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College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

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Askew Students Support Quality Improvement In The Florida Department Of Health

The graduate students of the class in Managing the Performance of Public Agencies, taught by Gary VanLandingham in the Askew School of Public Administration, presented their semester-long engaged learning project April 23, “Proposal for a System of Sharing Best Practices within the Florida Department of Health.”

At the request of the department (DOH), the students developed options for creating a system to collect, curate and disseminate best practices across the state’s integrated public health system and fully meet the Public Health Accreditation Board’s re-accreditation requirements. To carry out the study, students held discussions with department staff, reviewed relevant literature and interviewed experts from public health entities and associations.

The course provides students with an understanding of the methods that public and nonprofit organizations can use to measure their performance, manage operations and streamline processes to improve outcomes. It addresses techniques for developing useful performance measurement systems, using this data to monitor key outcomes and re-engineer processes, and effectively communicating this information to decision-makers to inform policy and budget decisions.

“Rather than just studying these techniques in class, I wanted to give the class the opportunity to get their hands dirty and work as a consulting team for the Department of Health to help it address a critical need,” VanLandingham said.

Calling it a “win-win collaboration” that will change the way the agency does its work, Hannah Stone, government operations consultant at DOH, said, “We absolutely felt the project met our needs. The students’ work product gives us a great place to build from. We would welcome additional projects with the Askew School in the future.”

The following public administration students contributed to the report:
Caitlin Camechis
Nan Chen
Colton Hearn
John Kern
Jingwen Li
James Nealy
Yolanda Robles
Calleen Roper
Tom Roth