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News & Press: Public Heath News

Announcing the Community Health Improvement in Action project

Friday, October 3, 2014  
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Are you looking for ways to build skills in implementing and evaluating community health improvement initiatives?  Community Health Improvement in Action[1] is a new project that aims to strengthen communities’ capacity to implement and evaluate effective community health improvement activities.  Focus areas include:

  • Implementing evidence-based strategies
  • Enacting policy, systems and environmental change
  • Evaluating community health improvement processes and outcomes (measuring success)
  • Strengthening local commitment to high quality, collaborative community health improvement processes and outcomes  

Improved knowledge and skills will be applied to the health issue of unhealthy and risky alcohol use, enabling participants to directly apply what they have learned to a specific community priority.  A secondary benefit of focusing on this singular health issue is the opportunity to build regional and statewide momentum toward collective impact on this important health risk area.

Community Health Improvement in Action (CHIA) will build a Community of Practice to share best practices, discuss common problems, and collaboratively create solutions related to the project’s focus area:  implementing and evaluating community health improvement initiatives, with a focus on those addressing unhealthy and risky alcohol use.  A Community of Practice is defined as “a group of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise by interacting on an ongoing basis.”[2]  The CHIA Community of Practice will interact both in-person (via two statewide summits and expert-facilitated training) and electronically (via conference calls, ten webinars, and a discussion board/ listserv).  Community of Practice participants will have the opportunity to use CHIA community health improvement tools that address unhealthy and risky alcohol use, including community dashboard models to measure progress and an updated pick list of evidence-based practices.

To support long-term and consistent engagement in the Community of Practice,
CHIA will provide technical assistance and up to $2,000 to each of twenty funded-partner communities.  In addition, registration fees for the project’s two statewide summits will be waived for up to four participants per funded-partner community.  The funding period is from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2016.  Please visit the CHIA webpage for the RFA, application and more information about this project. 

Funded by a grant from the UW School of Medicine and Public Health from the Wisconsin Partnership Program (WPP) for three years-- June 2014 through May 2017 -- CHIA continues a current WPP-funded partnership of the Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments and Boards, the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, the Wisconsin Hospital Association, the Division of Public Health, and the Healthy Wisconsin Leadership Institute.  The CHIPP Infrastructure Improvement Project (2011-2014) has developed tools to strengthen the overall community health improvement effort (including  a shared statewide framework/model for community health improvement,  adoption of the Wisconsin Guidebook on Improving the Health of Wisconsin’s Communities with tools and resources for each step of the community health improvement cycle, and production of a Recommended Core Data Set for assessing community health). The new CHIA project, with a focus on implementation and evaluation, will enhance the current project’s successes and respond to community-identified needs for increased application of evidence-based practices and stronger implementation and evaluation, as well as more coordinated state or regional efforts.

For project updates and announcements, follow us on Facebook and visit us at the CHIA webpage.

For more information, please contact:

[1] Building the Infrastructure to Make Wisconsin the Healthiest State:  Strengthening Community Health Improvement Implementation and Evaluation for Greater Impact.  Funded by a grant from the Community-Academic Partnership Fund of the Wisconsin Partnership Program

[2]  Wenger, Etienne, McDermott, Richard, Snyder, William M. Cultivating Communities of Practice. Harvard Business School Press. Boston, MA. 2002.

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