The U.S. Army Public Health Center (APHC) is charged with improving force readiness and increasing resilience through public health initiatives and leadership engagement. They are responsible for informing decision making for 50+ programs that are implemented in the PHC wellness centers. To support this oversight, APHC is building tools for assessing program impact in terms of the readiness and resilience of the soldiers. APHC identified a need for program evaluation and support pertaining to public health aspects directly or indirectly affected by Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) agents and/or other hazardous materials and resulting behavioral health outcomes. In order to make effective program decisions, the agency needed scientific studies, gap analysis, training and system improvements to better support medical readiness and warrior transition.
Battelle provided technical assistance, training, and program and policy evaluation expertise to help APHC evaluate and improve their readiness programs related to behavioral health outcomes resulting from CBRN and hazardous material exposure. The project included:
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- Support for Portfolio Capabilities Assessment. Battelle planned, developed and conducted capabilities assessments and provided support for the development of tools and capacity within PHC for these assessments.
- Support for Focus Groups to Assess Performance Triad (P3) Implementation. Researchers conducted a series of 108 focus groups segmented by soldiers’ rank to assess soldiers’ attitudes about and adoption of the P3 Program, which is focused on improving soldiers’ sleep, nutrition and physical activity regimens.
- Evaluation of Army G-1 Programs. The Battelle team reviewed documents describing selected APHC programs to assess the “readiness for evaluation” of these programs. They then worked with APHC to develop evaluation plans to assess program impact.
- Development of Guidebook on Cost-Relevant Program Evaluation. APHC is responsible for developing a program evaluation guidebook that adopts cost effectiveness analysis for the evaluation of the PHC Health and Wellness program areas. Battelle developed the guidebook using general and program-specific approaches to conduct cost-relevant program evaluation.
Battelle’s work allowed APHC to better understand the effectiveness of their current programs and develop internal capacity for program evaluation. Specifically, the project allowed APHC to:
- Improve program implementation and identify best practices
- Improve their dissemination and implementation efforts for P3
- Plan and implement cost-relevant program evaluations that will assist army decision makers in allocating limited resources to various initiatives and programs