Quality Connection                                       July/August 2017-Issue 37
Welcome to ASTHO's Quality Connection E-Blast! In this newsletter, you will find news and information on ASTHO resources and tools, upcoming funding and learning opportunities, current publications, and updates on cross-cutting ASTHO programs in areas of performance management and accreditation readiness. This newsletter is brought to you thanks to funding from CDC.
ASTHO 75th Anniversary: Celebrating the Power of State and Territorial Public Health
Join ASTHO at the 2017 Gala and Annual Meeting to celebrate ASTHO's 75th anniversary and our nation's state and territorial public health leaders. The event brings together state and territorial health officials, ASTHO alumni and affiliated organizations, federal partners, academia, private sector health industry executives, and national thought leaders to address strategic public health issues.
The celebration begins on the evening of Sept. 19 with a 75th anniversary gala to recognize and network with esteemed public health colleagues and invited guests. Events will take place at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.
This year's meeting will honor decades of progress in governmental public health and inspire new ideas for addressing future public health challenges with sessions on the opioid epidemic, early brain development, telehealth, and creating a culture of health. Click here for more information on keynote speakers or to register.
ASTHO Announces Competitive Opportunities for Technical Assistance

ASTHO is funded by CDC to build capacity in state, territorial, and freely associated state health agencies in the areas of PHAB accreditation, performance management, and quality improvement. During the week of Aug. 21, 2017, ASTHO will open the application period for competitive opportunities for technical assistance through the Accreditation Readiness and Performance Improvement Technical Assistance (TA) to States project and the Accreditation Support Initiative (ASI) for territorial and freely associated state health agencies.
ASTHO's Accreditation Readiness and Performance Improvement Technical Assistance (TA) to States  project will provide targeted, customized TA in the following topic areas fo r selected states:
  • Accreditation/Reaccreditation Readiness for Staff and/or Agency Leadership.
  • Organizational Self-Assessment (OSA) Against PHAB Standards and Measures (Gap Analysis).
  • Development of and/or implementation assistance with key accreditation documents and systems (State Health Assessment, State Health Improvement Plan, Strategic Plan, Workforce Development Plan, Performance Management Systems, and Quality Improvement Processes and Initiatives).
  • Documentation Review.
  • Site Visit Preparation.
  • Maintenance of Accreditation Status.
For more information on the Accreditation Readiness and Performance Improvement Technical Assistance (TA) to States project, please contact Jamie Ishcomer, Senior Analyst, Quality Improvement and Performance Management, at  jishcomer@astho.org.

The Accreditation Support Initiative (ASI),   is designed to advance territorial and freely associated state health agency accreditation readiness. Each selected territory or freely associated state will receive TA from ASTHO to complete activities to demonstrate a measurable increase in their health agency's readiness to achieve PHAB accreditation with the following standards: 
  • Standard 1.1: Participate in or Lead a Collaborative Process Resulting in a Comprehensive Community Health Assessment.
  • Standard 5.2 and/or Standard 5.3: Conduct a Comprehensive Planning Process Resulting in a Community Health Improvement Plan and/or Develop and Implement a Health Agency Organizational Strategic Plan.
  • Standard 8.2: Ensure a Competent Workforce Through Assessment of Staff Competencies, the Provision of Individual Training and Professional Development, and the Provision of a Supportive Work Environment.
  • Standard 9.1 and/or Standard 9.2: Use a Performance Management System to Monitor Achievement or Organizational Objectives and/or Developing and Implementing Quality Improvement Processes Integrated into Organizational Practice, Programs, Processes, and Interventions.
  • Other Accreditation Readiness Activities: Examples include development of an accreditation roadmap, a written organizational self-study, or one other deliverable related to accreditation readiness.
For more information on the ASI project, please contact Joya Coffman, Director, Accreditation and Performance Management, at  jcoffman@astho.org
ASTHO Resources
Territorial Public Health Performance and Accreditation 101: A Resource and Guide for Territorial Health Agencies.
ASTHO has developed "Territorial Public Health Performance and Accreditation 101: A Resource and Guide for Territorial Health Agencies."  This guide is designed to provide THAs with a simple framework for improving their territorial public health systems' overall performance, as well as the health of the communities they serve. Whether a THA intends to pursue public health accreditation now or later, this resource guides health departments in planning and implementing activities that form the foundation for successful and effective public health practice. The guide is divided into seven sections and provides many practical tips to maintain and sustain these activities over time.
  1.   Public Health and Territorial Communities
  2.  Introduction to Public Health Accreditation in the Territories
  3. Getting Started: Planting the Seed in the Territories for Performance Improvement
  4. Organizational Self-Assessment and Identification of Accreditation Documentation
  5. The Key Accreditation Documents
  6. Performance Management and Quality Improvement
  7. Sustainability: Preparing for the Future

This resource was developed with funding and collaboration between CDC, ASTHO and Red Star International. The information to inform the development of this guide was gathered through an environmental scan of currently available resources and key informant interviews with territorial health agency staff.

ASTHO Adds New State Examples to the Accreditation Library
The  Accreditation Library  is a repository of sample accreditation documentation from state health agencies, which may serve as a reference for other health agencies developing similar documentation for their accreditation materials. ASTHO recently updated this repository to include examples for the following PHAB standards and measures:

Three examples for measure 1.4.2: Develop and distribute statewide health data profiles to support health improvement planning processes at the state level.
Three examples for measure 2.4.4: Consultation and technical assistance to tribal and local health departments.
One example for measure 3.2.4: Maintain written risk communication plan.
Two examples for measure 5.3.3: Strategic plans.
Four examples for measure 5.4.1: Development and Maintenance of all-Hazard Plans.
ASTHO is still collecting documentation to include in this repository. We are seeking additional examples for the following PHAB standards and measures:
  •   Measures 1.2.1, 1.2.4; 1.4.3
  •   Measures 2.1.2, 2.1.5; 2.2.1, 2.2.2, 2.2.3; 2.3.4
  •   Measures 3.1.3; 3.2.3, 3.2.4
  •   Measures 5.1.3; 5.2.3; 5.3.3; 5.4.2; 5.4.3
  •   Measures 6.2.1; 6.3.1-6.3.5 (all measures in 6.3)
  •   Measures 7.1.1, 7.1.3, 7.2.1, 7.2.3
  •   Measures 8.2.1, 8.2.5
  •   Measures 9.1.3, 9.1.4, 9.1.6
  •   Measures 10.2.4
  •   Measures 11.1.3, 11.1.4
  •   Measures 12.3.2, 12.3.3
If you would like to submit your health agency's documentation as an example for the Accreditation Library, please send the documentation and a completed submission form to jhayes@astho.org.
Territorial and Freely Associated States Spotlight
Process Improvement in Action: Process Mapping in the Republic of the Marshall Islands

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Ministry of Health identified business and financial process improvement as an opportunity to increase performance management and quality improvement within its agency. The Ministry of Health successfully applied to receive targetedtechnical assistance to improve processes for grants management, recruitment, and procurement  through ASTHO's Territory Accreditation Support Initiative (ASI). 
In April 2017, ASTHO partnered with CDC and the Pacific Island Health Officers Association (PIHOA) to facilitate a four-day onsite process mapping workshop with the Ministry of Health. The Minister of Health, Assistant Secretary of Health, program managers from the Ministry of Health, representatives from the Ministry of Finance, and representatives from the Public Service Commission also participated in the process mapping workshop. The Ministry of Health used process mapping to review its grants management, recruitment, and procurement processes and identify waste, as well as opportunities to streamline and improve the processes.
Through process mapping, the Ministry of Health identified opportunities to  better manage grants, streamline recruitment and procurement processes, increase collaboration with external partners, and thereby increase the efficiency with which federal funds are effectively spent. Utilizing the process maps, the Ministry of Health will develop new standard operating procedures for grants management, recruitment, and procurement processes.
Contact Leah Silva if you would like to learn more about process mapping in RMI or if you are interested in receiving technical assistance from ASTHO to conduct your own process mapping exercises. 
News From Our Partners
Advancing Public Health: The Story of the National Public Health Improvement Initiative
CDC's Office for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support released Advancing Public Health: The Story of the National Public Health Improvement Initiative, a compendium that describes the successes and outcomes of the National Public Health Improvement Initiative (NPHII). The compendium highlights the activities of each NPHII-funded health department ranging from strengthening business and management practices, to using data to improve performance, to taking steps to understand and address their jurisdictions' unique public health needs.

Participate in the Healthy People 2030 Process!
The HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion invites you to participate in the Healthy People 2030 development process by providing comments on the proposed framework for the Healthy People 2030 vision, mission, foundational principles, plan of action, and overarching goals. Public comments will be accepted through Sept. 29, 2017. Click here to learn more about the proposed framework and how you can participate.

Five Quality Improvement Tools to Activate Your Community Health Improvement Plan
A community (or state) health improvement plan identifies actions that can be taken to improve a community's health. If your plan hasn't moved into action, or is moving too slowly to make measurable improvements, try one or more of these five quality improvement tools from the Public Health Foundation to support your community .

National Indian Health Board Accreditation Support Initiative
The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) and CDC are pleased to announce a new funding cycle for the Tribal Accreditation Support Initiative (Tribal ASI). The Tribal ASI is a funding and technical assistance program for eligible Tribal entities to complete objectives towards meeting PHAB Standards and Measure and Achieve accreditation
We Want To Hear From You
Has your department utilized performance management or quality improvement activities? Do you have accreditation readiness successes to share? Send a brief update to  accreditation@astho.org to be featured in an upcoming issue of Quality Connection.
If you do not already receive Quality Connection, s end us an email at  qualityconnection@astho.org .
ASTHO Board of Directors
Presi dent: Jay Butler, MD (AK)
President-Elect: Vacant
Secretary-Treasurer: John M. Wiesman, DrPH, MPH (WA)
Immediate Past President: Edward P. Ehlinger, MD, MSPH (MN)
Past President: Marissa Levine, MD, MPH (VA)

 Regional Representatives
 I: Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH (RI)
II: Howard A. Zucker, MD, JD (NY)
III: Marissa Levine, MD, MPH (VA)
IV: Mary Currier, MD, MPH (MS)
V: Karen McKeown, MSN, RN (WI)
VI: Nathaniel Smith, MD, MPH (AR)
VII: Gerd W. Clabaugh, MPA (IA)
VIII: Mylynn Tufte BSN, MS, MBA (ND)  
IX: James W. Gillan, MS, HSA (GU)
X: Elke Shaw-Tullock, MHS (ID)

ASTHO Executive Director: Michael Fraser, PhD, CAE, FCPP
Rep. Senior Deputies Committee: Joan Duwve, MD, MPH (IN)
Rep. Affiliate Council: John W. Robitscher, MPH (National Association of Chronic Disease Directors) 
Alumni Board Member: David L. Lakey, MD (alumnus, TX)

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