entities with a stake in these matters could be expected to play in addressing those issues. The study is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
A May 1995 workshop reviewed a variety of public and private activities in health-related performance monitoring. An opening presentation focused on conducting and using an assessment of health status in New York City's Washington Heights/Inwood neighborhood. The subsequent presentation explored characteristics and limitations of health plan performance indicators and how they might be applied in a broader community context. The final presentation in this portion of the workshop reviewed the development of measures of public health practice for assessing the performance of local health departments and Illinois's application of such assessments in certification of its local health departments.
A set of presentations on Washington State and Seattle-King County included discussions of the state health department's focal role in public health policy; links between the University of Washington School of Public Health and the state's local health departments; the community-oriented approach of the private nonprofit Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound; efforts to bring a health outcomes perspective to assessments of environmental health activities; the state's voluntary public-private collaboration in the development of health data systems; and an overview of the health assessment and monitoring program in Seattle-King County.
Final presentations reviewed activities of several federal agencies and national organizations, including work on clinical performance measures and health plan reporting; the national health promotion and disease prevention objectives of Healthy People 2000; tools to help communities and local health departments assess health needs and set objectives for improvement; and proposals for linking federal block grants in specific health areas to state performance commitments.
The presentations and discussion highlighted several points. Identifying shared interests that can promote collaboration in meeting health needs will be important. Throughout the workshop, consulting with the community was emphasized as an important means of learning about areas of concern, gaining a better understanding of the data collected, and building support within the community for the monitoring process. Public health agen-