The Center for Health Policy and Program Evaluation (CHPPE) became an officially designated Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1984. The Center was founded by then Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences David Kindig, MD, PhD, his Associate Vice Chancellor Jay Noren, MD, MPH, and a core group of multi-disciplinary faculty. Originally emphasizing health policy research, CHPPE evolved into a unique group of professionals providing program planning and evaluation, applied research, and rigorous evaluation research studies for a wide range of community and governmental organizations.

During 20 years of independent operation, CHPPE conducted evaluation and applied research of public health, behavioral health, and human service programs, with particular emphasis on Wisconsin-specific issues. CHPPE worked with a wide variety of community, state, and tribal partners to improve and evaluate programs, services and delivery systems, and to increase knowledge of evaluation techniques. CHPPE developed strong relationships with state agencies, tribal organizations, and local programs. The results of these collaborations have benefited children, families, senior citizens, human service and medical professionals, and individuals involved in the criminal justice system. Through an approach that stresses collaboration, formative feedback, and program improvement many interventions have been strengthened and many models of service provision have been refined. We also conducted a number of rigorous randomized trials of promising preventive interventions for children and families, adolescents, and the elderly.

In 2004, CHPPE merged with the Wisconsin Public Health and Health Policy Institute; the integrated organization was subsequently renamed the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI). CHPPE staff brought program evaluation expertise to the Institute by providing a much expanded program planning, evaluation and evaluation research component. Thus CHPPE’s work continues as we provide the same high quality applied research expertise to our partners under our new organizational structure as the Evaluation Research Program of the UWPHI.