About the Center

As nurses, we know that health policy informs our practice, so it's crucial that nursing best practices inform health policy.

Patricia Stone, PhD, RN, Director of the Center for Health Policy

The Center for Health Policy (CHP) is dedicated to the training of nurses in health policy research methods as well as developing and disseminating knowledge that informs policymakers at the local, state, and national levels.  Faculty members work with interdisciplinary partners at the local, state, and national levels to develop and evaluate policies aimed at improving public health.

The interdisciplinary health services research conducted by CHP faculty broadens students’ educational experiences and expands knowledge about how health care systems work. The center's research informs policies aimed at improving the availability, affordability, safety, and effectiveness of health care nationwide.

Educating Nurses in Health Policy

The Center for Health Policy was established in 1989 as the Center for Health Policy Studies and was created in conjunction with the school’s first endowed chair, the Centennial Professorship in Health Policy. The Center for Health Policy developed under the successive leadership of Dr. Julie Sochalski, Dr. Kristine Gebbie, and Dean Mary Mundinger. The Center has developed and has expanded initiatives to mentor students and faculty in health policy research, share ongoing research, and offer seminars and presentations. The center has influenced a wide audience including students, postdoctoral trainees, and early career faculty. Dr. Patricia Stone currently directs the center.

The center supports the training of nurses to help shape the national discussion on public health by providing opportunities for Columbia University School of Nursing students in all programs to learn how advocacy and policy are integral parts of nursing, affecting not only the life of each patient, but also the practice of each nurse.

The center takes an active role in developing Columbia Nursing’s health policy classes and curriculum and collaborates with faculty to ensure health policy issues are integrated into coursework in all academic programs.

Training and Mentoring

Research training and mentoring opportunities for pre- and postdoctoral fellows are available through the Systems Science and Comparative and Cost-Effectiveness Research Training for Nurse Scientists (S2CER2) program, funded by National Institute for Nursing Research (NINR).

The Center for Improving Palliative Care for Vulnerable Adults with MCC (CIPC) offers seminars and workshops as well as providing mentoring and opportunities for research in palliative care. These initiatives allows students to experience firsthand the rigors of a career in academic health policy research.

Research That Informs Health Policy

Research has been an integral strength of the center since its founding. Faculty associated with the center conduct real-world comparative-effectiveness studies aimed at providing knowledge to help clinicians, administrators, and policymakers improve the population’s health equitably and efficiently. These studies address health care delivery questions across the continuum of care, including primary care practices, home health care, hospitals, school health, nursing homes, and public health departments. The center receives research funding from both federal and foundation sources.

This video, created for the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR) 2021 NightinGala, highlights the team’s funded grants, the social impact of the research, and the way in which the team’s work has advanced health and healthcare.

Policy Forums and Student Initiatives

The center hosts interdisciplinary forums for the sharing of health policy research and ideas. These events bring students, alumni, and faculty together with clinicians and leading health policy experts. Our students also travel to national policy summits and research conferences where their policy efforts have earned awards and national recognition.

Affecting Meaningful Change

Nurses make up the largest part of the health care workforce. Nursing leaders are prepared to advise regulators about various laws and guidelines that impact how nurses are able to care for patients, families, and communities.

The Center for Health Policy has influenced many federal, state, and local regulations that improve public health. Center faculty were actively involved in advocating for the Nurse Practitioners Modernization Act, which allows experienced nurse practitioners to practice independently without the direct supervision of a physician.

The center was also integral to the policy debate preceding passage of New York State’s Safe Patient Handling Act in 2014, which requires health care settings to provide appropriate equipment for nurses who must lift or transfer patients.