Realizing transformational change through quality improvement in public health

William J. Riley, Helen M. Parsons, Grace L. Duffy, John W. Moran, Brenda Henry

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Objective: This article discusses the specific components necessary to achieve transformational change within public health departments as a means for creating sustained performance improvement and better outcomes in the health of the community. Design: This article provides a review of transformation change concepts and application to public health departments. Results: Transformational change for public health departments must be intentionally designed to achieve high performance. While all improvement requires change, not all change results in improvement. Conclusion: The successful transformational change effort always occurs from the top-down, while the process improvement occurs from the bottom-up. Transformational change is possible in public health departments when small incremental improvements are linked with large-scale management changes to continually improve public health performance resulting in better population outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-78
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Public Health Management and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Public health
  • Quality improvement
  • Transformational change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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