With a goal of aligning Alabama child health quality improvement initiatives under one sustainable umbrella, ten Alabama organizations have collaborated to establish a formal state child health improvement partnership (IP), the Alabama Child Health Improvement Alliance (ACHIA), which was accepted last month as a member of the National Improvement Partnership Network.

“In order to improve health outcomes for Alabama children, there is a need for a public-private child health improvement partnership that builds on existing efforts to provide quality child health care and brings in key partners such as universities, health care providers, health systems, government agencies, children’s advocacy groups, and health plans,” said Wes Stubblefield, MD, FAAP, Quality Improvement Chair for the Alabama Chapter-American Academy of Pediatrics (ALAAP).

In addition to an existing developmental screening project, ACHIA’s first initiative is the launch of a child obesity quality improvement collaborative this summer for primary care practices. 

ACHIA was formed in late 2013, when ALAAP brought together key partners from Children’s of Alabama, University of South Alabama, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Alabama Medicaid Agency, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Alabama Department of Public Health, and others.

 Since January, the UAB Department of Pediatrics Division of General Pediatrics has served as ACHIA’s administrative home.

“Our mission is to coordinate data-driven quality measurement and improvement across the state and support evidence-guided quality activities in clinical practices,” said Cason Benton, MD, FAAP, associate professor of pediatrics, who directs ACHIA.  “We are very excited about the future.”

Improvement partnerships (IPs) are a growing phenomenon across the country, with public health, Medicaid, professional organizations, and academic centers serving as core partners in the 20 state IPs that have been established over the past 13 years to assist primary care providers and their practices in improving care delivery in a changing healthcare environment.

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