Six Florida Foundations Study Possible Health Policy Institute

The Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF)  Access Work Group has led the formation of a Health Policy Institute Design Team made up of six Florida philanthropic organizations to assess the feasibility of establishing a state health policy center in Florida.

Even though Florida is one of the most populous states in the country with a variety of health-related government, academic and non-profit organizations, it does not have a health policy institute dedicated to providing timely and objective health information to policy-makers.

The design team represents the following organizations: Alleghany Franciscan Foundation — Hillsborough, Palm Beach and Dade Counties; Florida Philanthropic Network – statewide; Health Foundation of South Florida — Dade/Broward Counties; Jessie Ball duPont Fund — Northeast Florida/some statewide; Quantum Foundation — Palm Beach County and Winter Park Health Foundation – primarily Orange County.

Without other unbiased, nonpartisan resources, Florida decision-makers are usually left to rely on data and analysis provided by interest groups with particular perspectives and agendas. This situation leaves Florida policy-makers with important decisions to make, but little reliable, impartial information on which to base them.

The concept of a health policy institute is not new. In fact, a recent study identified an increasing number of similar organizations in states across the country. Conversations have been held with several of these centers, as well as with the foundations that started them. In addition, many informal conversations with researchers, advocates, state officials and policymakers across Florida have been held in the past six months. In general, these conversations have confirmed the need for such an entity.

Schulte Consulting, a Colorado-based consulting firm, has been asked by the design team to conduct a feasibility study that would address the need and possible models for establishing a Florida Health Policy Institute. The cost of the study will be shared by the design team.