Since 1995 the Voinovich School has provided assessment, planning, and evaluation services throughout Ohio and the broader rural Appalachian region. Our health research projects focus on facilitating health innovation, providing assessment and operations analyses to improve health outcomes, improving health systems efficiency, and eliminating persistent health disparities. Research conducted by the Voinovich School has provided guidance to policy makers at the state and local level.
Examples of specific services include:
- Community health needs assessment
- Facilitation and data support for service planning and expansion
- Health data analytics
- Health services market area research
- Program evaluation for medical, mental, and behavioral health services
- Evaluation of community and regional health care initiatives
- Quality and performance measurement
- Training and technical assistance to facilitate health innovation
Previous project sponsors represent a variety of sectors and content areas: federal government (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), state government (the Ohio Departments of Health; Aging; Mental Health and Addiction Services; and Job and Family Services), local government (city/county health departments and other local governmental agencies),nonprofits and foundations (Osteopathic Heritage Foundation and HealthPath Foundation), and health care systems (community health centers, and hospitals).
Through our cross-disciplinary project work, we have developed strong working relationships with faculty across the university including Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and College of Health Professions and Sciences. This enables us to enhance our project teams with experts from various health care disciplines.
Factors that Influence Breastfeeding Initiation and Persistence in Ohio’s Appalachian Region (2011)
Funded by the Ohio Department of Health, the purpose of this study was to identify barriers and facilitators to breastfeeding in Ohio’s Appalachian counties. Through group interviews with 176 women, the study provides recommendations for culturally appropriate approaches to improve breastfeeding initiation and persistence among Appalachian women.
Exploring the Integration of Primary Care and Behavioral Health in Rural Counties
Working in partnership with the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation of Nelsonville and the Athens, Hocking, Vinton ADAMHs Board, The Voinovich School is developing a learning community and an evaluation framework to capture the successes and challenges of four local integration efforts. Plans to expand this initiative to other counties in Southeast Ohio are underway.
Assistance with Public Health Accreditation
Local health departments are required to apply for accreditation to the Public Health Accreditation Board by 2020. The Voinovich School is working with a number of Southeast Ohio counties, assisting them with community health needs assessments, community health improvement plans and strategic plans so that they can meet the prerequisite requirements for accreditation. The Voinovich School is providing technical assistance, facilitation services, consultation, data analysis and technical writing to assist in the process.