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Learning Communities

After completing the logic model in the last few months, my project is quickly moving into the development of our evaluation plan. I have advocates for evaluation everywhere I turn, from Gene to our Cancer Control Epidemiologist and others within my Department.  I’m working to embrace the evaluation process!

I had begun working with insurance providers and association health plans initially in 2010, partnering to distribute postcards to members regarding colorectal cancer screenings and what cancer screening preventive benefits are covered under their insurance plan (an evidence based activity for colorectal cancer, small media, per the Community Guide). At this time we began collecting insurance utilization data for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings, collecting how many people were covered and the number of people we were doing outreach to, to name a few indicators.  For many groups this was easy data to collect however, there are still some groups that are less inclined to share this data and we continue to work with. This is definitely a challenge I’ll be hoping to move through over the next year.

I knew we needed to collect data at the beginning of the project but wasn’t sure what all we would need! More was better initially but I want to make sure we aren’t collecting and asking for information that we don’t need or deem valuable.  Additionally, I want this data collection process to be as simple as possible for the organizations we are asking, especially as we’ll be asking for this data on an ongoing basis.

I am now meeting with our Cancer Control Epidemiologist and program team and talking about how we’ll store the data and in what format, what data we’ve currently collected and what data is missing or that we need to evaluate.  I know that as we determine our process, and get a system in place it will be much easier to input data regularly as well as extrapolate data to share. I’m excited to have this tool moving forward as I know it’s the most concrete way to show change. It’s also great to have people sharing their expertise with me to assist in developing an effective evaluation plan. Furthermore, I’m happy knowing that once the evaluation plan is developed, I can get back to the part of the project that I really enjoy, which is the outreach component! Looking forward to the New Year with the structural pieces in place for my project so I can be “on the ground” moving things forward!