The mission of the Lister Hill Center for Health Policy is to connect and support those seeking to improve health outcomes through policy. We aim to enhance opportunities for policy collaboration through education both of faculty and students, create opportunities for dissemination of information through newsletters and policy briefs, fund academic research seeking to impact health policy, provide reputable data sources for academic research, and empower students and community leaders to affect policy change.
Joseph Lister Hill (1894 – 1984), an Alabama native named for the pioneer of antiseptic surgery, Sir Joseph Lister, served his home state in the U. S. Congress for over 45 years. Of his many accomplishments, two in particular influenced public health. First, he co-authored the 1946 Hill-Burton Act, which eventually helped to finance 9,200 medical facilities and was credited with raising the number of hospital beds in low-income states and bringing medical care to rural areas. Second, as the chair of the Senate Labor and Public Welfare Committee, Hill built partnerships with citizen-advocates and activist physicians to bring unheard of increases in federal funding to medical research. This research was conducted through the National Institutes of Health and by 1967 represented more than 40% of biomedical research performed in the United States.
On May 1, 1987, the Lister Hill Center for Health Policy was established at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Public Health with the objective to “refocus national health policy upon such goals as the development of a proactive health care system, the integration of treatment and prevention strategies and the reduction of societally imposed threats to health.” For over three decades, LHC has sponsored several seminars, research workshops, summits, and symposiums in addition to funding research scholars. In the beginning of 2019, LHC embarked on a journey of renewal and revitalization. The Center continues to grow and offer new opportunities for stakeholders to engage with health policy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Lister Hill Center for Health Policy?
The Lister Hill Center for Health Policy was established on May 1, 1987 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Public Health with the objective to “refocus national health policy upon such goals as the development of a proactive health care system, the integration of treatment and prevention strategies and the reduction of societally imposed threats to health.” For over three decades, LHC has sponsored seminars, research workshops, summits, and symposiums in addition to funding research scholars.
What do we mean by health policy?
The CDC defines policy as a law, regulation, procedure, administrative action, incentive, or voluntary practice of governments and other institutions, potentially resulting in resource allocations. Public health is often influenced by a myriad of policies in different sectors such as transportation, city planning, infrastructure, taxes, and even nutrition. The Lister Hill Center focuses on health policy as a broad range of topics that impact community health in various communities throughout Alabama and the United States.
Where are you located?
We are a part of the UAB School of Public Health, located in the Ryals Public Health Building at 1665 University Boulevard, Birmingham, AL. Meetings with LHC staff are available by appointment.
What resources do you offer?
The Lister Hill Center for Health Policy is proud to offer a series of resources for UAB staff, students, and faculty. That includes access to specialized technology and programming such as PolicyMap, Meltwater, and Alabama Hospital Association Data. Additionally, LHC staff are able to offer our expertise to engage in community projects such as the Cool Green Trees and a policy analysis addressing the rural dentist shortage in Alabama.
I like what you’re doing and want to get involved!
Great! We offer several opportunities for faculty, staff, students, and members of the community to get involved. For Faculty and staff wishing to do work in health policy, check out our pilot grant program for funding opportunities to research and promote health policy initiatives. For Students, we periodically offer internships throughout the year studying policy surveillance, research, and education opportunities. Many LHC staff teach courses on these topics as well. Check the course catalog for more information. For community members, consider attending one of our many outreach events throughout the year or getting in contact with us to discuss how we can collaborate together.
Are you affiliated with the library?
While we share a namesake with the Lister Hill Library, we are two separate entities with two different objectives.