Center for Health Services Research

DHS meeting

The Center for Health Services Research, a division of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UAMS, focuses on health services research for mental health and substance abuse. Our successful research team includes 19 faculty and postdoctoral fellows, 40 research assistants/associates and programmers, and 16 administrative staff.

The Center for Health Services Research has evolved a symbiotic relationship with three key VA research centers: the (Center for Mental Health Outcomes Research (CeMHOR), the Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (CHSR also has a collaboration with the Center for Evaluation and Implementation Resources (CEIR, a QUERI resource center designed to provide time-sensitive consultation and support to VA operational leaders on evaluation and implementation methods to enable scale up and spread of policies and clinical practices aligned with one or more of the five VA priorities.

The center has well-established collaborative relationships with many state organizations including the Community Health Centers, Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Department of Human Services and its Division of Aging, Adult, & Behavioral Health Services and community mental health centers, and the Arkansas Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. For more than two decades, the Center for Health Services Research has been recognized as one of the largest and more innovative Investigators affiliated with the center receive competitively awarded grant funding from NIMH, NIAAA, NIDA, VA HSR&D, PCORI, and DoD.

Some important information about the Center for Health Services Research:

  • Grants: Since 1990, our investigators have been awarded extramural grants worth over 80 million dollars in direct costs.
  • Service: Our faculty serve as ad hoc and standing committee reviewers on NIMH, NIAAA, NIDA, and VA health services research study sections.

Vision for CHSR

CHSR is a multidisciplinary group whose mission is to conduct cutting-edge, innovative, mixed-methods health services and implementation science research to improve care and health outcomes for persons with mental health and substance use disorders.

CHSR researchers use a “pipeline” approach that includes analyses to define and understand barriers to improved care and health outcomes, developing and testing effective interventions to overcome these barriers, and utilizing cutting-edge implementation science techniques to implement evidence-based interventions to ensure uptake and sustained adoption of intervention in our community, Arkansas, and the nation.   CHSR scientists are passionately devoted to research that improves access to, quality of, and outcomes for mental health and substance abuse treatment among underserved populations. Specifically, DHSR investigators aim to:

  1. Improve access to care and quality treatment for mental health problems, particularly to reduce incidence of suicidal ideation and attempt;
  2. Improve access to and innovative treatment for substance use disorders, particularly alcohol and opioid-related disorders; and
  3. Develop and test evidence-based mental health and substance abuse interventions, including use of technological advancements, for underserved and under-researched populations (e.g., rural communities, persons with chronic health conditions, homeless individuals, US military Veterans).
  4. Evaluate the implementation of evidence-based interventions to identify facilitators of, and overcome barriers to, their uptake and to ensure their sustained adoption in community and treatment settings.

CHSR investigators are dedicated to developing the next generation of health services and implementation science researchers by supporting and mentoring individuals across the educational spectrum. Our mentees include psychology and other interns, medical students, psychiatry residents, and junior faculty. We strive to prepare mentees to conduct high quality, impactful health services and implementation science research that moves our vision forward and improves lives.

Research Strategy

The Center for Health Services Research accomplishes this mission with a highly trained multidisciplinary research team.  The investigative team works in close partnership with stakeholders, including individuals with mental health and substance use disorders, as well as with community members, informal caregivers, organizational leaders, and providers dedicated to delivering high-quality, empirically-supported treatments.  We prioritize our research projects based on stakeholder input, scientific theory, and clinical experience.

Somewhere—here or elsewhere—point out the significance, importance, history of the VA/academic affiliate collaboration.
The celebration of the anniversary culminates on Jan. 30, the day in 1946 that Policy Memorandum #2 was issued to create long-term affiliations between VA and medical schools.

Affiliating with U.S. medical colleges was a key piece of the puzzle in building a health-care system that could care for the millions of Veterans coming home after World War II. The growth of these partnerships continues to train health-care providers to meet ever-increasing needs. Training doctors and nurses by the thousands and establishing research agreements with the nation’s medical schools has created the largest health-care training program in the United States.