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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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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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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Academy Health and Quality Improvement

Hilary Kirk, Project Coordinator for the KRISP project, recently presented her research at the Academy Health Public Health Services and Systems Research Interest Group in June. The title of her presentation was Implementing Quality Improvement Processes in Local Health Departments: Findings from Six Case Studies outlining the various facilitators and barriers faced by each of the KRISP counties as they worked on or implemented QI projects.   The presentation was part of a panel of experts discussing Quality Improvement and Public Health Agency PerformanceOverall the presentation was well received and the panel had a lively interactive question and answer time throughout the session.  Some of the major themes that emerged from the question and answer session included the need to adapt current QI models to public health to account for some of the barriers encountered, including technology, skill level, and training issues.

Implications from the findings presented suggest the need to tailor current quality improvement methodologies to the unique aspects of public health systems and the need for professional development of the public health workforce to ensure appropriate application and implementation of quality improvement methodology.

A synopsis of Hilary’s research can be found here. Michael Stoto, Ph.D., the chair of the PHSR IG and Professor of Health Systems Administration and Population Health at Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies also offered more on the panel on Academy Health’s blog spot.


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Student Research Symposium

Julie Beth, a Research Assistant for the KRISP project, recently presented her research at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Student Research Symposium. Julie Beth’s poster presentation was entitled, Nurse residency programs and their application to public health nursing, which outlined the findings of her systematic literature review with application for a PHN curriculum tailored to meet quad council competencies for PHNs. Her presentation was well-received.

This was Julie Beth’s first academic presentation and made for excellent practice for her upcoming round table discussion at APHA’s 2012 annual conference.  She reflected that her greatest lesson learned was that one size does not fit all when it comes to take-home points, but that she must offer salient take-home points tailored to each interested party, from nursing students to PHNs to medical directors.

A synopsis of Julie Beth’s research can be found here.

Julie Beth explains her findings to a physician from the University of Chicago hospital.

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APHA Acceptance

The KRISP team submitted three abstracts for presentation at the APHA 2012 Annual Meeting and we are pleased to announce that all were accepted!

The first, “Board of Health meeting minutes: What they say about issues facing local health departments,” was selected for an oral presentation. “Nurse Residency Programs: Adaptation of the concept to public health nursing” was selected for a roundtable presentation, and “Description of interventions used in Medicaid reimbursed prenatal case management” was selected as a poster presentation.

Each abstract is diverse, addressing various aspects of the KRISP project goals such as: PHN leadership and county structure, human resources management practices that contribute to achieving low RN turnover, and prenatal care.

The annual meeting will be held from October 27-31th in San Francisco, CA and registration is going on now!

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