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Evaluating the MultiState Learning Collaborative

Joly, Brenda M. PhD, MPH; Shaler, George MPH; Booth, Maureen MRP; Conway, Ann PhD; Mittal, Prashant MSc, MS

Journal of Public Health Management & Practice: January/February 2010 - Volume 16 - Issue 1 - p 61–66
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e3181bedcdc
Qi in Public Health Today

The third phase of the Multi-State Learning Collaborative (MLC) is a 3-year Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative designed to build quality improvement capacity within state and local health departments. This commentary provides a brief overview of the MLC, a methodological description of its evaluation, and preliminary findings. Major evaluation data sources include quarterly reports, surveys, case studies, and key informant interviews. Preliminary survey data and quarterly reports from year 1 provide some early evidence that states are progressing toward MLC goals. Approximately 27 percent of local health departments in the 16 participant states report that they have begun to prepare for national accreditation and approximately 39 percent report implementation of at least one quality improvement project within the past 12 months. Ongoing data collection efforts are underway to more fully address the evaluation questions.

This article provides a brief overview of the Multi-State Learning Collaborative, a methodological description of its evaluation, and preliminary findings.

Brenda M. Joly, PhD, MPH, is Assistant Research Professor, Health Policy and Management, Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine, Portland.

George Shaler, MPH, is Research Associate, Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine, Portland.

Maureen Booth, MRP, is Senior Research Associate, Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine, Portland.

Ann Conway, PhD, is President, Riverview Public Health Consulting, Gardiner, Maine.

Prashant Mittal, MSc, MS, is Statistician, Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine, Portland.

Corresponding Author: Brenda M. Joly, PhD, MPH, Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine, PO Box 9300, Portland, ME 04104 (bjoly@usm.maine.edu).

This evaluation was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, grant 64232.

The authors thank the many partner organizations and public health practitioners who have contributed to this evaluation. We also thank Brenda Henry, PhD, MPH, for her ongoing support and critical insights.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.