Combating Obesity at Community Health Centers (COACH): a quality improvement collaborative for weight management programs

J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2013;24(2 Suppl):47-60. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2013.0101.


Community health centers (CHCs) seek effective strategies to address obesity. MidWest Clinicians' Network partnered with [an academic medical center] to test feasibility of a weight management quality improvement (QI) collaborative. MidWest Clinicians' Network members expressed interest in an obesity QI program. This pilot study aimed to determine whether the QI model can be feasibly implemented with limited resources at CHCs to improve weight management programs. Five health centers with weight management programs enrolled with CHC staff as primary study participants; this study did not attempt to measure patient outcomes. Participants attended learning sessions and monthly conference calls to build QI skills and share best practices. Tailored coaching addressed local needs. Topics rated most valuable were patient recruitment/retention strategies, QI techniques, evidence-based weight management, motivational interviewing. Challenges included garnering provider support, high staff turnover, and difficulty tracking patient-level data. This paper reports practical lessons about implementing a weight management QI collaborative in CHCs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Community Health Centers
  • Community Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Midwestern United States
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality Improvement