Editor' S Note: NEHA strives to provide up-to-date and relevant information on environmental health and to build partnerships in the profession. In pursuit of these goals, we feature a column from the Environmental Health Services Branch (EHSB) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in every issue of the Journal.
In these columns, EHSB and guest authors share insights and information about environmental health programs, trends, issues, and resources. The conclusions in this column are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of CDC.
Vanessa Lamers is a project manager for the Public Health Foundation's Performance Management and Quality Improvement. LCDR Justin Gerding is an environmental health officer in CDC's National Center for Environmental Health.
Quality improvement efforts are important for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of health department and environmental health programs and activities. In 2016, the Public Health Foundation (PHF) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention collaborated with five local health departments to identify interventions and implement quality improvement projects for their vector control services. The project used an innovative framework called a population health driver diagram, which is often used to capture and discuss specific activities necessary to address a community health objective (Bialek, Moran, & Kirshy, 2015).
The health departments used a driver diagram tailored to vector control (Figure 1), aligned with the 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services (EEPHS) (Table 1), and intended to bring together stakeholders and partners to identify improvement areas and establish coordinated approaches. The 10 EEPHS identify necessary activities to improve environmental public health (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). Use of the diagram led to the implementation of interventions and strategies to improve performance, enhance services, and increase collaboration among partner agencies to more effectively address vector control issues and concerns.
Each program prioritized intervention areas and worked with their community partners to address a wide range of vector control program services and activities, including
* enhancing public messaging and education,
* developing training for community and nonprofit organizations,
* increasing community outreach,
* promoting vector control policies,
* creating elementary school...