3324.0 Invited Session - Consolidating Local Public Health Departments to Expand Capacity & Improve Public Health Outcomes: Evidence from Ohio

Monday, October 29, 2012: 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
This panel discussion will outline the consolidation process that was undertaken by health departments in Summit County, Ohio. In so doing, it will shed light on ways that: 1)the feasibility of local health department consolidations can be assessed; 2)consolidation processes can be managed; 3)impacts associated with consolidation processes can be evaluated. The panel will begin with the methodology that was used in the feasibility study and later replicated in a neighboring county. The practical implications for the process are that health districts are faced with economic constraints, added pressures to meet accreditation standards and obligations to meet the public health needs of the community. To our knowledge, there is limited research suggesting a methodology for assessing the feasibility of consolidating local publc health departments. The second component will provide a road map of how to move the process from feasibility to consolidation. The purpose will be to provide lessons learned from an organizational and health commissioner's point of view and pragmatic approaches to managing the process. In addition, the presenter will suggest ways that the health district was successful in creating a new strategic plan and organizational structure to redesign how public health is delivered in the county and prepare for the accreditation application process. The final component of the panel relates to evaluating outcomes of the Summit County consolidation. This component will focus on the methodology for evaluation and the outcomes flowing from this effort. To our knowledge, there is limited research about evaluating the consolidation of health districts and ascertaining their impacts.
Session Objectives: Describe a feasibility assessment process that provides a framework for discussing health department consolidations in communities Define the organizational steps and the details that are necessary to consolidate local public health departments into a single district Describe the impact of the Summit County health department consolidation Describe an evaluation methodology for local health department consolidation that may be applied to other areas of the United States
Ken Slenkovich, MA, Assistant Dean, Kent State University College of Public Health

An applied and systematic approach to assessing feasibility of consolidation of local health departments into a single health district
Aimee Budnik, MS, RD, LD and Doctoral student in Prevention Science and Gene Nixon, MPA, RS, Health Commissioner
Evaluating Impacts of Local Health Department Consolidation: The Case of Summit County Ohio
John Hoornbeek, MPA, PhD, Associate Professor of Health Policy & Management, Tegan Beechey, MPA, Doctoral Student in Public Health Policy & Management and Aimee Budnik, MS, RD, LD and Doctoral Student in Prevention Science

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Community Health Planning and Policy Development
Endorsed by: Health Administration

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH) , Masters Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES)