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University of Iowa News Release

March 12, 2004

Photo: J. Jackson Barnette, Ph.D., associate professor of community and behavioral health

Center Responds To Increasing Need For Program Evaluation

Researchers seeking advice in designing and conducting evaluations of public health programs now have access to expert guidance through the Center for Public Health Program Evaluation, based in the University of Iowa College of Public Health's Department of Community and Behavioral Health.

The center provides evaluation services in areas such as public health training and education, maternal and child health, alcohol and other drug abuse, tobacco prevention, community-based prevention initiatives and children with special health care needs.

Directed by J. Jackson Barnette, Ph.D., associate professor of community and behavioral health, the center responds to increasing requests for evaluation services from projects in the College of Public Health and the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, as well as requests from outside the university.

"Program evaluation is an important component in the grant application process," Barnette said. "Many governmental funding agencies require applicants to give a detailed account of how their project or program will be evaluated both during and after the funding period. The center can help investigators to design and implement effective evaluations."

Barnette works with several federally funded centers housed in the College of Public Health, including the Upper Midwest Public Health Training Center, the Upper Midwest Center for Public Health Preparedness, Prairielands Addiction Technology Transfer Center and the Prevention Research Center. He also works with the K30 Clinical Investigation training program at Palmer Chiropractic as a member of the Steering Committee, and evaluator Anne Baber Wallis, Ph.D., assistant professor of community and behavioral health, joined the center as associate director in 2002. Wallis focuses on studies related to the effectiveness of maternal and child health programs and community-based initiatives.

The center also collaborates with the UI Carver College of Medicine through the Child Health Specialty Clinics, and with the Iowa Department of Public Health's comprehensive cancer consortium initiative. With research grants from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Pfizer Inc. and several evaluation activities related to funded projects, the center is self-sustaining and continues to grow.

For more information about the Center for Public Health Program Evaluation, contact J. Jackson Barnette, director, at jack-barnette@uiowa.edu, 319-384-5489, or Anne Baber Wallis, associate director, at anne-wallis@uiowa.edu, 319-335-9642.

STORY SOURCE: The University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

MEDIA CONTACT: Kate Gleeson, 319-384-4277, kate-gleeson@uiowa.edu