The grants will support the efforts to test the adaptation and adoption of this tool by other health departments, a key strategy in diffusing successful innovations.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (PRWEB) July 17, 2018
The Public Health National Center for Innovations (PHNCI), a division of the Public Health Accreditation Board, today announced it has awarded grants totaling $75 thousand to five public health departments to test the replication of the Universal Community Planning Tool (UCPT), a digital collaboration framework developed by Garrett County Health Department (GCHD) in Oakland, Maryland.
Utilizing open-source technology, the UCPT is built on a popular content management system designed to seamlessly integrate with other systems and be easily deployed in every community. GCHD developed the tool to help its rural, western Maryland community create a shared vision based on county level data by meaningfully and transparently engaging 1,800 residents to date. The tool’s transparency allows for authentic engagement and increased accountability, and builds trust between agencies and the community alike. Ultimately, the tool aims to increase health equity through community engagement with health improvement planning and the collection of hyper- local data with partners from across a range of sectors.
With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, five public health departments this month were awarded replication grants from PHNCI to implement the UCPT in their own communities. GCHD will guide the communities through the installation and implementation of the tool to test the utility of the UCPT in various settings and to inform potential widespread use by the public health community.
The five health department awardees are:
- Allegany County Health Department (MD)
- Clackamas County Public Health (OR)
- District of Columbia Department of Health (Washington, D.C.)
- Flathead City-County Health Department (MT)
- Medina County Health Department (OH)
“The agencies selected reflect a diversity of settings across the United States, giving us an excellent opportunity to expand our reach and continue to increase equity and ultimately improve health outcomes,” said Shelley Argabrite, MA, strategic health planner at Garrett County Health Department. “Connecting more meaningfully with communities and bridging some of the gaps public health departments have in their ability to transparently collect hyper-local data to better inform their work by utilizing the UCPT is transformational in the field of public health. Since we began sharing our work, many health departments have reached out to us expressing a need to more meaningfully engage their communities and are looking for a tool like the UCPT. We are excited to have this opportunity from PHNCI to help others implement and adapt this process.”
Between now and October 31, 2018, the five grantees will use the funds to implement the UCPT to engage their communities in health improvement planning and will share findings and lessons learned with PHNCI.
“PHNCI is pleased to be able to provide these grants,” said PHNCI Chief Innovations Officer Jessica Solomon Fisher, MCP. “This award is the first opportunity to test the technical capabilities of the UCPT framework and experience in other health departments. The grants will support the efforts to test the adaptation and adoption of this tool by other health departments, a key strategy in diffusing successful innovations.”
The Public Health National Center for Innovations (PHNCI), a division of the Public Health Accreditation Board with support and funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, was established in 2015 to help foster a multi-sector learning community that will help identify and test new and innovative practices to improve public health capacity. In this role, PHNCI serves as the hub for national public health innovations.
About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has worked to improve health and health care. RWJF is working with others to build a national Culture of Health enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit http://www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at http://www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at http://www.rwjf.org/facebook.