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Steps to a Healthier US: A blueprint for national program monitoring and evaluation

Goldie MacDonald, PhD, Steps to a HealthierUS, CDC, 4770 Buford Hwy, NE, K- 41, Atlanta, GA 30341, 770-488-5534, GMacDonald@cdc.gov

The centerpiece of the Steps to a HealthierUS Initiative is a five-year cooperative agreement program to improve the lives of Americans through community-based chronic disease prevention and control. The cooperative agreement program intends to help reduce the burden of diabetes, obesity, and asthma and addresses three related risk factors—physical inactivity, poor nutrition, and tobacco use.

Aimed at making changes at the community level, how do we assess this set of community-based health promotion programs as a national collective? In accordance with the CDC’s Framework for Program Evaluation in Public Health, key evaluation questions stem from a succinct description of program processes and intended outcomes. As such, a set of logic models serve as a focal point for evaluation planning, implementation, and the use of findings. In short, the logic model connects domains of activity to results, encourages performance-based budgeting, and highlights priority data needs. In an effort to develop an evaluation plan based upon theoretical and scientific grounds best suited to answer complex evaluation questions, an intricate web of intended outcomes, and related indicators, is introduced; indicators selected reflect important dimensions of program stewardship, public health infrastructure and capacity, as well as community and health outcomes. The evaluative approach emphasizes accountability to a wide range of program stakeholders. Moreover, the addition of practical feedback loops to program logic models guarantees that key findings are translated into improved practice. Initial lessons learned via a participatory approach to evaluation planning will be discussed in detail for easy application in diverse settings.

Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

STEPS to a Healthier US Initiative: National and Community-Level Strategies to Address Chronic Disease

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA