What is Population Science?

Population Science is a research discipline that seeks to have a transitional impact on public health and clinical practice through the reduction in disease risk, incidence, and death as well as improved quality of life for all individuals. Population Science looks across the entire spectrum of factors that can impact health outcomes. These health factors include the realms of health care, individual health behaviors, environmental factors, social and economic factors, policies, and genetic determinants of health. Health outcomes span the physical, mental, behavioral, and social health domains enhancing our understanding of health. Researchers in the field of Population Science come from various disciplines, such as Public Health, Medicine, Pharmacy, Economics, Demography, and Urban Planning. These researchers work together to solve the major health concerns facing population groups.

At the University of Arizona Center for Population Health and Discovery we are interested in the health of individuals and populations throughout the life course in Arizona and across the nation. We are interested in how individuals engage in the health care system and why subpopulations by race, gender, age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and geography experience different health outcomes. These differences in health outcomes by subgroup are known as health disparities. Many subpopulations face health disparities and our research at the Center aims to identify reasons for these disparities and suggest interventions at the practice or policy levels to eliminate them.

The University of Arizona Center for Population Science and Discovery (CPSD) demonstrates excellence, innovation and leadership in the generation and application of population heath evidence to improve health and promote equity in Arizona by building research, knowledge translation and infrastructure capacity. The Center supports research into the complex biological, social, cultural and environmental interactions that determine the health of individuals, communities and populations. The Center fosters an interdisciplinary environment of collaboration among researchers, providers, payers, health systems and policy makers which is working to advance the health of all Arizona residents.

The CPSD builds on Arizona Health Science Center’s collaborative and translational research and clinical strengths to develop practical solutions to improve health outcomes, enhance access to quality health care, reduce health inequities, assess cost effectiveness and improve accountability across health delivery systems. The CPSD serves as a timely, trusted data and policy resource for healthcare organizations, the public and for policy makers.

Through state-of-the-art computing resources and analytical techniques within the field of population health management, the CPSD regularly lends support to, and partners with, academic, community, and commercial organizations in order to inform and improve public health practices in the state of Arizona. This is accomplished by identifying areas of efficiency and potential improvement within state and community health delivery systems, replicating and expanding on successful models, and using successes as catalysts for further innovation.