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Promoting Quality Improvement and Achieving Measurable Change: The Lead States Initiative

Gillen, Sarah M. MPH; McKeever, Jennifer LCSW, MPH; Edwards, Kathleen F. (Kay) PhD; Thielen, Lee MPA

Journal of Public Health Management & Practice: January/February 2010 - Volume 16 - Issue 1 - p 55–60
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e3181bedb5d
Qi in Public Health Today

Along with the development of a national voluntary accreditation program for public health departments that holds quality improvement as its core goal, the application of quality improvement in public health has been gaining momentum. The 16 states participating in the Multi-State Learning Collaborative: Lead States in Public Health Quality Improvement (MLC) represent best practices in these activities. The MLC brings together partnerships in 16 US states to prepare for accreditation and implement quality-improvement practices. The grantee states are managing quality-improvement teams of local and state health department representatives and other partners. These teams, called mini-collaboratives, are working collectively to implement quality-improvement techniques to make measurable change on identified public health issues, or target areas. The work of the MLC seems to show that state and local-health departments and their key partners have the leadership, will and interest to apply quality improvement tools, and methods to solving public health problems and to raising the standard of public health practice. This article describes the history, current status, and lessons learned from the work of the MLC.

This article describes the history, current status, and lessons learned from the work of the Multi-State Learning Collaborative, which brings together 16 US states to prepare for accreditation and implement quality-improvement practices.

Sarah M. Gillen, MPH, is Associate Director, National Network of Public Health Institutes, Washington, District of Columbia.

Jennifer McKeever, LCSW, MPH, is Program Manager, National Network of Public Health Institutes, Washington, District of Columbia.

Kathleen F. (Kay) Edwards, PhD, is Quality Improvement Project Lead, National Network of Public Health Institutes, Washington, District of Columbia.

Lee Thielen, MPA, is Executive Director, Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials and the Public Health Alliance of Colorado, and Chair of the Multi-State Learning Collaborative: Lead States in Public Health Quality Improvement Fort Collins, Colorado.

Corresponding Author: Sarah M. Gillen, MPH, National Network of Public Health Institutes, 1515 Poydras St, Ste 1200, New Orleans, LA 70112 (sgillen@nnphi.org).

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.