Tooele Salt Flats

Gaining Ground Initiative

Gaining Ground is a two-year (June 2014 - May 2016) initiative, managed by the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

"Thank you very much for allowing the Utah Gaining Ground Initiative to provide the services of RED STAR to conduct our PHAB READINESS SELF STUDY review. It was a very positive and productive work session with our program managers. It was a good way to close out my CDC PIM grant activities..."

From Anita Muneta, Former Performance Improvement Manager, Navajo Nation Dept. of Health

The purpose of the Utah Gaining Ground Coalition is to:

  • Build strong and effective partnerships to advance performance improvement in public health

  • Foster cultures of quality by providing workshops, mentoring, and technical assistance to members

  • Support each other in community health assessments (CHA), community health improvement planning (CHIP), strategic planning, and other accreditation readiness efforts

Performance Metrics (as of March 2016):

  • Goal 1 - Provide quality improvement (QI) and performance management system training to all Utah jurisdictions.

    • Five local health departments (LHD), Utah Dept. of Health (UDOH), and Utah American Indian Health Advisory Board attended a QI and a performance management system training that were offered through the Gaining Ground Coalition.
  • Goal 2 - A 50% increase in the number of public health agencies who are pursuing accreditation.

    • Achieved a 100% increase! Two LHD had been accredited prior to the Gaining Ground Initiative. During the Gaining Ground grant period, Davis County received accreditation status and UDOH is in the documentation phase of accreditation.
  • Goal 3 - One or more of the prerequisites for accreditation started by 75% of public health agencies.

    • The Red Star Innovations provided "Accreditation Readiness and CHA" Workshop to the Utah American Indian Health Advisory Board Retreat in February 2015. "Tribal Readiness Assessment for Accreditation" was published on July 31 2015.

    • The Red Star Innovation provided the Navajo Nation with the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) Readiness Self Study review in August 2015.

    • A mini-grant was given to Davis County HD to enhance their performance management system.

    • Statewide Health Assessment (SHA) and Statewide Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) update efforts are under way. 27 community input meetings were held jointly with Intermountain Healthcare (not-for-profit hospital system), LHDs, and UDOH covering all Utah jurisdictions. Some meetings are sponsored by Gaining Ground fund.

    • In conjunction with the Utah Public Health Association 100th Annual Conference (April 12-13, 2016), there will be a SHA/SHIP Preliminary Meeting (April 11, 2016). All 13 LHDs, Tribes, and additional 30 external community organizations are invited to participate in the preliminary priority setting.

    • Offering University of Utah Public Health created knowledge-based Workforce Assessment to all LHD, UDOH, and Tribes, through the Gaining Ground (free of charge to the individual HD and Tribes). So far, five LHD and UDOH have signed up.
  • Other accomplishments:

    • The Gaining Ground Initiatives fund supported the followings:

      • two part-time Program Specialist positions
      • 2016 Utah American Indian Health Advisory Board Retreat
      • state HD to provide eight Healthcare Associated Infection Trainings throughout the state
      • given travel scholarships - the Navajo Nation, Utah County HD, and others to attend national conferences
      • SHA and SHIP meetings

    • To strengthen collaboration and partnerships in the Utah's public health system, a new website was created ( to host various partnership projects. It was made possible through Gaining Ground fund. Old website:

Moving Forward:

  • Performance Improvement Peer Network (PIPN) members will continue to be involved in various projects together.

  • Workforce Development Plan - UDOH will continue to create a Workforce Development Plan and implement Workforce development activities. Davis County will update the current Workforce Development Plan.

  • Leverage partnership with Utah Public Health Association (UPHA), University of Utah, and others to provide various statewide trainings.


Gaining Ground Coalition


"The Gaining Ground Initiative leverages existing resources and relationships, amplifies more


Gaining Ground Coalition


To learn more about Utah's Gaining Ground Coalition membership, click here.


Member Highlight:

Tooele HD

Tooele HD's QI activity is features on the PHQIX: "Increasing the Percentage of Store Clerks with Valid Permits to Reduce Tobacco Sales to Minors"