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NAQC Newsroom: Research

KIQNIC Project Update

Wednesday, August 10, 2011  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
The KIQNIC project has produced a new publication in the journal Health Care Management Review. The article, "Network formation, governance, and evolution in public health: The North American Quitline Consortium case," provides a fascinating look into the evolution of NAQC as a network of organizations, and was co-authored by Keith Provan, Jonathan "Jeb" Beagles and Scott Leischow, all members of the KIQNIC research team.

According to lead author Professor Keith Provan, at the University of Arizona, "Although there is a lot of interest in collaborative networks of health organizations, we really don't know much about them. This paper attempts to shed some light on the topic by offering a detailed look at how NAQC was formed and grew." In fact, the paper includes a detailed timeline spanning 1992 through 2008, showing 13 milestones in the development of NAQC.

Data was gathered from news and journal articles, websites of NAQC and other organizations, and interviews with key informants. The findings show how the network that emerged became formalized through a back-and-forth interplay between the internal needs and goals of the state- and provincial-level quitline organizations. The formation of the network, and its governance through a network administrative organization (the NAQC office), was driven by important events and shifts in the external environment, including the influence of major national organizations.

Co-author and KIQNIC Principal Investigator Scott Leischow, also at the University of Arizona, reiterated the growing interest in networks of health organizations, "People see great potential in developing purpose-driven networks to address health and health system challenges, but so far we know very little about how to help them function well. At its core, that's really what the KIQNIC project is about." It is hoped that this publication will help health care leaders and policy officials understand how a large network spanning multiple states/provinces and countries might be coordinated and integrated through the establishment of a formal network.

The full paper can be downloaded at

Note that an errata is being added to the article to clarify that Linda Bailey was Director of the Center for Tobacco Cessation, a program based at the American Cancer Society and jointly funded by ACS and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as a national resource on cessation, from 2001 to 2004.

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