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Center History

CHOPR Founder and Director, Dr. Linda H. Aiken, established the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, in 1989, to explore organizational effectiveness in health care with the potential to affect patient outcomes. 

“Our policy research agenda is motivated by a commitment to improving health care outcomes by building an evidence base for health service management and providing direction for national policymakers.” Linda H. Aiken, PhD, RN, FAAN, Director


AIDS Research Projects Launch the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research

January 1, 1988 | Dr. Linda H. Aiken came to the University of Pennsylvania from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation where she served as Vice President. As one of the first Trustee Professors to join the School of Nursing, she began immediately to use the research funding component of the professorship. More

Dr. Aiken goes to Washington as Co-Chair of the Health Care Workforce Subcommittee

January 1993 | President Clinton launches a reform effort to provide universal coverage using “managed competition” and appointed the First Lady to assemble the health care reform task force. Aiken was among the few nurses appointed by Hillary Rodham Clinton to serve among the top ranks of the task force. The Washington Post listed Aiken as a task force leader along with Ira Magaziner, the White House chief health-care policy advisor; Judith Feder, former deputy assistant secretary for health policies at the Department of Health and Human Services; and, Tipper Gore, wife of the Vice President. More

Multi-Country Study of Hospital Restructuring launches with CHOPR-Led Meeting

November 1996 | The early stages of the RN4CAST International study on how organizational features of hospital care impact on nurse recruitment and retention and patient outcomes started in 1996 with the CHOPR-led meeting at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Italy. CHOPR Founder, Dr. Linda H. Aiken, and Penn Nursing Dean, Dr. Claire M. Fagin (shown left with Dr. James Buchan) brought together experts in the hospital sector, public policy, health workforce, and health outcomes research from five countries—US, Canada, England, Scotland, and Germany. More

CHOPR Receives NIH funding to educate doctoral students in “Advanced Training in Nursing Outcomes” in December 1999

December 1999 | We are proud of the many brilliant nurse leaders who began their journey with the faculty of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research and have continued to make a huge impact on health care, economics, and society.  “My time at CHOPR gave me unparalleled opportunities to work under close supervision on the development of protocol applications, on data collections, and on analyses and preparation of articles. For the right trainee, there is simply no better place in the country to learn to do this type of research.”
Dr. Sean P. Clarke  More

CHOPR’s Layered history of racial and ethnic disparities research helps identify factors of nursing that influence minority patient outcomes

May 2002 | The Institute of Medicine’s report, Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care documented differences in the care, treatment, and outcomes for black patients compared to white patients. Then in 2008, The Dartmouth Atlas Health Care Project also confirmed stark differences in the care and treatment received by minorities, prompting the study’s sponsor, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to create an initiative aimed at narrowing health care disparities across lines of race and geography. At the forefront, CHOPR sought to further investigate hospital characteristics that underlie care inequalities. More

CHOPR Research Wins Prestigious Awards and Endorsements 

Investigators saw a surge of interest as projects into health outcomes and quality of care came to the forefront due to increased scrutiny on the impact of working conditions for nurses.