Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Population Health and Health Policy

Quality and Performance Improvement Grant Activities under the Flex Program

Abstract: 

A review of the 45 grant applications submitted to the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy for Fiscal Year 2005 demonstrated that the State Flex Programs are committed to quality and performance improvement, with 30 percent of requested funding across the states going toward a variety of quality and performance improvement activities spanning a range of clinical, operational, and financial themes. Categories of quality improvement activities included improving clinical, operational, and financial performance; financial and organizational performance; promoting a culture of quality improvement; participating in national quality efforts; implementing health information technology (HIT) systems; and addressing patient safety and satisfaction issues.
State activities acknowledge the different quality measurement needs of rural hospitals through the development of benchmarks and transfer protocols specific to CAHs and other small, rural hospitals. Some state programs proposed activities to build in-state knowledge and capacity and to assess current conditions, particularly in the areas of balanced scorecards, HIT, and patient safety. The Flex Program?s grant-making capacity supports a wide range of local initiatives designed to improve the quality of patient care and hospital operations.

Publication Type: 
Report
Publish Date: 
August 1, 2006
URL: 
http://flexmonitoring.org/documents/BriefingPaper12_QIactivities.pdf

Cutler Institute awarded $600,000 to help youth raised in foster system

Marty Zanghi

USM's Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy has been awarded a $600,000 grant to help young people raised in Maine's foster system to prepare for college and the workforce.

The money comes from the Annie E. Casey Foundation as part of a $5.4 million national effort aimed at youth who are homeless or in either the foster care or juvenile justice systems.

"Many of these young people have suffered abuse or trauma and were raised in poverty and neglect," said Marty Zanghi, the Cutler Center's youth development director.

The money -- including an expected $400,000 more in matching funds -- will pay for contracted work with agencies in the target areas, starting with the greater Portland area and Penobscot, Kennebec and Somerset counties.

Nationally and in Maine, only about 3 percent of people who grow up in the foster care system achieve a college degree, he said.

"It's dramatically lower than the rate for the general population," Zanghi said. "It's a horrible outcome."

It doesn't have to be that way, though.

"There are young people that overcome these circumstances," he said. "I know people who have master's degrees and Ph.Ds."

The Casey Foundation's national effort is being called the "Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential" (LEAP) initiative.

The initiative is working on partnerships in Maine and nine other areas: Alaska, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and New York. In each case, people will adapt two evidence-based models to meet the needs of these youth, including support to address the trauma they may have experienced in their lives.

In Maine, the work will include a pair of successful programs, Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG) and Jobs for the Future. Results will be carefully tracked, Zanghi said.

After the first year, the program is expected to grow.

"Eventually, the additional help will be available to all children, 14 and over, in the foster care system in the state of Maine," Zanghi said.

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