New center to focus on health care solutions

Businessman on blurred background using digital medical interface 3D rendering

The College of Health Sciences has a brand new center called the Center for Health Systems Solutions (HSS). Leading the way are two faculty members who brought together multidisciplinary scientists and partners. At the center, they will share their unique perspectives, expertise and resources to improve the health and well-being of our communities.

The need for the Center for Health Systems Solutions

Jake Luo

Jake Luo, PhD

The work at the center takes place within the Department of Health Informatics and Administration, and joins a variety of partners, including faculty, researchers, community members and students. Together they use new technologies and research methods to create a solutions-focused innovation and entrepreneurship hub. The multidisciplinary and collaborative initiative is developing novel solutions to improve patient experience of care, reduce health care costs, improve health care workflow and enhance clinical research efficacy.

Co-director of HSS is Jake Luo, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Health Informatics and Administration. He explained, “Health care systems have lots of problems, but current research provides few solutions. HSS researchers focus on finding innovative solutions to the problems within health care systems.”

This solution-oriented approach is applied to areas of innovation in health care systems, such as big data and artificial intelligence, patient-centered health services, integrative medicine and employee wellness.

Community collaboration

Jennifer Fink

Jennifer Fink, PhD

HSS is currently partnering with the Medical College of Wisconsin, the Center for Urban Population Health (CUPH), Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), Wisconsin Area Health Network-Milwaukee (AHEC), Milwaukee Center for Independence (MCFI), and CORE EL Centro.

Collaborations with these research and community partners have led to innovations for health care companies, patients and employees. One collaboration Luo is participating in is with Aurora Cancer Center, an oncologist and an acupuncturist. Their goal is to reduce the adverse effects from cancer treatment by reducing pain and improving patient experience. One option this group is investigating is the effects of a complementary acupuncture treatment to help cancer patients.

Jennifer Fink, PhD, MS, is co-director of HSS and assistant professor in the Department of Health Informatics and Administration. She is collaborating with different health services organizations with the goal of increasing employee wellness in stressful work environments. She explained, “With the increase in technology in today’s work environment, people are moving less and encouragement from employers to focus on employees health is necessary.”

Learning more about health innovation

In the spring of 2019, the center will continue to offer lectures in its “Health Innovation Series.” The HSS faculty and staff host the series to connect with community leaders in health services. Leaders from the Milwaukee area will be at UWM speaking about exciting health systems innovations.

To keep up to date with new innovations and events at the center, visit the HSS website. Luo explained, “Our work is always evolving and adapting. We hope to continue to expand our services with current and new collaborators.”