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CT DPH among award winners

By Public Health Foundation

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Washington, CT - The Public Health Foundation (PHF) announced Wednesday the recipients of the 2012 Future of Public Health Award. The Connecticut Department of Public Health and Washtenaw County (MI) Public Health Department proposed outstanding initiatives with measureable outcomes that will benefit the future of public health by applying quality improvement (QI) tools and techniques to entrenched public health challenges.

Both recipients will receive technical assistance from PHF’s quality improvement experts to support their proposed initiatives to address Winnable Battles. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines Winnable Battles as public health priorities that have a large?scale impact on health, and they have known effective strategies to address them. Dr. Judy Monroe, Director of CDC’s Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support, shared that “our collective efforts can make a real difference in reducing health disparities and overall health burden from the Winnable Battle areas, which are some of the leading causes of death and disability. These awards are a great opportunity for health departments to make significant progress in improving outcomes by applying quality improvement to their everyday practice.”

The winning entry from the Connecticut Department of Public Health, “Clostridium difficile Infection (CDI) Prevention Quality Collaborative in Long Term Care Project,” will focus on reducing healthcare associated infections in nursing home residents using QI tools and methods. “We are grateful for PHF’s assistance on this project, which is designed to reduce a serious and often devastating disease in nursing home residents. Through the full and consistent adoption of best practices for C. difficile infection control, we hope to achieve improved outcomes in the long term care setting,” said Dr. Jewel Mullen, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

The other winning entry came from Washtenaw County (MI) Public Health Department for the proposal, “Prescription for Health: Enhancing Medical Clinic’s Connection to the Local Food System.” The initiative will focus on increasing fruit and vegetable consumption through tokens distributed by clinic staff and redeemable at local farmers markets. “We are pleased to have been chosen for this prestigious award and look forward to the technical assistance that the Foundation will be providing to help us improve our services in the community,” said Richard Fleece, Washtenaw County Health Officer. As recipients of the Future of Public Health Award, both health departments will receive up to three days of on?site technical assistance from PHF’s experts to build QI capacity and advance their programs to improve outcomes in Winnable Battles. Technical assistance strives to strengthen health department processes, outputs, and outcomes, and helps to build a culture of continuous improvement. Public Health Foundation President and CEO, Ron Bialek, noted “time and again, we have seen the power of quality improvement tools and methods to strengthen the performance of public health practice. We are excited to harness that power to positively influence health outcomes in Winnable Battles for underserved populations through these awards.”

Applications were received in March 2012 from health departments across the nation. Award recipients were chosen by a review team of experts in public health QI and Winnable Battles. The Future of Public Health Award is funded through a cooperative agreement with the CDC to Strengthen and Improve the Nation’s Public Health Capacity through National, Non?Profit, Professional Public Health Organizations to Increase Health Protection and Health Equity.

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