142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Implementation of Priority Actions for School Health: A State Level Profile of the Role of Local Health Departments

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Kristina Knight, MPH , Master of Public Health Program, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Laura Rooney, MPH , Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Department of Health, Columbus, OH
Scott Frank, MD, MS , Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Background – With nearly 20% percent of the population having an affiliation with schools, school health efforts represent an important opportunity for health gains across the population.  The CDC has identified 8 priority actions that states can implement in order to provide systematic support for school health.  Little has been done to assess variation in LHD efforts to support school health within their jurisdiction.  Methods - A Web-based survey was implemented among Ohio LHD over 4 weeks during spring of 2013 utilizing Ohio’s Public Health Practice Based Research Network.  One response per health department from the health or nursing director was requested (response rate 72%, n=90 of 125).  School health engagement was measured based on reported involvement in each priority action.  Results – LHD reported highest involvement in monitoring health behaviors (77.8%) and development of effective partnerships with schools (88.9%).  Less, but substantial involvement was reported in evaluation of programs and policies (61.8%), establishment of health related administrative support systems (57.8%), and provision of training and technical assistance (48.9%). Engagement in priority actions was significantly associated with external funding, provision of nursing services, and presence of a school health coordinator.  Engagement was not associated with health department structure (city, county, combined), geographic region, or size of jurisdiction.  Conclusions – School health policy agendas that do not account for sufficient human and financial resources will be challenging to implement leading to lost opportunity for health improvement.  LHD may benefit from partnering with schools to advocate for resources.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe a collaborative process for a state-wide assessment of local health department engagement in school health. Compare engagement among local health departments based on type, population, and resource allocation. Provide recommendations for action and policies to support school health based on engagement with local health departments.

Keyword(s): Needs Assessment, Practice-Based Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: For the past 7 years I have served as the Director of Community Initiatives and Assistant Program Director of the Master of Public Health Program at Case Western Reserve University. I am a doctoral candidate in Health Education and Promotion at Kent State University with an anticipated graduation of May 2014. I have more than 12 years of experience in assessment, program planning, and evaluation.
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.