Quality Improvement Strategies for Public Health Agencies to be Explored in 10 States

The Multistate Learning Collaborative is expected to identify tools that can be used by health departments in preparation for accreditation

    • January 7, 2007

Ten states have been selected to lead a national collaborative effort to explore quality improvement strategies in public health, the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) announced today.

Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, and Washington states were selected from a pool of 21 applicants to apply quality improvement strategies in the context of their existing performance assessment or accreditation programs. The 10 state projects are expected to produce models for action nationwide.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) senior program officer Pamela Russo said, "The project will incorporate quality improvement techniques into existing performance and capacity assessment efforts, with the ultimate goal of increasing the ability of public health agencies to protect and improve the health of the people in the communities they serve."

Acknowledging the momentum surrounding a national voluntary accreditation program for public health departments, NNPHI Chief Executive Officer Joseph Kimbrell stated, "This project will identify valuable tools that can be used by health departments as they prepare for accreditation."

The program, called the Multistate Learning Collaborative II, or MLC-2, is managed by NNPHI and the Public Health Leadership Society (PHLS). NNPHI and PHLS will provide technical assistance to the 10 states and opportunities to enhance the identification, exchange, and dissemination of lessons learned, best practices, and quality improvement tools. Each of the 10 participating states were awarded a grant of up to $150,000.

The main objectives of the MLC-2 are to:

  • Bolster the public health performance assessment or accreditation programs in the 10 states;
  • Convene the states to share and explore quality improvement efforts;
  • Produce resources and tools to be used by others;
  • And inform the public health practice community about the findings and products of the project.

MLC-2 follows the successful MLC-1 project in which five states successfully gathered and shared important lessons about setting performance standards and their state's accreditation efforts.

Read additional information about MLC-2.


The National Network of Public Health Institutes is a national organization that recognizes and enhances the work being done in public health by independent, nonprofit collaborative entities. Twenty-six institutes make up the organization's membership. These institutes are multi-sector organizations that have unique partnerships with government, the business community, academia, and other nonprofits. The network helps leverage the resources of member institutes so they may learn from each other and enjoy the potential for joint ventures.

The Public Health Leadership Society (PHLS) is a membership organization comprised of the alumni from the following leadership programs for senior public health professionals: National Public Health Leadership Institute, State and Regional Public Health Leadership Institutes, and the Robert Wood Johnson State Health Leadership Initiative. PHLS provides an opportunity for alumni to continue their learning experiences and leadership development, maintain and develop professional and personal relations, and contribute to innovative thinking about public health issues. Members of PHLS collaborate with other national public health organizations to shape the future of public health.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 30 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime.

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