice Transformation, led by Dr. Josiah Rich, which is based at Miriam Hospital.

Providence VA Medical Center

We have a strong and long-standing relationship with the Providence Veteran’s Administration Medical Center (VAMC).  As the nation’s largest integrated health system, the VAMC provides the opportunity for clinical practice, data-driven research, implementation, and policy changes.  There are several key partners at the Providence VAMC that are engaged in the work of Health Services Policy & Practice (HSPP).

The Center of Innovation in Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) is the VAMC’s premier center devoted to studying the array of home and community-based services, long-term care and palliative care. The LTSS-COIN collaborates with VA operations partners who operate LTSS programs and associated programs for at-risk populations including geriatrics, social work, primary care, infectious disease, homelessness, and food insecurity. This collaboration allows a direct pathway for research findings to translate to implementation and impact. In addition, the LTSS-COIN is home to the Research Impacting Veterans Using LTSS Experience Transitions (RIVULET) – which is focused on building an LTSS network across government organizations. Information on the LTSS COIN can be found here.

State Government

The Department has relationships with a number of important entities in Rhode Island state government, including the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the Department of Health  

Brown Alumna Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott
Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, MPH '11
with Gov. Raimondo 

(RIDOH) under the leadership of Dr. Alexander-Scott, MPH '11, the state Medicaid Program, the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner, and the Governor’s Office.

Over the last two decades, Department members have both collaborated with the state government and held important state posts. For example, Dr. Terrie (Fox) Wetle, Founding Dean of the School of Public Health, and a Professor of HSPP, is the former chair of the State’s legislatively mandated Coordinated Health Planning Advisory Council. Dr. David Gifford was a Department member before serving as Director of the RIDOH (2005 to 2011). Christopher Koller, was the inaugural Health Insurance Commissioner for the state (2005-2013), and is now President of the Milbank Foundation. Dr. Koller is a Professor of the Practice in HSPP and teaches a graduate-level class in the Department called “Health Care in the United States.” Dr. Anya Wallack is also a Professor of the Practice in HSPP and Associate Director of the Center for Evidence Synthesis in Health. Prior to coming to Brown, she was the Director of HealthSource RI, Rhode Island’s health insurance exchange, the state’s Medicaid Director, and the Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services. Dr. Ira Wilson was Co-Chair of a 2015 effort ordered by Governor Gina Raimondo called “Reinventing Medicaid.” He is also currently PI (with Dr. Wallack as Co-PI) of a grant from the Peterson Center on Health Care, the goal of which is to develop and implement methods to ensure that health-care growth in the state does not increase at a rate greater than 3.2% per year. This grant is a collaboration between Brown, the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner and the Governor’s Office. During the current Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Tom Trikalinos has developed and implemented the models to predict infection rates, hospitalization rates, mortality rates that the Governor and RIDOH have used in making state policy decisions.

Community Partnerships

The Rhode Island Community-Academic Partnership for Public Health (RICAP) is a collaboration between the School of Public Health and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Leadership Council of Rhode Island. It is governed by a steering committee including Brown and other university faculty, and representatives of many additional partner organizations including RICARES, the state’s association of substance use recovery communities; Oasis Health and Wellness Centers, a peer recovery organization for people living with mental illness; Project Weber/Renew, a harm reduction and recovery services organization for at-risk people in Rhode Island including sex workers; National Alliance on Mental Illness, Rhode Island; Mental Health Association of Rhode Island; Resources, Education, Support Together, a family peer support organization for families with a member with substance use disorder; and others. RICAP was established in Feb. 2019 with funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Through a series of public symposia involving more than 100 different participants, RICAP has developed an agenda for stakeholder engaged research in behavioral health in Rhode Island and is now developing several proposals for funding.

As an outgrowth of RICAP, the Department has partnered with the Rhode Island Elder Mental Health and Addiction Coalition, which is convened by CareLink, an association of elder care providers, with which we are developing a program to add Peer Recovery Specialists to the home care team for people with behavioral health needs who are transitioning from skilled nursing facilities to the community.

Health Insurers

BCBSRI, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode IslandWe also have collaborations with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI), and the Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island (NHPRI). Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the largest commercial health insurer in the state. Dr. Melissa Clark is collaborating with BCBSRI and several community-based organizations including the United Way of RI, the RI Department of Health, the RI Community Food Bank, Age-Friendly RI, the Economic Progress Institute, Housing Works RI, Lifespan Community Health Institute, RI Kids Count, and the RI Foundation on the RI Life Index. Launched in 2019, the RI Life Index is an annual survey of approximately 2000 Rhode Islanders to measure their perceptions of the social factors influencing health and well-being in the state. The RI Life Index will guide interventions to improve these factors. For instance, results of the 2019 survey resulted in BCBSRI investing nearly $1 million in affordable housing, food security, and other social needs. BCBSRI also offers internships to Brown students.

NHPRI is a health plan started in 2003 by a group of Community Health Centers in RI to serve Rhode Island’s low income and Medicaid populations. The collaboration between HSPP and NHSRI, which began in 2020, will involve internships for students, and a partnership to conduct analyses of NHPRI data that are of mutual interest to NHPRI and HSPP faculty. The first project is examining the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on primary and specialty care visits, and the impact of the sharp drop off in such visits on patient health outcomes.

The NIA IMPACT Collaboratory

NIA IMPACT COLLABORATORYThe National Institute on Aging (NIA) IMbedded Pragmatic Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and AD-Related Dementias (AD/ADRD) Clinical Trials (IMPACT) Collaboratory was established in 2019 to meet the urgent public health need to deliver high quality, evidence-based care to People Living With Dementia (PLWD) and their care partners within the HealthCare Systems (HCS) that serve them.  Co-directed by HSPP faculty, Dr. Vincent Mor, in partnership with Dr. Susan Mitchell from Hebrew SeniorLife's Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research, the NIA IMPACT Collaboratory is the first mega-project and research incubator of its kind to focus on the potential of embedded pragmatic clinical trials (ePCTs) of non-drug interventions to improve dementia care.  The largest federal grant in Brown University history, the Collaboratory aims to improve health care and quality of life for people living with Alzheimer's disease and their care partners by bringing together a multidisciplinary group of over 60 investigators representing approximately 31 academic institutions with expertise in AD/ADRD, HCS, EHR and administrative data, design and analysis of ePCTs, ethics and regulatory issues specific to dementia, implementation science, research mentorship, diversity and inclusion, and stakeholder engagement. The NIA IMPACT Collaboratory provides the infrastructure for these experts to partner with industry leaders and other stakeholders from across the nation. Together, the NIA IMPACT Collaboratory is building the nation’s capacity to conduct ePCTs among PLWD and their caregivers by developing and disseminating best practice research methods, supporting the design and conduct of ePCTs, building investigator capacity, and ensuring the research includes culturally-tailored interventions and people from diverse and under-represented backgrounds.  To learn more about the Collaboratory visit impactcollaboratory.org