Garrett County Health Department (MD)

The Universal Community Planning Tool (UCPT) is intended to help communities create a local, data-informed vision from their current needs by meaningfully and transparently engaging all residents. This vision becomes actionable through the UCPT framework providing the platform for the creation of a comprehensive and responsive community health improvement plan. The UCPT framework guides stakeholders through the process of creating a measurement framework to ensure alignment between specific strategies and the metrics collected to improve health. This approach to hyper-local data collection becomes the primary method of program attribution.

  • The UCPT framework utilizes a groundbreaking technology specifically designed to promote the advancement of open-source population health applications.
  • The UCPT increased awareness of the community health improvement planning process exponentially, going from about 50 planning partners (at best) in the traditional model, to nearly 2,000 active planning partners in one year – a radical shift from the traditional bureaucratic process of creating a community health improvement plan led by the local health department.
  • The tool meaningfully and transparently engages residents, with currently more than 27,000 application users. Previously only about 150 individuals in the community were aware of local health improvement plans.
  • “Action Groups” have become the perfect incubators for new ideas. There are now 146 Action Groups consisting of agencies, businesses, and community stakeholders.
  • Setting goals together as a community has created a true culture of collaboration in the county, with the collection of nearly 600 hyper-local data points indexed by a variety of community stakeholders from across a range of sectors.
  • The project has increased representation among key demographic groups, including youth and economically disadvantaged stakeholders.
  • Adaptation and adoption is underway as five public health departments have been awarded replication grants to implement the UCPT in their own communities.
  • The project is now recognized as a “Promising Practice” by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).
  • Open source architecture has spurred the development of additional community-inspired projects that seek to promote population health and improve systemic relations among multisectoral partners.
  • The development of an innovation-based organizational culture took time to establish.
  • National attention and press led to numerous opportunities that overextended our staff at times.
  • Long-term sustainability planning incurs different requirements and capacity than the traditional model.

Communities are encouraged to adopt and review the materials posted to the UCPT GitHub page. This repository serves as a point of instantiation for the deployment, development, and extension of open source population health architecture.

  • Innovation Summary Document
  • Case Study Report