Reflection on Achievements of the KRISP Project

October 22, 2013 Leave a comment

As we enter the fifth year and evaluation phase of the KRISP project enters, we thought it appropriate to reflect on our major accomplishments. We’ve had four very exciting years of interventions aimed at building the capacity of public health nurses (PHNs) in six county health departments.  We started KRISP at the same time that the H1N1 outbreak began, and then watched as the effects of the economic downturn rippled through the LHDs.  Despite the loss of nearly 50% of positions in the LHDs, the nursing staff was largely spared and rose to the occasion by “doing more with less” as they said.

In summary, the KRISP project team:

  • Developed and distributed executive summaries of
    • Best practices for recruitment and retention of nurses
    • Benchmarked assessment of PHN competencies for each of the six LHDs
    • Access to scientific literature by PHNs
  • Provided over 25 on-site trainings on the topic of quality improvement, evidence-based practice, grantsmanship, and public health nursing practice
  • Provided individualized consultation to quality improvement groups working in each of the LHDs
  • Studied PHN job descriptions and assessed their congruence with ANA’s PHN Scope and Standards
  • Compared the wages and benefits offered to RNs by LHDs and hospitals in 6 counties
  • Supported the Directors of Nursing as they dealt with the aftermath of layoffs and loss of positions

The visibility of the KRISP project gave us opportunities to raise the level of awareness about the importance of PHNs in enhancing community health promotion and prevention services. Overall, we have seen the participating LHDs become more visible in their communities through leadership and innovation. As the evaluation phase progresses, we will continue to post updates on our findings.

Upcoming Webinar

January 24, 2013 Leave a comment

Mark your calendars! Learn about the National Public Health Enumeration and Characterization of the PHN Workforce via a webinar on Thursday, January 31st, 2013.

During the webinar many areas pertinent to the KRISP project will be covered, such as ongoing efforts to better understand the demographics and current roles of public health nurses in improving health; how those roles are evolving in the changing environment, and the multiple implications of change for future public health nursing practice and education. Michele Issel, Betty Bekemeier and Marni Storey, all members of the KRISP project, were involved. Betty and Marni were members of the expert panel and Michele was a consultant to the panel that consulted and aided in the creation of the questionnaire used in the national survey of local and state health departments. We hope this will be an informative time to assess pertinent findings from the survey and discuss how they might influence the future of public health nursing practice.

Title: National Public Health Enumeration and Characterization of the PHN workforce

Date: Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Time: 2:00PM-3:15PM EST

Space is limited! Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

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Tips on Accreditation

November 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Accreditation of Public Health Departments began on a voluntary basis in the fall of 2011 and is expected to clarify the public’s expectations of health departments, resulting in higher performance and increased accountability. KRISP aims to assist in increasing LHD performance and has urged its county partners to initiate this process.

Arlene Ryndak, MPH, RN, and Assistant Director for Public Health Nursing is assisting the Kane County Health Department as they seek accreditation, and has generously shared a few tips regarding accreditation that she has learned along the way. We hope these tips are helpful to anyone considering this meaningful process. These tips include:

1.      Assure top level support

2.      Assure bottom up engagement and excitement

3.      Establish domain workgroups

4.      Develop a good system to track the accreditation process and progress

5.      Establish accountability using timelines and deadlines – Gantt Charts very helpful

6.      Consult with PHAB staff and use PHAB toolbox

7.      Engage with NACCHO Accreditation Learning Community


Thank you for sharing, Arlene, and well wishes to you and your department as you continue on in the accreditation journey!

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Join us at APHA

October 22, 2012 1 comment

Julie Beth and Sean, Research Assistants on the KRISP project, are thrilled to be presenting their KRISP-related projects at APHA’s upcoming annual conference in San Francisco, CA.

Julie Beth will be participating in a roundtable discussion entitled “Nurse Residency Programs: Adaptation of the concept to public health nursing”. This is a part of the Innovative Educational Strategies session scheduled for Monday, October 29, 2012 from 10:30 AM-12:00 PM.

Sean will be giving an oral presentation on “Board of Health meeting minutes: What they say about issues facing local health departments,” during the Health Administration section on Tuesday, October 30th from 12.30PM-2PM.

If you will be at the APHA conference we hope you will be able to join our presentations. We are excited to share what we have learned and gain your feedback!

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Ethics at Clark County, WA

October 8, 2012 Leave a comment

During the fall of 2011 Clark County Public Health (CCPH) Leadership drafted a policy regarding expectations and boundaries of the relationship between public health and pharmaceutical manufacturers and representatives. As a result, an ethics committee conducted an ethical analysis with a variety of stakeholders and partners to determine the effects of this policy on community health.

During the implementation process of this policy, stakeholders such as the Vaccine Coalition (a community coalition sponsored by CCPH), raised concerns about the impact of the policy on the community’s health. An ethical analysis was conducted a variety of stakeholders and partners from several disciplines. The framework used included asking pertinent questions, such as: What are the public health risks and harms of concern in this particular context? What are the public health goals? Who are the stakeholders and what are their moral claims? Based on the analysis, the Ethics Committee recommends several actions for the CCPH Leadership, taking into account overall community health and factors such as vulnerable populations and training.

We are so proud to partner with Clark County! The work displayed through this project was inspiring, and exemplified so many goals of the KRISP project, including leadership, interdisciplinary and collaborative teamwork and nurses acting as contributing members on committees.



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Paul Kuehnert and Transforming Public Health

August 6, 2012 Leave a comment

The Transforming Public Health Project is funded by RWJF and stresses the need for many objectives that fall in line with the KRISP project, such as the need for health departments to develop policy goals, to cultivate leadership and to adapt to ever changing challenges, demands, and opportunities in local health departments.

On Friday, August 10, the RWJF will host a webinar to discuss the Transforming Public Health project. Among others speaks will be Kane County’s Paul Kuehnert, senior program officer and director of the RWJF Public Health team. Paul was the county health officer and executive director for health for Kane County, one of the CRISP-partnered counties in Illinois. Read more about Paul’s profile here.

We encourage each of you to tune in to the webinar from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET on August 10. This webinar will highlight the key takeaways from the Transforming Public Health report and Paul will reflect on his experience with the Kane County health department and provide updates on how RWJF is continuing to support the work of governmental public health. Click here to register.

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Farewell to our friend

To all of my project partners, mentors, and colleagues-

I am sad to say that I will be leaving the KRISP project as of July 20th.  I will be taking a new position with the Society of Thoracic Surgeons as the Transcatheter Valve Therapy Project Manager.  The KRISP project itself, will continue through the end of November without a Project Coordinator. You will continue to be able to receive assistance from the project for the duration, please send any requests by e-mail to and our Research Assistant staff will work with Michele to best assist you.

It has been an honor to work with all of you. I have learned a lot about resilience and strength during times of extreme adversity.  All of your departments have had tremendous obstacles thrown your way during the past few years and I have watched all of you weather through the storm with grace, dogged determination, and optimism for the future of public health.  While public health may look very different in the not too distant future, it is an exciting time to for you to engage in restructuring and designing a new system perhaps better fit to protect the public, prevent disease, and promote systems and solutions for a healthier population.

I’d like to thank all of the KRISP PI staff, Michele Issel, Betty Bekemeier, and Kathy Baldwin for teaching me about research methodology and encouraging my own attempts at academic research.  I would also like to thank our wonderful research assistants over the years, Holly, Rachel, Jen, Jill, Catherine, Heather, Michelle, Ashley, Sean, and Julie Beth for all of their hard work on all of our various projects—not to mention filling in for me during maternity leave!  Our project was blessed with intelligent, mature, driven students who will be or already are AWESOME public health practitioners!

I wish you all the best of luck in all you do.  Thanks again for making this a great experience for me.

All the best-


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