NAO: North American Observatory on Health Systems and Policies

The North American Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (NAO) is a collaborative partnership of interested researchers, research organizations, governments, and health organizations promoting evidence-informed health system policy decision-making. Due to the high degree of health system decentralization in the United States and Canada, the NAO is committed to focusing considerable attention to state and provincial health systems and to creating a foundation for more systematic health system and policy comparisons among substates.

Objectives

  • Establish an health systems research network in North America, beginning with the United States and Canada but eventually incorporating Mexico
  • Collect, analyse and disseminate information and analysis on health care policies and reforms, paying particular attention to state and provincial governments
  • Partner with the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and the Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies on research and knowledge transfer and exchange initiatives
  • Create a rapid response capacity for governments in North America interested in obtaining environmental scans or analyses of policies comparing selected jurisdictions in North America

Products and Services

  • Comparative state and provincial health systems and policy studies
  • Monograph length health system profiles of provinces in Canada (eventually extend to states in the United States and Mexico)
  • Health policy news and updates for researchers and decision-makers
  • Policy briefs and environmental scans produced in response to rapid response requests of governments
  • Decision-maker summaries of findings from the NAO’s major research projects

NAO Administrative Structure

  • The NAO is a non-profit academic organization based on a network of academics based in Canada, the United States and Mexico
  • To extend its comparative work beyond North America, the NAO works with academics associated with the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and the Asia-Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies
  • The secretariat of the NAO is housed at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME), University of Toronto
  • The NAO has three academic research hubs, one in each of the three NAO countries:
    • In Canada at the University of Toronto under the direction of Professor Gregory P. Marchildon, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, Dalla Lana School of Public Health
    • In the United States at the University of California in Los Angeles under the direction of Professor Thomas Rice, Department of Health Policy and Management, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
    • In Mexico at Anahuac University under the direction of Dr. Miguel Angel González-Block, Faculty of Health Sciences
  • The executive team of the NAO is made up of Gregory P. Marchildon (Director), Thomas Rice (Associate Director), Miguel González-Block (Associate Director) and Amélie Quesnel-Vallée (Associate Director).
  • The NAO’s Advisory board is made up of the governments and health organizations who are subscribing members of the NAO