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Phase 3 - LPHSA: Questions and Answers


If you have additional questions, contact MAPP staff members at and they will either answer your questions or connect you with a MAPP Mentor.

What is the link between MAPP and the National Public Health Performance Standards Program (NPHPSP)?
The local public health system assessment (LPHSA) is one of the assessments within the MAPP tool. MAPP includes three other assessments to ensure that community health improvement plans address strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and opportunities that exist in the community. NPHPSP looks at how the system is functioning; MAPP demonstrates how it can improve to better address the communities'' public health priorities.

After completing the NPHPSP, MAPP is a means to address systems performance improvement against a backdrop of the system''s public health priorities. MAPP is one approach to interpreting performance standards data within the broader context of their communities'' public health needs and strengths. Using NPHPSP within MAPP ensures broad-based involvement in the performance assessment process

What is the biggest challenge to beginning MAPP after conducting the NPHPSP?
The MAPP process begins by having the performance standards partners review the outcomes to determine who else needs to be at the table. In the MAPP process, this would be the Organizing for Success and Partnership Development phase. The challenge is to keep everyone engaged throughout the MAPP process.

The LPHSA assessment is a lot more involved than the other assessments. We are considering not using the NPHPSP instrument to do this assessment to make the process easier. How would this impact our MAPP process?

The length of the NPHPSP has been considered a major challenge, and can be an inhibiting factor for communities implementing MAPP. However, the benefits of the NPHPSP tool within the MAPP process are invaluable. This assessment is the only tool available to bring partners together to provide a comprehensive analysis of the system''s current activities in conducting the 10 essential public health services.

Some communities have used the assessment as a survey to offset the challenge and time needed to bring partners together, but this limits the cross-learning that takes place. One of the most important aspects of the tool is the partners learning about what is happening, what others are doing, and where gaps exist. This enables the partners to begin to understand how to address system weaknesses.

What are the benefits of doing the LPHSA within MAPP?
Those who have used the LPHSA say that it benefited their MAPP process by expanding knowledge of public health among system partners, energizing system partners, creating more awareness in the community, and identifying strengths and weaknesses within the public health system.

They asserted that the process expanded knowledge of public health among system partners. Some commented that after completing this assessment, partners showed a much better understanding of what public health is and their own roles within the public health system.

Some felt that the LPHSA created more awareness in the community about activities of the public health system.

The LPHSA is designed to identify strengths and weaknesses in terms of the Ten Essential Public Health Services (10 EPHS).

If users were to do the LPHSA again, what would they do differently? Users indicated they would make a concerted effort to ensure that participants have a strong understanding of the "public health system" concept beforehand. They would also ensure that the local health department internal staff and external partners are equally engaged in the process.

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