The State-University Partnership Learning Network (SUPLN) is a collaborative stakeholder-engaged community, comprised of 26 state university researcher and state policy maker partnerships, with the objective to enhance the production and use of evidence that is directly responsive to state policy makers. While the SUPLN will continue to foster collaboration across partnerships, it is poised to explore how to build its dissemination capacity to enhance evidence-based policy making. SUPLN members have expressed strong interest in building capacity to conduct cross-state analyses and have noted that a key component of these analyses is strategic dissemination to ensure evidence of value is both reaching policy makers and easily translatable in order to put evidence into policy and practice. University researchers have also recognized their potential to assist state partners in identifying and using the pertinent evidence they need to inform state policy, and they can also disseminate patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) and other evidence to their state partners and other related agencies.
The SUPLN has strengthened state-university partnerships and provides a foundation for sharing methods, identifying best practices, and building a trusted environment. The current ad hoc nature of multi-state projects is not sufficient to meet states’ needs, requires significant upfront work, and is not a sustainable structure for ongoing engagement. SUPLN members have identified a need to build a more permanent structure for timely multi-state analyses of Medicaid policies/programs. As such, the SUPLN is primed to develop a Distributed Research Network (DRN) to facilitate multi-state Medicaid analyses, which can enable university researchers to provide additional evidence of value to their state partners.
Through funding from a Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award, AcademyHealth will facilitate the SUPLN’s ongoing capacity-building efforts to identify, translate, and disseminate relevant evidence to state policy makers. This funding will support the following long-term objectives:
- Continue to provide activities for engagement and collaboration among existing partnerships to enhance the production and use of PCOR that is directly responsive to state policy maker priorities
- Leverage the knowledge gained from the SUPLN DRN Feasibility Report to establish governance structures (e.g., steering committee, dissemination committee) to support a DRN Coordinating Center
- Establish an SUPLN dissemination advisory committee to develop and implement a dissemination strategic plan. The latter will both establish the strategic approach for dissemination of DRN multi-state Medicaid analyses and assist university partners in broadening their role with their state partners to serve as a resource for evidence identification, translation, and dissemination.
Through this project, the SUPLN intends to strengthen engagement and sustainable capacity of existing partnerships, through the convening of an annual in-person meeting and four annual collaboration calls. It also intends to expand the role of the state-university partnerships to further support evidence-based policy making by enhancing their dissemination capacity through the formation of governance structures for a DRN Coordination Center (e.g., steering committee) and the creation of a dissemination advisory committee to develop an SUPLN Dissemination Strategic Plan.