244490 Creating healthy communities by strengthening the public safety net

Monday, October 31, 2011

Arlesia L. Mathis, PhD, CPH, CPM , Department of Public Health & Health Sciences, University of Michigan-Flint, Flint, MI
Priscilla A. Barnes, PhD, MPH, CHES , Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Fatema Mamou, MPH , Department of Public Health & Health Sciences, University of Michigan-Flint, Flint, MI
Local health departments (LHDs) are responsible for maintaining and creating conditions that keep the public healthy. A functional local health department addresses health disparities and provides services, which includes personal health care services, to local communities. Additionally, community health centers (CHCs) were developed to focus on the reduction or elimination of health disparities in minority groups, the poor and the uninsured. They are a key component of the public safety net which focuses on health care for the individual as well as the health status of the aforementioned target groups. This study examined health outcomes and health disparities in areas with high versus low LHD/CHC concentrations in the Great Lakes region.

We used community health center information collected from HRSA, 2008 NACCHO survey data and American Community survey data from the US Census. First, we created a GIS map of the local health department jurisdictions and placed the community health centers on the map to show location and concentrations within LHD jurisdictions. Next, we created demographic profiles for each LHD service area which included race, unemployment rate, poverty level, infant mortality rate, and total mortality rate. Using logistic regression, we analyzed health disparities in jurisdictions with low versus high LHD/CHC concentrations.

Given the passage of the health care reform bill, it has been predicted that more individuals and families will obtain services from public health system providers. Therefore it is important to study the relationships between these safety net providers and their influence on the health of the communities that they serve.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. To examine the relationships between the local health departments and community health centers. 2. To examine the effect of local health department and community health centers on health disparities within their jurisdictions.

Keywords: Access and Services, Public Health Infrastructure

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract author because I conducted this research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.