Addressing Challenges to Coordinating the Implementation of Place-Based Chronic Disease Prevention Interventions in Los Angeles
CONTEXT: Chronic disease prevention initiatives have traditionally been structured to address a single disease, potentially limiting the scope of health impacts. In the past decade, initiatives have increasingly adopted a coordinated approach, in which multiple interventions are intended to work synergistically-often in a bounded geographic area-to address interrelated risk factors and diseases. However, despite increased interest in this coordinated approach, few examples exist of how coordination has been operationalized in local public health practice.
IMPLEMENTATION: In 2014, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health launched the 4-year Chronic Disease Prevention Strategy (CDPS). Through CDPS, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health implemented a range of environmental, lifestyle change, and health system interventions intended to collectively reduce chronic disease among adults in Los Angeles, with concentrated implementation occurring in 1 high-need neighborhood.
EVALUATION: This case study examined the activities undertaken to coordinate across CDPS interventions and documented challenges to these efforts. Data were collected via a document review of programmatic materials and structured conversations with staff leading implementation of CDPS interventions.
RESULTS: Document review and structured conversations with staff identified 3 primary coordination activities: (1) collaborating on outreach materials to unify messaging, (2) developing a network of common partners, and (3) investing in shared data collection. Operational challenges identified were disparate short-term objectives across interventions, minimal alignment between clinical practice and CDPS goals, restrictions around bidirectional referrals between organizations, and limited bandwidth among new partners to engage with multiple CDPS interventions. Contextual challenges identified were competing social and political issues, and geographic fluidity regarding where community members sought health resources.
CONCLUSION: Developing an initiative-specific coordination plan prior to implementation may help reduce challenges to coordination. Modifications in how health initiatives are funded and structured may be needed: greater flexibility in how funding is administered, and the inclusion of coordination-specific metrics, may enable more robust coordination.
Green, G., DeFosset, A. R., Gase, L. N., & Kuo, T. (2020). Addressing Challenges to Coordinating the Implementation of Place-Based Chronic Disease Prevention Interventions in Los Angeles. J Public Health Manag Pract. doi:10.1097/phh.0000000000001117