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Providing a solid foundation for community-based problem solving

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Led by the Indiana State Department of Health, in collaboration with Purdue Healthcare Advisors and Purdue University’s School of Nursing, the Indiana Public Health Quality Improvement Program spent the past five years focused on public health system stakeholders in Indiana counties/communities as they work together to deliver essential public health services. The program, which recently concluded, provided a foundation for community-based problem solving and unfolded in three phases: assessment, training, and health improvement planning.

During the assessment phase, Purdue Healthcare Advisors worked with 71 of Indiana’s 92 counties to facilitate completion of the Local Public Health System Assessment provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Public Health Performance Standards. Purdue Healthcare Advisors measured the performance of 10 essential public health services, including monitoring, surveillance, informing/educating, partnerships, planning/policy, enforcement, outreach/linkage, workforce, evaluation, and research. The essential service area with room for improvement in nearly every public health system: partnerships among stakeholders.
“The initial interactions created a community that had not existed in Montgomery County prior to the PHSQIP project," said William doemel, Professor Emeritus of Biology at Wabash College, speaking for the Montgomery County Health System in Crawfordsville, Ind. "We began to understand that we were not alone in our singular effort and that we could work together. We also began to share information and ideas. I believe, in the long run, that may have been the greatest value."
The second phase of the program gave public health agencies and their system partners the opportunity to address problem areas using quality improvement methodologies. Lean Healthcare training by Purdue Healthcare Advisors supported the county-specific health issue projects (e.g., access to care, childhood obesity, tobacco, teen pregnancy, and more) they adopted.

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