Case Studies

Reversing and Preventing Obesity

HRSA awarded NICHQ a groundbreaking initiative that sought to reverse obesity by leveraging multidisciplinary teams. Primary care providers, public health professionals and community-based organizations worked together to identify, test and evaluate evidence-based program and policy changes to prevent and treat obesity at the community level.

The U.S. now has the highest rate of obesity among all developed nations, constituting a grave threat to the health and well-being of our nation. Rates have risen dramatically over the past decades with a particularly strong impact on diverse and disadvantaged communities.

Our Approach

NICHQ brought together a team of world-class improvement advisors and obesity experts from across 49 states to develop a strategy and intervention framework and metrics for participating teams to test and regularly assess for progress. Using NICHQ’s unique change management approach, teams convened for virtual learning sessions and received one-on-one support to learn how to build an improvement team, engage stakeholders, overcome challenges to systems change and implement the change framework in their unique setting. 


The Results

This breakthrough multi-disciplinary initiative yielded:

  • Empowered teams with common goals, organized shared work and measureable improvement 
  • 149,000 to 232,000 people were exposed to local messaging promoting healthy weight
  • 29 teams reached their project goal of having their message reach at least 50 percent of their target population
  • Participating teams established new standards of care by realizing:
    • A nine-fold increase in the use of healthy weight and behavioral assessments in non-ambulatory care settings
    • A 16-fold increase in the development of healthy weight plans and related goals in non-ambulatory care settings.
  • An online course to spread the framework to others interested in addressing obesity at the community level. Learn more >
Childhood Obesity


By developing an environment for rapid-cycle testing and the robust exchange of ideas, more than 400 key leaders and influencers in the primary care, public health and community sectors were trained in less than 18 months to use quality improvement methods to reduce and prevent obesity at the local level. These communities are on now on a measurable path to a significantly healthier future.

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