Strategies for Coordinating a National Program

As with other major initiatives, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (the Foundation) contracted with a national program office (NPO) to oversee all aspects of Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q). The AF4Q program, however, was unique given its duration (nine years), its scope (multiple areas of focus), and the ramifications of major health care legislation enacted during the program. Given the scope and complexity of AF4Q, the NPO focused substantial resources on building the infrastructure needed to support such a long-lasting and comprehensive project. The structure of staff, processes, and communication mechanisms constantly evolved over the course of AF4Q in order to make the Foundation’s vision operational and to support the grantees in their efforts to meet program expectations. The NPO’s ability to be flexible was critical given the changing program expectations accompanying each new funding phase. The NPO was the vehicle for implementation, coordination, and knowledge capture and was responsible for ultimately translating the Foundation’s conceptual vision into day-to-day strategies.


A summary of how AF4Q Alliances changed their goals to meet evolving program demands throughout the nine year commitment.

This brief makes recommendations around how to plan for and implement a learning collaborative with the intention of building capacity to achieve quality improvement goals.

The purpose of this brief is to capture the lessons learned by AF4Q in its role as the organizer and sponsor of a range of hospital learning collaboratives.

This guide was given to breakout session moderators at AF4Q National Meetings.

This matrix was used to track the quality and cost goals for each Alliance.

The R/Y/G matrix was used to show where Alliances were on achieving their quality and cost indicators.

This is the template given to the Alliances for their required tri-annual reports.