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Children’s Health Services Research

Children's Health Services Research

Established in 2001, the Division of Children's Health Services Research (CHSR) at Indiana University School of Medicine is one of the largest and most active pediatric research divisions of its kind in the country. CHSR is recognized nationally for its innovative work and research services it provides to pediatricians throughout the state of Indiana.

As a national leader in health policy research, analysis and advocacy, CHSR faculty conduct research in four priority areas, including informatics, implementation science, community engagement, and systems and policy analysis. The core faculty actively serve on committees that generate local and national health care guidelines and frequently present research evidence to legislators, stakeholders and organizations such as American Academy of Pediatrics to determine health policy. Children's Health Services Research is also recognized internationally for leading-cutting edge research, contributing to policy decisions related to children and health care issues. The division currently consists of faculty members across eight pediatrics subspecialties and general pediatrics. 


To improve the health of children, adolescents, families and communities through collaborative and inclusive health services research.


To translate and implement evidenced-based strategies into practice and influence policy based on research, leading to the improvement of health for children, adolescents, families and communities in Indiana and beyond.


Striving to improve the health of children, adolescents, families and communities by:

  • Conducting collaborative and inclusive health services research emphasizing community engagement, informatics, implementation science, and systems and policy analysis.
  • Translating evidence into practice and policy through bi-directional engagement with local, national and international partners.
  • Fostering an inclusive culture of professional growth, mentorship and impactful team science.

Interested in joining our faculty?

Works in Progress Meeting

The Works in Progress meeting takes place the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month, 12–1 p.m. in conference room 2070 of the Health Information and Translational Sciences Building (HITS) in Indianapolis. Children’s health service research investigators present research projects and explore research opportunities with discussion encouraged.

Division Leadership

Division Director
2683-Aalsma, Matthew

Matthew C. Aalsma, PhD

Jonathan and Jennifer Simmons Professor of Pediatrics

Read Bio

Fiscal Officer
Photo of Fiscal Officer Lane Cheslyn

Lane Cheslyn

Academic Division Administrator


Research Areas of Excellence

Research conducted by the Division of Children’s Health Services Research is concentrated in four priority areas.

Operating one of the largest and most active pediatric informatics program in the country, CHSR has physician scientists and software engineers from the Child Health Informatics Research and Development Lab (CHIRDL) who use data to develop information systems for routine clinical practice to capture and analyze health information. Child Health Improvement through Computer Automation (CHICA), a computer-based pediatric clinical decision support system which improves the delivery of primary care to children, is an example of a system created by a faculty member in CHSR.  

Other examples in pediatric research include:

  • Utilization of geostatistical data to study how physical and social environments impact children's health

  • Creation a cell phone application for glucose monitoring to increase self-management behaviors in adolescents with diabetes

  • Development of global positioning systems to track the movement and context associated with risky behaviors among adolescent women

Faculty within the Children's Health Services Research Division are involved in implementation work across the globe. This includes the implementation of telemedicine services for children and youth with chronic diseases, improved screening programs for developmental disabilities and the development of maternal-child HIV health services implementation in resource-constrained settings. A robust implementation science research program has been developing through our behavioral health work. Our group is conducting hybrid implementation projects in over 40 Indiana counties focused on interventions for suicide, addiction services and implementation of behavioral health services into pediatric and family medicine primary care. 

Collaboration efforts with patients, caregivers, healthcare providers and community members are an integral part of CHSR research. Faculty members have access to a patient engagement core called Research Jam, a multi-disciplinary team composed of health services researchers, human-centered design researchers and visual communication design experts. Research Jam engages with patients, caregivers and health care providers through human-centered design research methods to explore, create and test solutions to difficult problems around research, health and wellness. 

Faculty members actively serve on committees that generate local and national health care guidelines and frequently present research evidence to legislators, community partners and organizations. For instance, faculty members lead and collaborate with the Wellbeing Informed by Science and Evidence in Indiana (WISE Indiana) initiative. This partnership between Indiana Clinical and Translational Science Monon Collaborative and Indiana Family and Social Service Administration engages Indiana faculty to guide practices, programs and policies at a state level. Other faculty members serve in leadership roles in the American Academy of Pediatrics Partnership for the Policy Implementation program, integrating health information technology functionalities into AAP policy and for national polices regarding reproductive health and maternal and child health.