148405 Patchwork to Quilt: Moving from individual programs to comprehensive women's health

Tuesday, November 6, 2007: 12:50 PM

Corine Mealing, MEd, MPH , Infant Maternal and Reproductive Health Unit, Florida Department of Health, Tallahassee, FL
Like in many states, programmatic responsibility for women's health services is fragmented within the Florida Department of Health (department) and across other agencies and private organizations in the state. The department provides a patchwork of women's health services through programs such as: Cardiovascular Health and Stroke Prevention, Dental, Diabetes, Comprehensive Cancer, Breast and Cervical Cancer, Obesity, Sexual and Domestic Violence Prevention, Family Planning, Osteoporosis, Healthy Start, Arthritis, WIC, Sexually Transmissible Disease, HIV/AIDS, Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Centers, Injury Prevention, Adolescent Health, Children's Medical Services, Tobacco Prevention, Environmental Health, and the Office of Minority Health. Funding mechanisms for these programs typically require a disease-specific focus and proscribed activities that are not conducive to an integrated approach to health care. A framework for increased collaboration was needed to engineer a comprehensive, well-coordinated, system of health care for all women of Florida.

In 2004, the Florida legislature enacted women's health legislation to ensure the state's policies and programs are responsive to women's health needs across the lifespan. That same year, Florida received $300,000 to implement a three-year, federal grant to integrate women's health services. The legislation and grant enabled Florida to break down programmatic silos, increase communication and collaboration across programs that provide women's health services, formalize and institutionalize these linkages, mobilize non-departmental partners interested in women's health and develop a blueprint for improving women's health. The momentum and support generated by these activities have resulted in the establishment of a permanent women's health infrastructure within the department.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the session, participants will be able to discuss the five essential components to establishing a sustainable women’s health infrastructure. By the end of the session, participants will be able to identify and avoid potential pitfalls in the process of integrating women’s health care.

Keywords: Women's Health, Access and Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.