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​Program Sustainability Assessment Tool Project
Funder: Centers for Disease Control and Pre​​vention, Office on Smoking and Health
Staff Contact: Molly Hastings
Project Duration: 2010-present
Since 2010, CPHSS has developed, refined, and is now disseminating a tool designed to measure program capacity for sustainability. This work was initially funded by the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors and is currently funded by the CDC, Office on Smoking and Health. Recognizing that sustainability is a major challenge for all kinds of programs, CPHSS wanted to create a tool that staff, managers, funders, and evaluators could use to measure their program’s sustainability. To develop the tool, CPHSS conducted a comprehensive literature review and used expert-informed Concept Mapping. Expert input was obtained from researchers, funders, and state and local program managers from four primary chronic disease program areas: tobacco control, obesity prevention, heart disease and stroke prevention, and injury prevention. The resulting framework and tool identified a range of critical factors affecting program sustainability capacity.
CPHSS then used the tool during trainings and evaluations with over 550 individuals and over 250 unique programs at the state and local levels. CPHSS ran extensive psychometric analyses on these pilot data to further refine the tool. The final Sustainability Framework and Assessment Tool has been reliability tested and can be used by programs in a variety of levels and settings to better understand and plan for their sustainability.
CPHSS has now entered the dissemination phase of this project. CPHSS built a website that allows users to take the tool online, receive immediate results, and access resources on sustainability planning. The Center also offers webinars, workshops and technical assistance to support programs to complete our Program Sustainability assessment and planning process.

Select Papers and Presentations


Sustainability of evidence-based healthcare: research agenda, methodological advances, and infrastructure support. Proctor, E., Luke, D., Calhoun, A., McMillen, C., Brownson, R., McCrary, S., Padek, M. (2015) Implementation Science, 10:88

The Program Sustainability Assessment Tool: A New Instrument for Public Health Programs. Luke D.A., Calhoun A, Robichaux C.B., Elliott M.B., & Moreland-Russell S. (2014). Preventing Chronic Disease, (11)130184.

Using the Program Sustainability Assessment Tool to Assess and Plan for Sustainability. Calhoun, A., Mainor, A., Moreland-Russell, S., Maier, R.C., Brossart, L., & Luke, D.A. (2014). Preventing Chronic Disease, (11)130158.

Public Health Program Capacity for Sustainability: A New Framework. Schell, S., Luke, D., Schooley, M., Elliott, M., Herbers, S., Mueller, N., & Bunger, A. (2013). Implementation Science, 8,15


Understanding Program Sustainability: Framework and Assessment.2015, Sarah Moreland-Russell and Molly Hastings. Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play of Chemung County, NY.

Measuring Program Sustainability.2012, Douglas Luke and Annaliese Calhoun. Research to Reality (National Cancer Institute).
Program Sustainability Action Planning.2014, Sarah Moreland-Russell and Molly Hastings. Missouri Department and of Health and Senior Services.

Understanding, Assessing and Planning for Program Sustainability.2014, Annaliese Calhoun. Annual Meeting of the Association of State Public Health Nutritionists.
Assessing the Sustainability of your Tobacco Control Program.2012, Annaliese Calhoun & Shawna Shields. National Conference on Tobacco or Health.
Building & Managing Sustainability in Public Health Programs.2012, Douglas Luke, Annaliese Calhoun, Stephanie Herbers. CDC Roundtable.
Sustaining Local Public Health and Built Environment Programs.2011, Annaliese Calhoun. Fit Nation NYC Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) meeting.
Sustainability Planning: Sustainability Session III. 2011, Center for Public Health Systems Science, in collaboration with the University of North Carolina’s Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and the CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, Overweight and Obesity. CDC’s Center for Putting Prevention to Work Annual Training.
Program Sustainability: It’s More Than Just Dollars and Cents.2010, Douglas Luke and Annaliese Calhoun. Missouri Foundation for Health’s Summer Training Institute.

Professional Conferences
Assessing and Building Sustainability. 2012, Annaliese Calhoun. CDC/American Evaluation Association Evaluation Institute.

A New Tool for Measuring Capacity for Sustainability.2012, Annaliese Calhoun, Douglas Luke, Christopher Robichaux, Stephanie Herbers and Michael Elliott.  American Evaluation Association Annual Conference.
Filling Up the Tool Box: The Program Sustainability Assessment Tool.2012, Douglas Luke, Annaliese Calhoun and Stephanie Herbers. Annual Meeting of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
Is Your Program Sustainable?: A Practical Tool for Evaluating Sustainability. 2010, Nancy Mueller and Sarah Schell. American Evaluation Association’s Annual Conference.

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