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Wisconsin Department of Health Services



Office of Policy Initiatives and Budget: Policy and Research Section

The Policy and Research section provides leadership and support to advance strategic Department initiatives, often working across divisions, with other state agencies and with multiple external stakeholders. The section also conducts policy research and analysis and evaluation studies to determine program effectiveness, and manages the Department’s grant process and legislative mandates.

Quality Improvement
Policy and Research analysts lead efforts to find evidence-based solutions to identified needs, then work with division staff to design and implement these innovative approaches. Staff also lead and support efforts to incorporate best practices to improve the quality and effectiveness of existing programs. For example, analysts serve as leads for several of the Department-wide performance measures, e.g., improving birth outcomes and adopting innovative models of care for special populations.

Strategic Initiatives
The Policy and Research Section provides support for the Secretary’s Office in developing and implementing strategic initiatives that are cross-divisional and/or inter-agency. These initiatives also often involve external stakeholders. For example, a Section analyst served as lead and project manager for a joint DHS/DCF initiative to design and implement the foster care medical home initiative. Staff also led and facilitated the design and implementation of the medical home initiative for high risk pregnant women in Southeast Wisconsin.

Evaluation Studies
Policy and Research analysts design and conduct evaluations of programs and services to assess impact and ensure accountability, i.e., that programs and services are meeting objectives. Each study also generally includes documenting the implementation process to facilitate the ability to replicate the program in other areas. Policy and Research analysts serve as advisors to program staff in developing the evaluation component of applications for federal and/or private funding and conduct evaluations of federal waivers and federal grant-funded initiatives.

Policy Research and Analysis
Policy and Research analysts provide “quick turn-around” and in-depth research and analysis to inform decisions about Department programs and examine pressing issues that impact Wisconsin citizens. Recent examples include: evidence-based approaches to medication compliance; impact of smoking on pregnant women and the effectiveness of incentive payments to reduce smoking among adult smokers on Medicaid.

Grants Management and Legislative Mandates
Staff in the Policy and Research Section manages and provide technical assistance in preparing federal and private grant applications for funding. Assistance includes general guidelines for grant preparation, coordination with the Secretary’s Office and submittal as well as annual reporting.

Wisconsin statutes include a number of mandated reports to the legislature on a variety of issues. The Policy and Research Section manages this process in partnership with division staff.

Linda McCart, Director
Policy and Research Section
P.O. Box 7850
Madison, WI 53707-7850
Phone: (608) 266-9296
Fax: (608) 267-0358

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Last Revised:  April 16, 2014