Systems change

Wisconsin State Capitol

What is systems change? By addressing the root causes of complex social problems, we make progress toward more durable change. Systems change approaches alter the components and structures that cause health, financial and social systems to “behave” in certain ways.

Because factors that influence health are embedded in complex, unpredictable patterns of cause and effect, we train students to recognize those patterns, identify research evidence to understand what interventions might work, and build partnerships to address them.

Many patients encounter complex challenges as they attempt to navigate our health care system. Sometimes these challenges are so great that patients become discouraged from even seeking care. Many also face social and economic challenges that profoundly affect health outcomes.

As CPP students work with patients, they discover how public policy and other systems issues shape these challenges. Students learn how to navigate legal and policy systems, and they also learn how to identify opportunities for change. In many cases, insights from patients’ experiences push students to move these cases to “causes,” or issues where they can advocate for change at a broader level.

Shaping patient-informed policy for systems change

LIFT Wisconsin Tackles Policies That Perpetuate Economic Inequity

CPP's Jill Jacklitz and students develop a policy agenda for LIFT Wisconsin

guy driving

Rachel Grob leads research to bring patients' voices front and center

Changing health care systems often means making them more responsive to patients' needs. The CPP research team ensures patients' voices are heard.

Rachel Grob speaks at the National Patient Advocacy Foundation

National efforts on quality

CPP's Sarah Davis joined the national action team to codesign patient-centered health systems

nurse wheeling gurney

Case-to-cause projects surface out of medical-legal clinic

When students assist patients, they discover systemic issues-issues that affect whole populations of people. In some cases, they take action to address those issues. Students learn how small policy changes can make a big difference.

Law Student Monica Delgado and Sachin Gupte

CPP students research on surprise medical billing informs policy

CPP students contributed solid research to inform Wisconsin policy efforts to address surprise medical billing.

reading about options