203540 Engaging your constituency: The Kansas Public Health Association membership project

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 1:15 PM

Ruth Wetta-Hall, RN, PhD, MPH, MSN , Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Wichita, KS
Amy Chesser, PhD, MA , Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Wichita, KS
Traci Hart, PhD, MA , Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Wichita, KS
Janis Goedeke, RN, ARNP , Crawford County Health Department, Pittsburg, KS
Sonja Armbruster, MAC , Health Protection and Promotion, Sedgwick County Health Department, Wichita, KS
Eldonna Chesnut, RN, BSN, MSN , Adult and Childcare Facilities, Johnson County Health Department, Olathe, KS
BACKGROUND: The mission of the Kansas Public Health Association (KPHA) is to serve as the primary, unifying organization promoting improvement in the health of Kansans and in public health practice; however, gleaning membership preferences for policy direction and organizational priorities can be challenging.

METHOD: The purpose of this survey was to assess the attitudes, preferences, and priorities of KPHA members in order to support strategic and operational planning for KPHA. Using a mixed methods design, a survey was developed collaboratively between KPHA board members, local and state public health department employees, and university faculty. Specifically, the survey explored: (1) activities and services valued by the membership, (2) perceived legislative priorities for 2009, (3) prioritized areas and methods to improve communication among public health entities, (4) preferred opportunities to engage and include members, (5) perceived barriers to participation in KPHA, and (6) preferred method of KPHA representation.

FINDINGS: The results of this survey have been used to shape policy changes and strategic planning for KPHA.

CONCLUSIONS: This project has demonstrated a successful method for engaging organization membership to address membership preferences. Such collaborations produce maximization of production and effectiveness in an environment characterized by limited resources.

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain how to develop questions for a membership survey. 2. Compare and contrast a live, interactive survey and an emailed, online survey. 3. Describe the benefit of a membership survey in terms of producing cost-effective change within an organization.

Keywords: Member Surveys, Organizational Change

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Ruth Wetta-Hall, Assistant Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, is a registered nurse holding master degrees in nursing administration and public health, and a Ph.D. in Community Psychology. She is also the current Secretary of the Kansas Public Health Association (KPHA).
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.