Founded in 1994, the Center for Health Decisions (CHD) was a non-partisan, non-profit organization that merged with the Center for Healthcare Policy and Research (CHPR) at the University of California, Davis, in 2017.

CHD staff members collaborate with UC Davis researchers and others to promote civic engagement and capture public views on contemporary, controversial, and value-laden health issues. Target audiences for study findings include local, state, and national policymakers, community members, and other stakeholders, such as purchasers and practitioners.

CHD and CHPR work together to:

  • identify challenging health policy issues for which informed public input plays a role
  • help other health stakeholders identify the health issues that are most relevant to their constituents
  • assist researchers with obtaining IRB exceptions to informed consent through facilitating community consultations
  • produce, implement, and evaluate customized non-partisan deliberative processes that meet the needs of our partners and clients; our methods are engaging and include the use of games, scenarios, and surveys.
  • communicate relevant project findings to inform the work of policymakers and health leaders through presentations, professional publications, and social media
  • educate diverse professional and lay groups on the concept of social decision-making in the health and healthcare arenas through the use of interactive discussion groups.

Stakeholder engagement, which we define as encompassing facilitated deliberations with various stakeholder groups on topics related to public policy as well as to health research and education, is an important element that lies at the intersection of CHPR’s three-pronged approach of facilitating research, promoting education, and informing policy related to health and healthcare.

As a result of the merger of CHPR and CHD, we now have the capacity to work with researchers, healthcare providers, policymakers at all levels of government, healthcare plan representatives, professional associations, community organizations, philanthropists, and other clients to understand the views and priorities of targeted stakeholders.

Whether you are conducting research, considering changes within your company or local community, or are facing a state or national policy dilemma, we can help you engage your constituents.

CHD Staff

Principal Consultant

Patricia E. Powers, M.P.A.

pepowers@ucdavis.edu

Patricia E. Powers is a nationally known leader with more than 30 years of experience in the health and health care sectors. She joined the Center for Health Decisions in 2016 and is passionate about ensuring that the public’s views are well represented on complex health policy issues. Since 2009, Ms. Powers has been an independent consultant focused on long-term engagements related to strategic planning, public policy, and program and business development. Ms. Powers’s clients include for-profit and non-profit organizations, state and federal agencies, and foundations. She served as the innovation director for the California Health and Human Services Agency and directed the state-led “Let's Get Healthy California” Task Force; both are efforts designed to advance the Triple Aim in California. For six months she managed the start-up of the California Health Benefit Exchange, now Covered California. In the 1990s, Ms. Powers led and successfully grew two nonprofit organizations, including the Pacific Business Group on Health, and an organization focused on the social determinants of health. She also consulted to and served as interim CEO of an organization focused on telehealth policy. Ms. Powers is a member of the California Technology Assessment Forum and the Integrated Healthcare Association board. Her previous board service includes the National Committee on Quality Assurance, the National Forum for Health Care Quality Measurement and Reporting (now the National Quality Forum), the National Business Coalition on Health, and the Physician Payment Review Commission. Ms. Powers received a master of public administration degree from Columbia University in New York and an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan.

Research Associate

Susan Perez, Ph.D., M.P.H.

susan.perez@gmail.com

Susan Perez’s research focuses on understanding consumers’ decision-making processes in order to develop healthcare policies, information, and resources to promote high value decisions . Dr. Perez has conducted studies that classified approaches to processing Internet health information among vulnerable populations; addressed statewide overuse of healthcare services; identified approaches for patients and providers to discuss cost while preserving trust; developed a statewide campaign to address variation in C-section rates by working with both patients and hospitals; and illuminated consumers’ views of cost sharing, quality, and network choice. Prior to her appointment as an assistant professor at California State University, Sacramento, Dr. Perez completed a postdoctoral fellowship in quality, safety, and comparative effectiveness research (supported by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) and earned a doctorate in Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership program at the University of California, Davis.

Research Fellow

Karen Shore, Ph.D.

karen@goldenstatehealthpolicy.com

Karen K. Shore, Ph.D. has 25 years of experience in health policy and health services research and a passion for improving the health care system. Dr. Shore's expertise includes project direction, study design, literature reviews, development of data collection materials, quantitative and qualitative data analysis, and recommending policy changes to improve program and organization effectiveness. Most recently, she was a Program Director at the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), leading the California Technology Assessment Forum (CTAF) project. Prior to that, Dr. Shore worked in Sacramento health policy at the Center for Health Improvement (CHI) and the Institute for Population Health Improvement at UC Davis. Prior to her work in Sacramento, Dr. Shore held a variety of research and policy positions in the public and private sectors, including at the American Institutes for Research's Health Program, Reden & Anders, Pacific Business Group on Health, and the Prospective Payment Assessment Commission in Washington, DC. She has a master's degree in health services administration from the University of Michigan and a PhD in health services and policy analysis from University of California, Berkeley.

Shani Buggs, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Shani Buggs, Ph.D., M.P.H., is an Assistant Professor in Emergency Medicine at the University of California, Davis, health and public policy researcher, and a nationally known expert on community violence. As core faculty with the Violence Prevention Research Program and the Firearm Violence Research Center at UC Davis, Dr. Buggs’ primary areas of research include community-level gun violence prevention programs and policies and comprehensive approaches to reducing violence through policies and programs at all levels of government. Prior to joining UC Davis, Dr. Buggs worked for years with the Mayor’s Office, Police Department, and other agencies and leaders in Baltimore, MD, to help coordinate efforts and provide technical assistance to enhance the city’s violence prevention strategies. Dr. Buggs has secured federal and private funding to lead research projects that center the experiences of individuals most impacted by community violence in order to inform policies that reduce health disparities and promote safety and well-being for families and communities.