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Health and Family Services Cabinet
Department for Public Health Earns $1 Million Grant for Performance Management

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, October 05, 2010  
Contact Information:  Gwenda Bond or Beth Fisher, (502) 564-6786, ext. 3325 and 4012  

Award will Enhance Ongoing Quality Improvement Measures

The Kentucky Department for Public Health will receive $1 million in federal grant funding over the next five years to enhance performance management at the state level and at all local health departments.
The grant funding will be used to collect data to inform decisions; monitor and evaluate quality; and make improvements throughout the state public health system. In addition, two full-time staff members will be added to DPH to focus on systems and processes within the state health department and coordinate comparable activities at local health departments.

“We are working to create consistency within the public health system,” said DPH Commissioner William Hacker, M.D. “This grant will fund ongoing efforts to establish best practice standards at both the state and local levels. Our work will be based on the most current research and organizational standards so that we can better serve Kentuckians and ensure the same set of standards are maintained everywhere.”

The funding, $200,000 allocated every year over the next five years, is part of an award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) totaling $42.5 million to state, tribal, local and territorial health departments to improve their ability to provide public health services. The funding was made possible through the new Prevention and Public Health Fund created by the Affordable Care Act.

“These funds will help health departments around the country improve the quality and effectiveness of the critical health services that millions of Americans rely on every day,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Strengthening our public health system through better coordination and collaboration will help deliver higher quality health care more efficiently.”

This new five-year cooperative agreement program entitled Strengthening Public Health Infrastructure for Improved Health Outcomes will provide health departments with needed resources to make fundamental changes in their organizations and practices, so that they can improve the delivery of public health services.  In Kentucky, efforts will be focused on the establishment of a Center of Performance Management within the DPH commissioner’s office to provide leadership and infrastructure for the development and operation of a complete performance management system.

“We are focused on quality improvement – not just at the state level, but also throughout public health,” said Hacker. “This grant funding will allow us to evaluate and improve our programs and operations so that we can better meet best practice standards.”

Ultimately, DPH is working to meet standards set forth by the Public Health Accreditation Board, which is developing a national voluntary accreditation program for state, local, territorial and tribal public health departments. The goal of the accreditation program is to improve and protect the health of every community by advancing the quality and performance of public health departments.

Specifically, this will include increasing state and local health departments’ capacity to routinely evaluate and improve the effectiveness of their organizations and practices. This will include establishment of dedicated staff; development of  assessment, improvement and strategic plans; increasing the number of state and local health department staff trained in performance management; and implementation of routine monitoring and reporting for organizational performance and health outcomes. 

Representatives from the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, the Kentucky Public Health Association, the Kentucky Health Departments Association, the National Association of County and City Health Officials and DPH served on an advisory group during the grant application process.
Kentucky is one of 49 states to receive an award.

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Last Updated 10/5/2010