Approaches to Measuring Quality Improvement in Public Health Series: Leadership
January 07, 2020

We are excited to kick off this series with the first of five posts in our “Approaches to Measuring Quality Improvement in Public Health” series. We previously posted an introduction to the framework that state teams in the AYA Behavioral Health CoIIN are using to measure quality improvement at the systems level.  If you missed the post, be sure to check it out before reading any further.

As discussed in the last post, the CoIIN state teams are using a quality improvement measurement framework that includes five overarching levers that states can pull in order to advance systems-level change.  The first lever we’re going to describe is fundamental to any public health effort: leadership buy-in.  More specifically, this domain of the measurement framework challenges state teams to think through the role of their state’s leadership in implementing strategies to support optimal emotional well-being for AYAs.  Under the Leadership component,  state teams are focused on assessment of things such as: is adolescent and young adult mental health priority at the state level? Is there funding being allocated to these efforts? Assessing a state’s baseline in the leadership domain allows the team to prioritize opportunities to increase leadership buy-in to set the foundation for wider systems-level changes..  Read on to learn how the Minnesota CoIIN team was well positioned to take on the work of this CoIIN through their Minnesota Partnership for Adolescent and Young Adult Health.  

Woman smiling with light brown hair and glassesConvening Stakeholders to Create a Plan for Adolescent Health in Minnesota
By Julie Neitzel Carr, Minnesota’s Adolescent Health Coordinator

The Minnesota Partnership for Adolescent and Young Adult Health (MN PAH), convened by the MN Department of Health, is made up of multi-sector stakeholders working with and on behalf of young people in the state.  This partnership has set the foundation for long-standing commitment by state leadership to advance optimal Adolescent well-being by:

  • Collaboratively developing MN’s Adolescent Health strategic plan. Each priority area within the plan includes actions steps, community responses, and resources. These priorities help to guide our work to support adolescent and young adults (AYA) health in the state.
  • Including “improving the responsiveness of both physical and mental health care for young people in MN” as one of their ten state priorities.  In alignment with the Health and Human Services’ (HHS) “Five Essentials for Healthy Adolescents,” this priority focusing on health care with AYA directly aligns with national projects such as the AYA BH CoIIN focusing on depression screening in primary care settings.

Tree made of icons illustrating youth protective factors: positive connections with supportive adults, safe and secure places, opportunities for teens to engage, access to high quality teen-friendly health care, and adult and family centered care

Improving the responsiveness of physical and mental health care for young people supports MN’s vision of creating a state where all young people thrive. For more details or questions on MN’s work, please contact Julie Neitzel Carr (, MN’s Adolescent Health Coordinator.

Interested in creating an Adolescent Health strategic plan in your state? Check out the National Network of State Adolescent Health Coordinators (NNSAHC) resources for developing an Adolescent Health strategic plan.