Health Policies_CVP
Health Policy Research

Based on the critical need for evidence-informed policy that improves the well-being of our communities, we created the Health Policy Research initiative for policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and the media.

Through growing bipartisan interest in using scientific evidence to inform legislation and interventions and through empirical studies of evidence-use, our team recognized the need to focus on dissemination, translation, and systems change.

We use simple storytelling techniques to highlight the moral and political value of solutions by building coalitions and networks, responding to policymakers problems, and producing creative and feasible policy products that are grounded in evidence.

Alongside these efforts, the Health Policy Research team continues to study and analyze evidence-use at the federal, state, and local level.


Impact of the Research-to-Policy

Collaboration Model

Through a partnership with Penn State and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, we conducted an ethnographic evaluation of the Research-to-Policy Collaboration, funded through the William T. Grant Foundation, to understand whether collaboration between researchers and policymakers improve legislators’ use of evidence.

Dr. Guillot-Wright was the lead ethnographer for this mixed-method study and responsible for over 70 interviews with researchers and policymakers as well as conducting participant observation in over 30 meetings. The trial is still underway, but preliminary results are promising; relative to standard policy training alone, participants receiving the additional intensive training and in-person meetings with policymakers evidence more comfort in the policy arena and more willingness to continue engaging with policymakers.

In addition, policymaker participants have utilized researcher knowledge by requesting legislative language, policy briefs, and testimony. 


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London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
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Health in All Policies

Health in All Policies (HiAP) is a collaborative approach to global and community health. We work across sectors to create community-based solutions and policies that improves health equity. Our HiAP is focused on adverse childhood and community experiences.

It began in 2015 through a combined effort between researchers and practitioners to identify policies and programs that support healthier individuals and communities. Over 20 Texas-based agencies, academic departments, and organizations are now active participants in the collaborative, leading their own initiatives to create an environment that responds to and prevents trauma. Projects range from structural-based (livable wages or discrimination) to individual-based (skills classes or therapy).

Our Collaborative is unique because we define ACEs as adverse childhood and community experiences. ACEs have traditionally been defined as physical & emotional experiences that include abuse, neglect, familial separation, & food insecurity. We know that children who have experienced ACEs are at higher risk later in life for physical and mental health conditions.

However, our research and community advocacy have taught us that defining ACEs as an individual or family issue is not enough - we also need to look at the structures that create adverse experiences, such as a focus on racial equity in schools and neighborhoods. To learn more or get connected to our network, please fill out this form.


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Digital Storytelling

The Digital Storytelling project visually captures personal and community stories to engage community members, policymakers, and stakeholders.

Our digital stories combine narratives and evidence to help guide decision-makers as they weigh various choices and constituent needs as well as to inform the public about resources or legislative changes.

The stories can be embedded in digital policy briefs, on websites, and shared through social media platforms.

We have worked with research partners, historical foundations, government boards, and non-profits to tell unique and timely stories that capture current events and oral histories.

To view our stories, visit us here.


Photovoice is a method that offers participants the opportunity to take photographs that are representative of their lives and serves the purpose of exploring social issues through the eyes of people who personally experience them.

The goals of photovoice are to enable participants to record and reflect their strengths and concerns, promote critical dialogue and knowledge about important health issues through the discussion of photographs, and reach policymakers.

We ask participants to use their visual images to identify what is important in their life regarding health and well-being, discuss themes important to them, and then showcase the photographs in public exhibits to reach policymakers and community stakeholders.

To see past photovoice projects and exhibits, visit us here.

Language Justice

Through a partnership with the City of Galveston, our team translates and disseminates city notices in Spanish.


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Shannon Guillot-Wright, PhD
Assistant Professor & Director of Health Policy Research
Center for Violence Prevention, UTMB
(409) 772-3997