Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Population Health and Health Policy

First Steps Phase II Initiative: Improving Developmental, Autism, and Lead Screening for Children


First STEPS (Strengthening Together Early Preventive Services) is a learning initiative supported by Maine's CHIPRA quality demonstration grant to support measure-driven practice improvement in pediatric and family practices across the state on improving developmental, autism, and lead screening for children. This report, authored by research staff at the USM Muskie School, evaluates the impact of Phase II of Maine's First STEPS initiative, which was implemented from May to December 2012 and included 12 practices serving more than 20,000 children on MaineCare (Maine's Medicaid system). The authors assess changes in developmental, autism, and lead screening rates and evidence-based office processes in participating practices before and after the initiative, as well as related systems changes. They also summarize lessons learned in implementing changes in practices and challenges in using CHIPRA and IHOC developmental, autism, and lead screening measures at the practice-level to inform quality improvement.

Suggested Citation: Fox K, Gray C, Elbaum-Williamson M. First STEPS Phase II Initiative: Improving Developmental, Autism, and Lead Screening for Children. Portland, ME: University of Southern Maine, Muskie School of Public Service; August, 2013. Improving Health Outcomes for Children (IHOC) Final Evaluation Report.

Publication Type: 
Publish Date: 
August 30, 2013

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Hartley Retires as Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center

David Hartley, PhD

David Hartley, PhD, the Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center (MRHRC) and a Research Professor of Public Health has announced that he will be retiring from the University of Southern Maine August 31st, 2014. David came to the University in 1994 and has directed the MRHRC since 2004. Andy Coburn, PhD, Research Professor of Public Health, will take over as the new MRHRC Director. Erika Ziller, PhD continues in her role as Deputy Director. David has had a distinguished career in rural health and rural health research, and has made lasting contributions to the field with his work on rural behavioral health, rural disparities and health, and rural active living.

A celebration will be scheduled in early fall to honor David and his many contributions to the field and the University.


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