July 2004

Grant Results

SUMMARY

From 2001 to 2003, staff from the National Health Museum, Washington, established the National Public Health Partnership to forge linkages between the public health community and the community of museums and science centers with the goal of expanding the reach of the nation's health promotion and disease prevention efforts.

Key Results

  • Project staff at the National Health Museum established the National Public Health Partnership, comprised of 28 organizations from the public health community and the community of museums and science centers.
  • The Public Health Partnership held its inaugural meeting on November 11, 2002, in conjunction with the annual conference of the American Public Health Association in Philadelphia. Many national leaders of the two communities had an opportunity to meet for the first time.
  • Project staff conducted one-on-one interviews with all National Public Health Partnership Steering Committee members, and held a small working group meeting with select members to solicit feedback from representatives of both communities in order to move from the planning to operational mode of the partnership (see After the Grant).
  • A number of joint efforts got underway during the grant period, including a public health student internship at Boston's Museum of Science and consultation by health professionals at several museums and science centers.

Funding
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided a grant of $397,864 for the project between October 2001 and June 2003.

 See Grant Detail & Contact Information
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THE PROBLEM

The American Association of Museums estimates that 865 million people visited more than 3,000 museums and science centers nationwide in 1998; science and technology centers alone accounted for 116 million visits. These institutions are largely untapped settings for reaching and engaging the public with health-related information.

The National Health Museum, first envisioned by former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, M.D., was incorporated as a not-for-profit institution in 1996. A grant from RWJF in 1999 supported the development of the intellectual framework for the museum, whose purpose is to use its facilities and Web-based programs to help people make sense of the growing base of knowledge about health and to make choices that will help them lead healthier lives.

For more information on the work completed under that grant, see Grant Results on ID# 036953.

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THE PROJECT

The primary goal of this project was to establish the National Public Health Partnership as a tool to forge linkages between the public health community and the community of museums and science centers in order to expand the nation's health promotion and disease prevention efforts.

Partnership members include national public health organizations, national organizations related to the museum community, leading museums and science centers from across the United States, federal agencies and educational organizations. The American Public Health Association, the American Association of Museums and the Association of Science-Technology Centers were asked, and agreed, to serve as conveners of the partnership, together with the National Health Museum.

The conveners identified the leading organizations and institutions in each community and invited them to serve on a National Public Health Partnership Steering Committee. (See the Appendix for a roster of members.) Project staff convened six meetings with representatives of the public health and museum and science center communities to identify their needs, assess interest in the partnership, define its initial structure and develop preliminary goals and outcomes.

The meetings were held in 2002 and 2003 at national conferences of the American Association of Museums, the Association of Science-Technology Centers, the Society for Public Health Education and the American Public Health Association (see the Bibliography for more information).

To generate a preliminary inventory of model practices for presenting health promotion and health science topics within museums and science centers, project staff developed an on-line survey, the NPHP Public Health Exemplary Exhibition and Program Survey, and sent it to approximately 300 museums and science centers in North America, asking them to highlight their exemplary public health oriented work. Seventy-three museums and science centers responded to the survey, a 24 percent response rate. For preliminary results, see Findings.

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RESULTS

The project achieved results in the following areas:

  • Project staff at the National Health Museum established the National Public Health Partnership, comprised of 28 organizations from the public health community and the community of museums and science centers.
  • The Public Health Partnership held its inaugural meeting on November 11, 2002, in conjunction with the annual conference of the American Public Health Association in Philadelphia. Many national leaders of the two communities had an opportunity to meet for the first time. National Public Health Partnership Steering Committee members presented examples of public health-oriented museum and science center exhibits and programs, and National Health Museum staff solicited feedback about the value, structure, potential goals and outcomes of the partnership.
  • Project staff conducted one-on-one interviews with all National Public Health Partnership Steering Committee members, and held a small working group meeting with select members to solicit feedback from representatives of both communities in order to move from the planning to operational mode of the partnership (see After the Grant).
  • Leaders of the national public health organizations and the major museums and science centers gained a better understanding of the potential for interaction as a result of this planning process, according to the project director. A number of joint efforts got underway during the grant period, including a public health student internship at Boston's Museum of Science and consultation by health professionals at several museums and science centers. Officials at the National Institute of Health sought the expertise of partnership representatives as they explored developing new educational programming, possibly for museum audiences.

Findings

While the results of the NPHP Public Health Exemplary Exhibition and Program Survey are still being analyzed, the project director reported the following preliminary findings to RWJF:

  • Of the 73 museums or science centers responding to the survey, 26 were planning or developing a major new health-related exhibition and 19 were planning or developing a major new health-related program. Over the past five years, 14 respondents have incorporated public health educational objectives into an exemplary permanent or traveling exhibit; 20 respondents have developed an exemplary program incorporating those objectives.

Communications

Project staff wrote reports on the key planning meetings and produced a brief videotape — The National Health Museum: Experience What's Next — to provide an overview of the museum's goals and plans. The videotape, along with other information about the museum and ongoing initiatives of the partnership, can be viewed at the museum's Web site. See the Bibliography for details.

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LESSONS LEARNED

The project director offered one lesson for the field:

  1. Be patient, flexible and responsive during efforts to create collaborations among communities that have not worked together in the past. Project staff originally planned to develop a prototype public health exhibit during the grant period, but soon realized that they needed to spend more time on formative activities and establishing a strong foundation for the future work of the National Public Health Partnership. Staff decided to postpone work on the prototype until the next phase of the project. (Project Director)

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AFTER THE GRANT

Since the summer of 2003, the National Health Museum has secured nearly $3 million in new funding from public and private sources, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the John P. McGovern Foundation, the American Academy of Family Physicians and Irene and Abe Pollin, part of which will be used to move the National Public Health Partnership from a planning to an operational mode. Anticipated activities include the following:

  • Establishing communications and resource sharing through a Web site, a speaker's bureau, an events calendar, publications and other approaches that provide access to information.
  • Gathering and sharing data, such as best practices in informal learning and top public health issues.
  • Creating a rapid response network to make available trusted information and resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and other authoritative sources about emerging public health issues (e.g., SARS, bioterrorism, the obesity epidemic, etc.) on short notice to museums and science centers.
  • Extending the activities of the American Public Health Association's National Public Health Week to include programs in museums and science centers, fostering ties with local health organizations, and developing a video public service announcement.
  • Encouraging local networking by connecting museums and science centers with local public health experts and organizations.
  • Initiating special projects, such as a major national exhibition on an important public health topic, to travel to museums and science centers.

Project staff also plans to take a detailed inventory of what is being developed or seen at museums and science centers around the world by conducting a global review of exhibits, programs, technologies and exhibitor and consumer trends. Once additional partnership activities are launched, project staff will seek to increase the number of organizations that are enrolled in the partnership.

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GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

Fostering Partnerships between the Public Health Community and the National Health Museum

Grantee

The National Health Museum (Washington,  DC)

  • Amount: $ 397,864
    Dates: October 2001 to June 2003
    ID#:  043033

Contact

J. Mark Dunham
(202) 737-2670
mdunham@nationalhealthmuseum.org

Web Site

http://www.nationalhealthmuseum.org

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APPENDICES


Appendix 1

(Current as of the time of the grant; provided by the grantee organization; not verified by RWJF.)

National Public Health Partnership Steering Committee

Conveners
Georges Benjamin, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Executive Director
American Public Health Association
Washington, D.C.

J. Mark Dunham
President
National Health Museum
Washington, D.C.

Kim Igoe
Vice President, Policy and Programs
American Association of Museums
Washington, D.C.

Bonnie VanDorn
Executive Director
Association of Science-Technology Centers
Washington, D.C.

Public Health Steering Committee Members
Norman Anderson, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
American Psychological Association
Washington, D.C.

Elaine Auld, M.P.H., C.H.E.S.
Executive Director
Society for Public Health Education
Washington, D.C.

Roland Bialek, M.P.P.
President
Public Health Foundation
Washington, D.C.

Fran Butterfoss, Ph.D.
Society for Public Health Education Representative
Associate Professor
Eastern Virginia Medical School
Norfolk, Va.

Marie Fallon, M.H.S.A.
Executive Director
National Association of Local Boards of Health
Bowling Green, Ohio

George Hardy, M.D., M.P.H.
Executive Director
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
Washington, D.C.

Patrick Libbey
Executive Director
National Association of County and City Health Officials
Washington, D.C.

Garry Lindsay, M.P.H., C.H.E.S.
Director of Business Partnerships
Partnership for Prevention
Washington, D.C.

David Midland
Executive Director
National Association of Health Education Centers
Milwaukee, Wis.

Nancy Persily, M.P.H.
Association of Schools of Public Health Representative
Assistant Provost/Associate Dean for Academic Programs
School of Public Health, University at Albany, SUNY
Albany, N.Y.

Becky J. Smith, Ph.D.
Executive Director
American Association for Health Education
Reston, Va.

Museum & Science Center Steering Committee Members
Greg Andorfer
Executive Director
Maryland Science Center
Baltimore, Md.

Stephen Baumann
Vice President, Educational Programs
Liberty Science Center
Jersey City, N.J.

Gail Becker
Executive Director
Louisville Science Center
Louisville, Ky.

David Combs, Ph.D.
Deputy Director of Education
California Science Center
Los Angeles, Calif.

Judy Gantt, M.A.
Executive Director
Global Health Odyssey, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta, Ga.

Patricia T. Horvath, R.N., M.S.N.
Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer
HealthSpace Cleveland
Cleveland, Ohio

Nancy Kolb
President and CEO
Please Touch Museum
Philadelphia, Pa.

Witold Ostrenko
President
Museum of Science & Industry
Tampa, Fla.

David Rabkin, Ph.D.
Vice President, Technologies
Museum of Science
Boston, Mass.

Randy Ray
Executive Director
John P. McGovern Museum of Health & Medical Science
Houston, Texas

Ralph J. Schulz
President and CEO
Adventure Science Center
Nashville, Tenn.

Steve Snyder, Ph.D.
Vice President of Exhibits and Program Development
The Franklin Institute
Philadelphia, Pa.

Richard Stucky, Ph.D.
Vice President, Museum Programs
Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Denver, Colo.

Martin Weiss, Ph.D.
Director of Science
New York Hall of Science
Queens, N.Y.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

(Current as of date of this report; as provided by grantee organization; not verified by RWJF; items not available from RWJF.)

Reports

Dierking L. National Public Health Partnership Kickoff Luncheon. Annapolis, Md.: National Health Museum, 2002.

Dierking L. National Public Health Partnership Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) Facilitated Discussion. Annapolis, Md.: National Health Museum, 2002.

Dierking L. National Public Health Partnership Society for Public Health Educators (SOPHE) Facilitated Discussion. Annapolis, Md.: National Health Museum, 2002.

Dierking L. National Public Health Partnership American Public Health Association (APHA) Facilitated Discussion. Annapolis, Md.: National Health Museum, 2002.

Dierking L, Dunham M, Menashe C, Ucko D. The National Public Health Partnership: Inaugural Meeting Report. Washington: National Health Museum, 2003.

Audio-Visuals and Computer Software

The National Health Museum: Experience What's Next, a seven-minute videotape. Washington, D.C.: State of the Art, Inc., 2002. 300 copies distributed to date and continuously broadcast via the Web site.

Survey Instruments

NPHP Public Health Exemplary Exhibition and Program Survey. National Public Health Museum, fielded May–June 2003.

World Wide Web Sites

www.nationalhealthmuseum.org/initiatives/nphp. The National Public Health Partnership Web site provides information about ongoing initiatives of the partnership. Washington: National Health Museum.

Sponsored Workshops

"The National Public Health Partnership Discussion," during the American Association of Museums annual meeting. May 14, 2002, Dallas. Attended by 15 museum and science center senior representatives, including the Fernbank Science Center, the Global Health Odyssey at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the John P. McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science.

"The National Public Health Partnership Discussion," during the Association of Science-Technology Centers Association annual conference. October 14, 2002, Charlotte, S.C. Attended by 25 museum and science center senior representatives, including the Franklin Institute, New York Hall of Science and the Global Health Odyssey at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The National Public Health Partnership Discussion," November 8, 2002, Philadelphia. Attended by 15 Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) executive board members.

"The National Public Health Partnership Discussion," November 10, 2002, Philadelphia. Attended by 10 American Public Health Association members, including the President of the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) and a health communications specialist from the National Cancer Institute.

"Public Health 101," November 11, 2002, Philadelphia. Attended by 15 museum and science center partners of the National Public Health Partnership including the Liberty Science Center, HealthSpace Cleveland and John P. McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science.

"The National Public Health Partnership Inaugural Meeting," during the American Public Health Association's annual meeting. November 11, 2002, Philadelphia. Attended by 35 partners including senior representatives from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the American Public Health Association, the American Association of Museums, the Partnership for Prevention and the Museum of Science in Boston.

"The National Public Health Partnership Reception," during the American Public Health Association's annual meeting. November 11, 2002, Philadelphia. Attended by 300 public health professionals including executive members from the Governing Council of the American Public Health Association.

"The National Public Health Partnership Working Group Meeting," during the American Association of Museums annual meeting. May 20, 2003, Portland, Ore. Attended by 14 partners including senior representatives of the Maryland Science Center, the American Public Health Association, the American Psychological Association and the Louisville Science Center.

"The National Public Health Partnership Reception featuring Jay Glasser, APHA President and Bill Nye the Science Guy," during the American Association of Museums annual meeting. May 20, 2003, Portland, Ore. Attended by 75 museum and science center representatives including the John P. McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science, the New York Hall of Science and public health professionals including members of the Oregon Public Health Association.

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Report prepared by: Robert Crum
Reviewed by: Karyn Feiden
Reviewed by: Molly McKaughan
Program Officer: Susan B. Hassmiller
Program Officer: Gregory G. Hall

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