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COVID-19: Stress and Using Systems Theory to Evaluate Public Health Response to a Viral Pandemic
In December 2019, COVID-19 appeared and spread rapidly impacting countries worldwide. In January 2020, the US public health system initiated its response to address the virus spread and impact – a focus on flattening the curve. Working with limited resources and facing uncertainty, state, local and tribal public health partners initiated localized response to protect communities. This presentation shines light on how systems theory informed one state’s public health agency’s response. Presenters will share how the context of COVID-19 and related stress impacts staff and the role evaluators can play to support strong decision-making. The presentation will focus on how adaptive action, a deceptively simplistic approach, can be used as an evaluation method during uncertain times. Join us to discuss how systems theory can help us understand patterns and frame a response for communities in Minnesota.
Ann Zukoski, DrPH, MPH, conducts research and evaluation of community-based and public health initiatives. She has a strong interest in using systems thinking and use of participatory evaluation to assess systems and policy change. She leads the Evaluation and Research Team at the Office of Statewide Health Improvement Initiatives at the Minnesota Department of Health. She is a co-author with David Fetterman and Lilliana Rodriquez-Campos of the book, Collaborative, Participatory and Empowerment Evaluation- Stakeholder Involvement Approaches.
Liana R.N. Schreiber, MPH, RDN is a Research Scientist at the Minnesota Department of Health. In this role, she helps collect and analyze the collection of statewide data around policy, systems, and environmental changes to create healthier communities, provides support to local public health agencies to develop evaluations, and co-leads the evaluation of food service guidelines projects for CDC grants.
This event will help develop the following evaluator competencies: reflecting on evaluation formally or informally to improve practice (Professional Practice 1.5), attending to systems issues within the context (Context 3.4), promoting evaluation use and influence in context (Context 3.8), and attending to the ways power and privilege affect evaluation practice (Interpersonal skills 5.5).
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