Health extension is often consulted to provide technical support around program evaluation. In rural/frontier communities technical capacity in this area is challenging, especially as project funds may not be adequate to contract an outside evaluator. Health extension agents are able to speak the language of evaluation, share tools, facilitate group process and support organizations as they go through the steps of designing and implementing an evaluation plan.

Population Health: Baseline, Follow-Up & Tracking

There are numerous entities nationally that are tracking determinants and health outcomes. States can analyze the different measures being tracked, the frequency of reports, and relevance to their vision of improving health outcomes. For example, it may be useful to use reports from America’s Health Rankings as a simple way to track improvement in health outcomes and how it relates to the other states. You can access this report at By utilizing the America’s Health Rankings states are able to compare their performance with other states and track their health outcomes over time.

The following tools may be useful as examples of tracking health outcomes at the county level and at the population level, which can then be used to target interventions and programs accordingly.

NM County Reports 2012

New Mexico Racial & Ethnic Health Disparities Report Card- 2010

Outcome Measures

There is a national movement in academic health centers to measure their success through the level of community health improvement of their states. In order to track this, it is important to determine which outcome measures to track. Important considerations in the identification of these measures include the need to:

  • Differentiate between population and program outcomes
  • Prioritize based on several factors
  • Community Priorities
  • Partner priorities
  • Institutional expertise and resources
  • Political will
  • Align with local and national measurement tools
  • Make it personal – quantify the change
  • Make it relevant
  • Track over time and make projections
  • Make them visually pleasing and easy to understand
  • Tie the social determinants of health to recognized health outcomes

Below is a list of links to other resources for program evaluation:

Logic Models for PCEP

According to the W.K Kellogg Foundation, “effective program evaluation does more than collect, analyze, and provide data. It makes it possible for you – program stakeholders – to gather and use information, to learn continually about and improve programs… evaluation – especially program logic model approaches – is a learning and management tool that can be used throughout a program’s life – no matter what your stake in the program. Using evaluation and the logic model results in effective programming and offers greater learning opportunities, better documentation of outcomes, and shared knowledge about what works and why. The logic model is a beneficial evaluation tool that facilitates effective program planning, implementation, and evaluation.”

Below are examples of PCEP logic models from the lead states implementing health extension around the country:

New Mexico’s Logic Model

North Carolina’s Logic Model

Oklahomas’s Logic Model

Related Literature & Tools

“Developing an Effective Evaluation Plan: Setting the Course for Effective Program Evaluation”

“Evaluating your Community Based Program: Part 1”

“Evaluating your Community Based Program: Part 2”

“Logic Model Development Guide”

“A Guide to Measuring Advocacy and Policy”

“Framework for Program Evaluation in Public Health”



Metrics and Evaluation Financing Message Mapping Building a Movement Chp6 Sustainability Diverse Populations Critical Health Literacy CHWs Chp5 Population Health Beyond PCMH Shared Resources Community Health Systems Small Practices PCEP Chp4 Primary Care Health Outcomes Core HERO Functions Engagement Perspective HERO Model Chp3 Health Extension Model Public Health Cooperative Extension Academic Health Centers Primer for Engagement Chp2 Engagement What is a Hero General Overview Using the Toolkit Chp1 Getting Started