The Dreyfus Health Policy & Research Center (DHPRC) works to develop population-health models that promote wellness and improve health and quality of life, as well as prevent disease. Its efforts are centered around four pillars: local individual and community engagement; multi-sectoral partnerships including a wide range of human service providers and risk bearers; public-policy efforts and action at the Borough, City, State and Federal levels; as well as a broader national and global engagement.

Public Policy:

Advocating for improved public policy for health issues is an important dimension of DHPRC’s work, we work from the ground up by inspiring community-based health improvement and establishing disease prevention efforts. DHPRC advocates for care models that focus on, and include, better reimbursement for health and wellness education, early chronic disease screening, and better essential services for conditions such as behavioral and mental health care. The global pandemic reminds us of the urgent need for earlier detection and better management of chronic disease as people living with chronic diseases are at risk for more severe COVID-19 illness.

Global Engagement:

DHPRC uses its unique Problem Solving for Better Health® methodology to engage people to identify, prioritize and ultimately solve many of the health and social issues around them.

DHPRC improves health throughout the world by leveraging the capabilities of people via two programmatic approaches, tied together by the common theme of strengthening the world’s workforce. What makes DHPRC unique is our emphasis on drawing upon the innate potential of all people . . . the world’s most important resource.

1. By mobilizing members of the general population as part of the workforce, “Problem Solving for Better Health” works at the grassroots level to involve the community in developing ways to solve their own health challenges. The result is an increase in the ownership and acceptability of approaches whether related to prevention, treatment, or social determinants of health.
2. By applying the Problem Solving for Better Health approach to health professionals – both current medical practitioners and students -solutions to medical problems are developed, health care delivery is improved, and teams work together leveraging each other’s strengths.

The people in each of these programs solve important, practical problems and provide leadership whether in a village or a nation’s health system. The programs can be launched individually. However, when the continuum of all programs is pursued, synergy occurs and members of each program learn from each other as one workforce. The public is engaged, professionals are leveraged, and better health is achieved locally and ultimately throughout the

The final thrust of our work involves global engagement in places such as Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Kenya, Lesotho and Zambia as well as across the United States. While each country has unique programs, the Problem Solving for Better Health (PSBH) methodology is a common thread used throughout all initiatives.

Our unique Problem Solving for Better Health methodology?

Problem Solving for Better Health (PSBH) began in 1989 with one goal: to generate action to improve health. This program is based on the belief that answers to health problems can be found locally, looking within, rather than waiting for solutions from the outside.

PSBH is a process that challenges individuals to rethink problems impacting their lives and their role in solving them. This approach invites active participation and demonstrates how local people can organize themselves in collective, participatory, and constructive ways to solve immediate problems, influence public policy, and strive for better conditions of life no matter where they live.

Our PSBH workshops and training have been implemented in more than 30 countries with 60,000 participants, inspiring 45,000 individual projects to improve health.


The Process

Worhop training: Participants learn a 5-step framework over the course of a 1-2 day workshop. The 5-steps are:

  1. Defining the problem
  2. Prioritizing the problem
  3. Defining a solution
  4. Creating an action plan
  5. Taking action

Latest achievements:

  • Armenia: PSBH® soon to be launched with UWC Dilijan College.
  • China: PSBH projects are implemented in 21 cities and more than 14,000 health professionals have participated in the training to date. Through partnerships in Shanghai, China, DHPRC has developed a collaborative CKD program to identify, diagnose, and treat people with early stages of CKD. Lessons learned are shared between Shanghai and New York City.
  • Lesotho: A long-term partnership in Lesotho with the Boston University Medical School and School of Public Health (LeBoHA) led to a new phase of the PSBH Program to strengthen the healthcare system in Lesotho. The PSBH methodology is currently being disseminated throughout the country via eight district hospitals, with the goal of reaching 400 new participants, including doctors and nurses, administrative staff, other clinicians, as well as representatives of the District Health Authority and community groups.
  • Mississippi: New Pathways to Health and Opportunity in the Delta region of Mississippi is a collaborative initiative among five organizations that aims to build the Mississippi Delta’s health workforce from within to both improve health outcomes and economic viability.
  • U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands: A “Healthy Nurses Healthy People” initiative is currently being implemented in ten Jurisdictions. This project evolved from linkages with the American Pacific Nursing Leader’s Council, the Pacific Islands Primary Care Association, and the University of Hawaii School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene.

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The origins of the Dreyfus Health Policy & Research Center can be traced back to the late 1960s when Dr. Albert L. Rubin and Barry H. Smith met in the laboratory of M.I.T. University Professor Francis Otto Schmitt.

Our Team

The Dreyfus Health Policy & Research Center leadership staff is dedicated to improving community health and health care in areas where the need is greatest.

Our Campaigns

Rise Up East New York is our Campaign for Better Health & Quality of Life Across East New York, Brooklyn.