Sharing Public Health Functions and Capabilities: Models of Full and Partial Integration
Fully integrating two or more health departments’ capacities and functions is a fairly daunting task, made more so as the number of health departments increases. Horizon Community Health Board (Minnesota) is in the process of pursuing full integration of three existing health departments. Leadership has made a commitment to staff that they all will be offered a position in the newly established organization; all existing facilities will continue to be used; and a new governance and financing structure is being developed. Some challenges include establishing new fee structures, cost allocations across the participating counties, employee benefits and staffing patterns.
Genesee and Orleans Counties (New York) are in the process of integrating many capacities and functions while maintaining distinct health departments with their own governance structure. Initial steps have resulted in shared leadership, senior management, and some contractors. Now that labor issues have been successfully resolved, a next step will be to phase in shared field staff. Some challenges include understanding how to provide shared leadership in a manner that satisfies all stakeholders, aligning current policies and practices, and institutionalizing collaboration between the governance structures. Cost savings achieved through this arrangement are being tracked and preliminary results are quite impressive.
Learning Areas:Administration, management, leadership
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Describe three challenges to successfully transition health departments into a new, single entity. Describe a partially integrated model of sharing public health capacities and functions. Describe three challenges to successfully develop a partially integrated model of CJS
Keyword(s): Leadership, Local Public Health Agencies
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Sandy Tubbs, RN, PHN, has been Director of Douglas County Public Health since 2001 and also serves as Director of Stevens Traverse Grant Public Health. She has over 25 years’ experience working in local public health as well as nearly 20 years’ experience in public health administration. Ms. Tubbs is an active member of the Local Public Health Association of MN, having served in several leadership positions including its Chairperson in 1997.
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.