Strategic communications for the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care project, 2007-2010

The Dartmouth Atlas research project (DAP) has consistently produced groundbreaking research to document regional variations in the quality of health care. Over the past 15 years, DAP has documented extensive variations in practice and spending, explored the causes and consequences of these variations, and developed recommendations to guide both policy reforms and improvements in clinical practice. In its next phase of funding, DAP will seek to increase its impact through efforts to: (1) expand and extend its national analyses, reporting and stakeholder engagement efforts; and (2) support the successful implementation of local quality improvement and policy reform initiatives by providing data, analysis and Atlas staff support for the Foundation's Quality/Equality team's Regional Quality Strategy (RQS). For over two years, Manning Selvage & Lee (MS&L), a Washington, D.C. communications firm, has provided communications support to the Dartmouth Atlas project. Throughout its involvement with DAP, MS&L has worked to disseminate more user-friendly materials about the project's research results, elevate the project's profile among a wide array of audiences, and create a consistent set of messages about the project's work. These efforts have helped to get the attention of top tier media and policy-makers in Congress and the White House. This project will allow Manning Selvage & Lee to continue providing support to the Dartmouth Atlas project during the project's next phase of funding. In this next phase of work, MS&L will sustain and build on the progress made over the past two years through efforts aimed at: (1) continuing to explain the problem by creating greater awareness among key audiences of unwarranted variations in practice patterns; (2) pointing to possible policy solutions by educating policy-makers, providers and payers to use resource utilization analysis to inform public and private reform efforts; (3) showing what works practically by disseminating stories of success about providers that use the Atlas conceptual framework for accountability; and (4) coordinating efforts with the Foundation's staff team to maximize the communications value of reports and analysis performed for the RQS. The primary activities in which MS&L will engage in order to achieve the above objectives will include management and strategic counsel work, stakeholder outreach, and media relations.

Learn about Dartmouth Atlas Project

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $750,000.00

Awarded on: 10/29/2007

Time frame: 10/1/2007 - 12/31/2010

Grant Number: 57048



1201 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 500
Washington, 20036-2645


Charles C. Alston
Project Director