a.Target population/audience, if applicable: Program Managers, Evaluators, Administrators, Educators, Affiliations
b.Number or percentage of the target population/audience reached, if applicable: N/A
c.Public health issue that this practice addresses:
1.There exists a need for financial and other outcomes data on public health education programs, especially at the supervised practice level. These data can be utilized to justify continuation of, or adjustments to, such programs, particularly in times of fiscal crisis. This is important because interns are able to extend our work in the community and complete projects we could not do otherwise. Examples are included in the following sections of this application.
2.This practice addresses two of the 10 Essential Public Health Services and two Healthy People 2010 objectives as follows:
?Assure a competent public health and personal health care workforce
?Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services
?Increase the proportion of Federal, Tribal, State, and local public health agencies that gather accurate data on public health expenditures, categorized by public health service (HP2010 developmental objective 23-16)
?Increase the proportion of schools for public health workers that integrate into their curricula specific content to develop competency in the essential public health services (HP2010 developmental objective 23-9)
3.The practice helps meet five required competencies of our accredited dietetic internship, all of which relate to analyzing financial data and maximizing fiscal outcomes.
d.Primary Goal and Objectives of the practice:
1.Goal: Justify program sustainability for an accredited dietetic internship, which provides supervised practice in community/public health nutrition, as well as other public health programs.
?Utilize consistent methods for capturing cost and benefit data on nutrition programs over a specific time period
?Use program outcome data to justify continuation of or changes to program components and fees as well as showcasing tangible and intangible program benefits to decision-making administrators and community affiliations/partners
?Teach cost/benefit methodology to dietetic interns and require supervised practice of this important skill, thereby producing competent public health dietitians who are able to better evaluate any nutrition program they work in following completion of the internship.
e.When (month and year) the practice was implemented: Pilot project began 8/06 and routine data collection began 8/07
g.Outcomes of Practice:
1.Were all of your objectives met? Yes, all objectives were met. We have implemented cost/benefit analysis of the dietetic internship on an annual basis and are requiring dietetic interns to complete a supervised practice experience to acquire competency in cost/benefit methodology. We have also used these outcome data to adjust program tuition and share with our partners the financial benefits of hosting our interns.
2.What specific factors led to the success of this practice?
?Director of Nutrition Services at TCHD completed Master’s thesis on cost/benefit analysis of dietetic internship in 1994, laying groundwork for current practice
?Willingness of staff and dietetic interns to record time/activity data
?Collaboration and sharing of data between nutrition division and administration
?Support of LHD Executive Director to continue regular cost/benefit analysis
?Uncertainty in funding streams means more emphasis on showing a program’s bottom line impact
?Adaptability of the practice of cost/benefit analysis to other public health programs, services, and education
Using Cost-Benefit Analysis to Help Sustain an Accredited Public Health Dietetic Internship Program and Increase Financi