Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis


CHEPA researchers have helped shape Canada’s health system for more than a quarter-century. They continue that tradition today, investigating pressing issues such as the relationship between doctors’ pay and health system costs; ethical concerns related to who gets what care and who has a say in it, and whether evidence supports the health decisions being made.

The centre was founded in 1988 by a group of health economics and health policy analysis pioneers -  Greg Stoddart, Jonathan Lomas, Roberta Labelle, David FeenyGeorge Torrance and Amiram Gafni - to be a multidisciplinary centre with research, teaching and service activities that provide timely and relevant evidence to inform policy-making at all levels of the health-care system.

It continues this tradition today, working at the intersection of the health and social sciences, evaluating how Ontario’s health system is performing and supporting the development of policies to enhance the system’s effectiveness and sustainability. Evidence about what works and what could be improved derives from the study of how well policies achieve their objectives and the consideration of values such as fairness and patient-centredness.

Using the tools of economics, sociology, political science and ethics, CHEPA researchers address issues such as:

  • Explaining and measuring the factors that cause social inequalities in health.
  • Finding the best ways to pay health-care providers and manage human resources to achieve higher quality and better outcomes for the money spent.
  • Determining what prevents -- and what enables -- patient-centred care and shared decision making.
  • Researching the best methods for assessing new health technologies and treatments, as well as the social implications of these methods.
  • Assessing the roles of values and ethical considerations in health policy.
  • Using public and community engagement to learn about the health system.
  • Finding ways to support evidence-informed policymaking.

CHEPA’s knowledge exchange program, which uses multiple strategies for communicating and sharing information, ensures the knowledge generated through the work of its members is effectively communicated to health system decision-makers and other stakeholders. Collaboration with those who use the research ensures that CHEPA’s work meets the specific needs of these individuals and groups. Complementary initiatives, such as a rapid-response evidence service and training, enables health system leaders to identify and act on evidence and values in a timely way.

  • Mulvale, O‚ÄôReilly receive Early Researcher Awards

    Two members of CHEPA’s faculty are among 11 McMaster professors to receive Early Researcher Awards (ERA) from the provincial government.

    Gillian Mulvale, left, Assistant Professor, Health Policy and Management at the DeGroote School of Business, and Daria O’Reilly, right, Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University and Faculty Lead of the MaRS Excellence in Clinical Innovation and Technology Evaluation (EXCITE) Program, within the Programs for Assessment of Technology in Health (PATH) Research Institute at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (SJHH), are among those recognized by the ERA as promising researchers with the potential to become world-class innovators. Both women joined CHEPA’s faculty in the summer of 2012.

    The ERA will enable O’Reilly to conduct research to find ways to spend resources more efficiently in treating diabetes. Mulvale’s work will use smartphone technology to help families and service providers deliver coordinated services for adolescents with mental illness.

    The Early Research Award funds each recipient to a maximum of $140,000 by the provincial government, with matching funding of $50,000 from McMaster, over the next five years.

    Full story

CHEPA Seminars

Throughout the academic year, CHEPA recruits speakers to present seminars on selected health research topics. For a schedule of future seminars, click here.

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