266112 An emergency of a different kind: Using public health preparedness strategies to organize fast paced, high demand grant execution

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 8:30 AM - 8:50 AM

Christina Welter, DrPH, MPH , Deputy Director, Prevention Services, Cook County Department of Public Health, Oak Forest, IL
Gina Massuda Barnett, MPH , Cook County Department of Public Health, Oak Forest, IL
Rachael Dombrowski, MPH , Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago, Suburban Cook County Communities Putting Prevention to Work, Oak Park, IL
Local health departments (LHD) rely heavily on grants to fund core public health initiatives and, in some cases, build organizational infrastructure. Many pitfalls exist with this funding approach, including but not limited to, ever-changing and unrealistic deliverables, unreliable and inconsistent funding sources, and fast turn around times. The impact is a loss in productivity as too much time is spent on trying to organize the work. In addition, grant implementation tends to focus on operational issues instead of strategic ones, reducing the capacity to impact improvement in public health outcomes.

As LHDs continue to remain dependent on grant funding, implementation strategies are needed to help organize the work in an effective and efficient manner that allows for both a focus on strategy and operations. The Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) in collaboration with the Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago was awarded nearly $16 million from a 2-year federal initiative, Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW). Challenged with addressing many execution issues in a short amount of time, CCDPH employed emergency preparedness principles of incident command, as well as organizational management concepts, to help systematize project structure, clarify roles and responsibilities of staff and community partners, monitor performance, and address strategic issues.

Participants who attend this session will learn the steps taken to overcome implementation barriers of high paced grants. Potential strategies, models and tools will be shared along with lessons learned from the CPPW experience.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Administration, management, leadership
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the organization and programmatic impact of fast-paced, high demand grants on LHDS 2. Describe strategies used to maximize a focus on program implementation and improved public health outcomes 3. Discuss benefits and lessons learned for action-oriented implementation design

Keywords: Planning, Management and Sustainability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Deputy Director of Prevention Services at the Cook County Department of Public health and co-lead on several federal, state, and local grants.
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.