University of Wisconsin–Madison

Current Evaluation Projects

The Evaluation Group  partners with community, tribal, school, and governmental organizations to develop, implement, and evaluate their programs. Our portfolio of evaluation projects reflects the full range of systems and health factors that contribute to population health outcomes. 

Click below to learn more about some of our current projects.

  • Adolescent Health

    UWPHI has been contracted by the Department of Health Services (DHS) to provide evaluation services to support national performance measures and quality improvement goals for local adolescent health grants. The grants are part of an effort to enhance the ability of current adolescent health systems to support the needs of adolescents and families in Wisconsin by increasing efficiency and quality of existing programs and services.

    Evaluation Staff: Núñez, Lindberg, Lock


  • Ashland County Adult Drug Court Enhancement

    The Ashland Drug Court targets high-risk non-violent offenders to provide them with substance abuse treatment and monitoring in the community as an alternative to incarceration. The project will implement and evaluate the effectiveness of the following enhancements: Increase capacity, redesign curriculum to be more integrated, enhance trauma-informed care component, better serve American Indian participants from the Bad River tribe, screen for HIV/Hepatitis B & C, fund medication assisted treatment, and improve speed of drug testing results. The evaluation includes technical assistance with implementation, data analysis and management, process, and outcomes evaluation. The program is funded by the U.S. Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration from 2015-2018.

    Evaluation Staff: Van Stelle, Goodrich


  • Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program

    The overarching goal of the Coordinating Center of the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program is to support transdisciplinary scientific research to enhance our understanding of environmental and genetic factors underlying breast cancer risk throughout the lifespan, with emphasis on the influence of environmental exposures during specific time windows of susceptibility. The BCERP Coordinating Center integrates efforts across the network of individual Windows of Susceptibility research projects with NIH program staff members, breast cancer advocates, community partners, and external stakeholders to facilitate transdisciplinary research through collaboration, coordination, and communication.

    Evaluation Staff:  Lindberg


  • Building Resilience Against Climate Change (BRACE)

    The overarching goal of the BRACE grant is to develop strategies and programs to help communities prepare for the health effects of climate change.  The project aims to enhance statewide capacity to assess, prepare for, and effectively respond to climate and extreme weather events to reduce or prevent negative health effects to Wisconsin’s citizens.  This grant is funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) via the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Occupation Health (BEOH).

    Evaluation Staff:  Linnan, Manzanares

  • Dane County District Attorney Opiate Diversion Program

    The District Attorney’s Office Opiate Diversion Program is a pretrial diversion program that provides opiate addicted offenders with pre-charging diversion from justice system involvement by providing case management and resources.  Enhancing the program through the use of program evaluation support will provide the opportunity for program services and practices to more closely conform to Pretrial Performance Standards through fidelity assessment as well as use of data for ongoing program improvement. Funded by the WI Department of Justice Treatment Alternatives and Diversion Program (TAD) from 2017-2021.

    Evaluation Staff: Van Stelle

    Funder: Wisconsin Department of Justice

  • Elementary and Secondary School Counseling

    The focus of this grant is to enable schools to develop promising and innovative approaches for initiating or expanding counseling programs in elementary and secondary schools. The project addresses barriers to learning by integrating school based mental health services in the school setting, while coordinating with community-based resources to extend the continuum of care for students. This includes primary prevention and education, screening and detection, treatment, follow-up and crisis services, as well as case and systems management. The grant is funded by the Department of Education (DOE) via the Adams-Friendship School District.

    Evaluation Staff: Manzanares

    Implementation Partners: Adams-Friendship School District

    Funder: Department of Education

  • Enhanced Prescription Drug Overdose Surveillance for States

    UWPHI is working with staff in the Office of Health Informatics, Bureau of Public Health, Department of Health Services, to develop and implement new data analysis reports and studies using population, administrative and clinical health data to support grants that address prescription drug/opioid overdose related deaths and adverse events.

    Evaluation Staff: Lecoanet, Bentley


  • Family Foundations Home Visiting Programs

    The evaluation assesses program implementation and outcomes in five Tribal Communities and Burnett County that are using the evidence-based Healthy Families America model to improve maternal and child health among at-risk Native American Indian families through home-based parenting skills enhancement, nutritional education, and breastfeeding support.  Additional goals include enhancing school readiness, economic self-sufficiency, and coordination with community resources, and preventing child maltreatment and domestic violence.  Recently awarded funds will expand Home Visiting services to two additional tribal communities beginning in 2017.  Funded by the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families via Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council and the Lac Courte Oreilles Chippewa Tribe.

    Evaluation Staff: Van Stelle, Graham


  • Fit Families

    Fit Families is a child obesity prevention program targeting parents of 2 to 4 year old children at Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Projects around Wisconsin. In FY2016, 26 WIC Program Agencies participated in Fit Families.  The overall project goals include increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables, decreasing intake of sweetened beverages and juice, increasing daily physical activity, and decreasing screen time to reduce the risk of becoming overweight or obese.  Fit Families is funded by USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education.

    Evaluation Staff: Busarow, Weymouth


  • Healthy Start

    This program evaluation of a Healthy Start initiative to reduce infant mortality and improve maternal and child health has been ongoing since 1999. The Honoring Our Children program serves American Indian families through outreach, case management, health education, interconceptional care, depression screening and referral, and consortia-building in 8 Wisconsin Tribal communities. Funded by DHHS, HRSA via Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council (GLITC).

    Evaluation Staff: Núñez, Graham



  • Institute for Clinical and Translational Research

    UWPHI partners to conduct mixed-methods evaluation activities for the UW Institute for Clinical Translational Research (ICTR), funded by a Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA) from the National Institutes of Health. The evaluation team works on numerous projects designed to evaluate the impact of the Institute.

    Evaluation Staff: Moberg, Sayavedra, Suryanarayanan


  • Lac du Flambeau Native Connections

    In 2016, the Lac du Flambeau Chippewa tribe received a five-year grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to implement the national model “Native Connections” suicide prevention program for tribal communities. Native Connections aims to reduce suicide among Native youth and families, and to increase early intervention and responses by identifying at-risk youth prior to crisis. In collaboration with the UW Population Health Institute, Lac du Flambeau will have a targeted emphasis on developing new policies, practices, and protocols that address service gaps, prevention, and crisis response. In Years 2-5 of the grant, Lac du Flambeau will work with other tribal communities in the Great Lakes region to provide training related to suicide prevention and early intervention.

    Evaluation Staff: Van Stelle

  • Lac du Flambeau Opioid Overdose Prevention Project

    The Lac du Flambeau Chippewa are conducting a comprehensive opioid overdose prevention project for their tribal community that includes (1) overdose reversal training for first responders, tribal service providers, and local community members, (2) community trainings related to WI’s Good Samaritan Law and opiate addiction, and (3) development of educational and media materials. UWPHI partners with Lac du Flambeau to develop and evaluate training curricula based on best practices, and develop local protocols, policies, and mechanisms for responding to opioid overdose and for data reporting during this four-year SAMHSA-funded project.

    Evaluation Staff: Van Stelle

  • Lac du Flambeau Zaagiibagaa Tribal Healing to Wellness Court

    Zaagiibagaa (Ojibwe for “budding leaf”) targets high-risk, high-need American Indian offenders to provide them with substance abuse treatment and monitoring in the community as an alternative to incarceration. The evidence-based treatment court model is adapted for tribal communities to provide culturally responsive services in coordination with Vilas County. The evaluation includes technical assistance with program implementation and improvement, data analysis and management, process evaluation, and outcomes evaluation. The program is funded by the U.S. Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration from 2014-2018.

    Evaluation Staff: Van Stelle


  • Legacy Community Alliance for Health

    A dynamic collaboration of Wisconsin local governments, state agencies, academic partners, and nonprofit groups have joined forces to create the Legacy Community Alliance for Health. The collaborative has been awarded a $1 million Community Impact Grant to improve health and health equity through local government policymaking and programming. The five-year project will build capacity within participating municipalities to improve health and health equity using data, evaluation, and evidence-informed policymaking processes. The goal is to help communities achieve gains in at least one of four policy areas of interest: clean water, active transportation, safe and affordable housing, and healthy and affordable local food systems. Each community will choose its own policy approach.

    Evaluation Staff: Lindberg, Faust, Charron

    Funder: Wisconsin Partnership Program


  • Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families

    PHI is leading summative evaluation activities of a 10-year initiative to improve health birth outcomes for African American women and their families in Milwaukee, Racine, and Kenosha.

    Evaluation Staff: Moberg, Godecker, Lindberg, Kuo, DeBoth, Williams

    Funder: Wisconsin Partnership Program


  • Medicated Assisted Treatment

    This project focuses on enhancing and expanding treatment service delivery systems to increase community capacity and provide accessible and effective evidence-based medication assisted treatment and recovery support services for individuals with opioid use disorders. Our current partners are Sauk & Columbia Counties, with a possible expansion to Richland County.

    Evaluation Staff: Lecoanet, Sayavedra, Walsh-Felz


  • Mental Health Services Evaluation

    We are collaborating with DHS on its ongoing statewide evaluations of the mental health service system examining client satisfaction, client outcomes, service utilization, and program effectiveness. Major projects include redesign of the State public mental health data system, monitoring statewide trends in the use of the mental health system, and evaluation of client and system- level outcomes in children’s mental health programs that use a wraparound, integrated approach. Funded by the SAMHSA through DHS.

    Evaluation Staff: Connor, VerPlanck


  • National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety

    The goal of the Evaluation Core at the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety is to guide documentation and analysis of the success of the center and its projects in achieving objectives for research, education, and public service. Evaluation data provide empirically-driven feedback to guide decision-making, policy formulation, and improvements at the center, all of which are dedicated to improving the safety and health of children who live on, work for, or visit agricultural settings.

    Evaluation Staff: Lindberg, Raygor


  • Prescription Drug/Opioid Overdose Related Deaths Prevention (PDO)

    The PDO grant program is intended to reduce the number of opioid overdose-related deaths among people ages 18 and older in three selected Wisconsin counties: Sauk, Waukesha and Kenosha. Counties distribute naloxone (opiate antidote) to and train first responders and community members in naloxone use to prevent opioid overdose-related deaths.

    Evaluation Staff: Feder, Lecoanet, Markeland, Bentley

    Implementation Partners:  Kenosha County, Sauk County, Waukesha County

    Funder: Wisconsin Department of Health Services

  • Prescription Opioid Drug Evaluation

    This project focuses on reducing the overdose death rate and other harms from prescription opioids by cultivating expertise, building strong collaborative relationships and initiating bottom-up community change guided by data and evidence-based strategies. By enhancing and maximizing the use of the Wisconsin Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, fostering improved and targeted community level response and, promoting and implementing improved provider guidelines and education, we will be able to address the prescription drug harm epidemic.

    Evaluation Staff: Moberg, Feder, Bullard-Cawthorne, Zaleski, Tranmer, Prince


  • Project AWARE

    The purposes of the Wisconsin AWARE project are to make schools safer, improve school climates, increased capacity to identify warning signs of mental health problems among children and make appropriate referrals to mental health care, and increase capacity of the state and local education agencies to connect children and youth with behavioral health issues with needed services. The UW Population Health Institute’s evaluation of this project allows the communities to accurately track mental health referrals and service delivery, as well as providing technical assistance to the participating communities, Adams-Friendship & Ashland School Districts.

    Evaluation Staff: Nuñez, Sayavedra, Kuo, Manzanares, Kelly


  • Project YES!

    Wisconsin’s Project YES! targets youth and young adults who are at risk for, or are experiencing mental health problems, in Jefferson and Outagamie Counties. The UW Population Health Institute’s evaluation of this work will assess the effectiveness of efforts undertaken by the Department of Health Services and the county grantees to address the program goals. The evaluation will ensure fidelity of program implementation, collection of required and useful data, and timely reporting of the data to federal and county contacts.

    Evaluation Staff: Lecoanet, Goodrich

  • Saint Paul Police Department Mental Health Response Team

    The Saint Paul Police Department and the Ramsey County Urgent Care for Adult Mental Health Crisis Program received a planning grant to create a Mental Health Response Team serving the City of St. Paul, Minnesota.  The Mental Health Response Team will use a co-responder model to connect individuals with mental health issues with services as a way to divert people from the cycle of incarceration.  The evaluation includes technical assistance with program development, strategic planning and logic model development, and assistance with data infrastructure.  The grant is funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance from 2017-2018.

    Evaluation Staff: Van Stelle, Goodrich

    Implementation Partners: The City of St. Paul, the St. Paul Police Department, and the Ramsey County Urgent Care for Adult Mental Health Crisis Program

    Funder: The Bureau of Justice Assistance

  • Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment & Healthcare Utilization

    The focus of this project is to evaluate the impact of paraprofessional-led substance use screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) on healthcare utilization among low-income patients. A secondary focus is to study the effectiveness of SBIRT to increase the rate of individuals being referred to treatment through SBIRT services. The study uses secondary data collected from the Wisconsin Initiative to Promote Healthy Lifestyles program with patient Medicaid claims data obtained through a partnership with DHS. Funded by an R03 grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

    Evaluation Staff: Paltzer, Moberg, Burns

  • Southwestern Wisconsin Behavioral Health Partnership 

    The South Western Community Action Program (SWCAP) is one of 10 community coalitions to win an award under a new statewide initiative of the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin (AHW) Endowment at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW). The initiative’s goal is the statewide improvement of behavioral health, physical health of those with behavioral health conditions, and prevention and healthcare resources. SWCAP will work with a multi-sector coalition of partners to expand access to care in the five-county region that includes Iowa, Grant, Green, Lafayette, and Richland counties. Potential strategies include some combination of enhancing tele-mental health capacity, supporting primary care physicians via trainings and access to specialist consultants, and increasing the number of health care professionals offering mental health services. This is an eight-year initiative, the first year dedicated to implementation planning. UWPHI is the contracted evaluator on the project and will also serve as academic partner.

    Evaluation Staff: Lecoanet, Feder

    Implementation Partners: Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program

    Funder: Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program

  • Southwestern Wisconsin Recovery Pathways

    The Southwestern Wisconsin Recovery Pathways program will pilot a way to more effectively utilize and coordinate existing community resources to build a sustainable model of coordinated access to a range of medical, physical, emotional, social and economic wraparound services and resources to people in recovery from opioid addiction and, thereby, improve their chances of sustained recovery.  Sober-living housing will support sobriety, and job training, placement services, access to public programs, and other resources will support reintegration into the community. The program will pilot this model in two rural southwestern Wisconsin counties.

    Evaluation Staff: Feder, Lecoanet

    Implementation Partners: Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program

    Funder: Wisconsin Partnership Program

  • State Injury & Violence Prevention Program

    Wisconsin was one of 23 state health departments that was provided funding for the Core State Violence and Injury Prevention Program. The team works to implement, evaluate, and disseminate evidence-based strategies and policies in issues related to injury and violence. Through the next five years, the team intends to strengthen statewide partners, programs, and policies, to demonstrate an impact in the reduction of injury and violence related morbidity and mortality.

    Evaluation Staff: Lindberg, Imm

  • Strategic Prevention Framework for Prescription Drugs (SPF Rx)

    The SPF Rx grant program aims to raise awareness and education among healthcare providers and the community about the dangers of sharing medications and the risks of overprescribing, and is being implemented in two Wisconsin Counties: Sauk and Dodge. Facilitated by a contracted partner, The Alliance for Wisconsin Youth, the program walks community coalitions through SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework to target the priority issue of prescription drug misuse in their community, implement strategies to affect change and build capacity to sustain prevention efforts.

    Evaluation Staff: Lecoanet, Feder, Markeland,  Bentley

    Implementation Partners: Dodge County, Sauk County, The Alliance for Wisconsin Youth (AWY)

    Funder: Wisconsin Department of Health Services

  • Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success 2015

    UWPHI has been contracted by the Department of Health Services (DHS) to evaluate this SAMHSA funded prevention grant. The grant will provide funding to coalitions in 14 high-need counties to implement prevention strategies aimed at reducing non-medical/unauthorized availability of and access to prescription drugs.

    Evaluation Staff: Linnan, Walsh-Felz, Kelly, Moberg, Lindberg


  • Tribal Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention

    Tribal PREP is an adolescent pregnancy prevention program implemented in two tribal communities in Wisconsin. UWPHI has been contracted as the evaluators, in partnership with the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council (GLITC). Tribal PREP is a 5-year grant that seeks to decrease adolescent birth and STI rates, improve youth self-efficacy, and promote positive youth development.

    Evaluation Staff: Nuñez, Manzanares, Weymouth

  • USDA Nutrition Education and Promotion

    Through the 2017-2020 Wisconsin Team Nutrition Training Grant (WI TNTG), the Wisconsin (WI) Department of Public Instruction (DPI) seeks to provide schools with training and resources to assist students participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. Specifically, this grant will provide: a) training to school nutrition professions, b) nutrition education to K-12 students, and c) technical assistance to school staff to strengthen their school wellness policies. UWPHI will assist with a comprehensive evaluation including quasi-experimental methodologies to explore change in students’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors over time.

    Evaluation Staff: Weymouth

  • Wisconsin Chronic Disease Quality Improvement Project

    The Wisconsin Chronic Disease Quality Improvement Project is a joint partnership that highlights an extraordinary level of cooperation among diverse, competitive health systems to improve chronic disease care in Wisconsin. Members include the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, the Department of Health Services Division of Health Care Access and Accountability (Medicaid Program), and health systems serving Wisconsin. The Project was established in 1998 as a forum to evaluate and implement the Wisconsin Diabetes Mellitus Essential Care Guidelines, share resources, population-based strategies and best practices, and improve diabetes care through collaborative quality improvement initiatives. In 2013, the project expanded to focus on the best evidence-based methods for prevention and control of a variety of chronic conditions. Collaboration is key to this project’s success. This collaborative model may serve as the springboard for the expansion to other statewide quality improvement initiatives.

    Evaluation Staff: Busarow


  • Wisconsin Obesity Prevention Initiative

    This Wisconsin Obesity Prevention Initiative uses a multi-faceted approach – including community-based research, outreach, surveillance and dissemination – to impact childhood obesity in Wisconsin. It seeks to support and expand the Wisconsin Obesity Prevention Network and to implement a pilot/feasibility study using local, multi-level, comprehensive community interventions, initially in two counties. The initiative will develop a comprehensive, statewide obesity surveillance system and create outreach and community engagement that includes state and local public messaging and dissemination of evidence-based solutions to obesity.

    Evaluation Staff: Lindberg, Breuer, Brubaker, Joyner, Skalitzki, Weymouth, Charron, Lehr, Hillert


  • Wisconsin Oral Health Evaluation

    UWPHI is collaborating with the Wisconsin Oral Health Program to develop and implement a comprehensive evaluation plan for the state Oral Health Program. We also are evaluating several ongoing projects and programs such as a school-based restorative dental pilot project, community water fluoridation education strategies, and a Medicaid dental reimbursement pilot project.

    Evaluation Staff: Lecoanet, Hang, Smith

  • Youth Treatment – Implementation

    Wisconsin’s Youth Treatment-Implementation project (YT-I) targets transitional-aged youth (ages 16-25) who have a substance use disorder and/or co-occurring substance use and mental health disorder.  YT-I will use the Multi-Dimensional Family Therapy (MDFT) model to provide services to youth and young adults and their family members in four locations in Wisconsin.  The evaluation includes technical assistance with program development and implementation, compliance with federal reporting requirements, fidelity monitoring, data analysis, and report development. This grant is funded by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) from 2017-2022.

    Evaluation Staff: Lecoanet, Goodrich, Dustman

    Implementation Partners: The Wisconsin Department of Health Services

    Funder: The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration