Online Program

Successful program coordination: Lessons learned in a state public health department

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 1:30 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.

Katherine Vaughn-Jehring, MPH, MPA, Division of Public Health, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Madison, WI
Courtney Saxler, MPH, Department of Health Services, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Madison, WI
Wisconsin has a long history of coordinating public health programs within the Bureau of Community Health Promotion. The Bureau consists of programs across the lifespan including Maternal and Child Health, WIC, Tobacco, Oral Health, and Chronic Disease. Wisconsin was one of four pilot states selected in 2009 to implement a program integration model. Wisconsin has continued moving forward under the Coordinated Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Program initiative. A 2012 Bureau survey showed that 91% felt there was less duplication of work among coordinated programs compared to 86% in 2010. Additionally, 81% of staff recognized an increase in program efficiency as a benefit of program coordination. Wisconsin has worked to increase program efficiency by using evaluation data to guide communication improvements and identify training opportunities. Capacity was built around epidemiology and surveillance techniques, implementing systems and environmental changes, and cross-program coalition building. The development of a Healthy People at Every Stage of Life framework and an integrated risk factor report aided bureau staff to think collaboratively and use similar messaging to discuss chronic disease prevention and health promotion topics. A recent activity, focused on tobacco sustainability, attempted to maximize efforts from diverse partners. Successful coordination among state-level programs requires the presence of key elements: 1) Resources dedicated to coordination including: a designated leader/champion; available funds for key projects; ongoing collection and use of program evaluation data; and management support; 2) Trust and relationship-building between colleagues through effective and clear communication; 3) Flexibility and willingness to let go of “turf”; 4) Focused Efforts on a few coordinated initiatives that support stepping out of comfort zones and thinking outside of categorical “silos”. Well executed program coordination increases program efficiency, decreases duplication of efforts across programs focused on common risk factors, and maximizes the efforts of diverse partners.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Explain benefits of coordination among public health programs within a state health department. Describe the key elements for effective state public health program coordination.

Keyword(s): Coordination, Organizational Change

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Katherine Vaughn-Jehring, MPH, MPA, is the Director for the Coordinated Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Program at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Mrs. Vaughn-Jehring has lead strategic planning efforts around cancer control, chronic disease, and public health department quality improvement efforts. She has built durable relationships and is working to establish synergies between internal and external partners to improve efficiencies and effectiveness within the public health system.
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.