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No. 1, 2011


TB PEN Sponsors 1st Program Evaluation Webinar

During the TB Program Evaluation Network (TB PEN) joint teams call on September 1, 2010, it was determined that focal points desired more opportunities to discuss program evaluation outside of the TB PEN Conference. As a result, the TB PEN teams co-chairs agreed on the need to follow through with routine conference calls (webinars) for ongoing practical discussions of how program evaluation is being conducted in the field, focusing on user-generated topics to be made available to everyone.

This webinar series is sponsored by TB PEN and serves as a forum for program staff and program evaluation (PE) focal points to discuss and share perspectives and lessons learned on program evaluation related activities. These calls are not used to provide ongoing clarification of CDC policy or funding, but rather to give states and focal points the chance to network and exchange ideas, to act as a forum for sharing lessons learned, and to examine how the National TB Indicators Project (NTIP) can be incorporated into evaluation practices.  The monthly topics chosen for discussion fall under three categories: NTIP implementation, cohort review, and evaluation.

On November 10, 2010, TB PEN held the first network webinar. The topic was “Evolution of Cohort Review in Chicago.” The webinar was presented by Juan Elias, TB Field Operations Manager, Chicago Department of Health, and facilitated by Brandy Peterson, Program Evaluation Team Representative, CDC/DTBE/FSEB. The objectives for this webinar were to illustrate the changes of the cohort review process in Chicago, describe how this process is different from the traditional cohort review, and demonstrate how NTIP is used in the new process.

Approximately 45 individuals who serve as the assigned points of contact for TB program evaluation within their respective agencies (PE focal points) were logged into the webinar. The webinar provided an overview of the cohort review process in Chicago and lessons learned. The question-and-answer session was an open forum in which PE focal points could ask questions and provide comments to the presenter and other participants. A future TB Notes article will feature details of the TB PEN webinar on the Evolution of Cohort Review in Chicago.

Overall, attendee evaluations indicated that the majority (80%) felt the objectives were addressed clearly; the content was useful, informative, and addressed their needs for information; and they can apply the knowledge gained from the presentation.

Suggested TB PEN webinar topics for 2011:

  1. What other states are doing, different evaluation models.
  2. How to use data obtained during cohort review in program evaluation.
  3. Examples of what some programs have done for their program evaluation projects, outcomes from those, and how they implemented some or all of their recommendations or findings.

This forum provides participants with an opportunity to interact with their colleagues on a selected program evaluation topic and assist them with gaining a better understanding of conducting program evaluation and effectively addressing topic-specific issues. Questions related to CDC guidance and requirements are not addressed during the webinars; they are referred to the program’s DTBE consultants and evaluation representatives. The intent of these sessions is to combine theory with practical application and provide a variety of speakers representing both CDC and state and local TB programs.  All PE focal points are invited to participate in the webinars. Information for the webinars will be provided to the PE focal points as they are scheduled.

Please contact the TB PEN Steering Committee and TB PEN Team Co-Chairs at if you have suggestions for future TB PEN webinar topics.

—Reported by Brandy Peterson, MPH, MCHES Div of TB Elimination, and 
Stephen E. Hughes, PhD TB PEN Co-Chair, NY State Department of Health


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