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Environmental Scanning as a Public Health Tool: Kentucky’s Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Project
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    Prev Chronic Dis
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    Borrowing from business, quality improvement programs, and strategic planning principles, environmental scanning is gaining popularity in public health practice and research and is advocated as an assessment and data collection tool by federal funding agencies and other health-related organizations. Applicable to a range of current and emerging health topics, environmental scans - through various methods - assess multiple facets of an issue by engaging stakeholders who can ask or answer research questions, exploring related policy, critiquing published and gray literature, collecting and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data in both primary and secondary forms, disseminating findings to internal and external stakeholders, and informing subsequent planning and decision making. To illustrate the environmental scanning process in a public health setting and showcase its value to practitioners in the field, we describe a federally funded environmental scan for a human papillomavirus vaccination project in Kentucky.

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