According to NACCHO’s 2008 Profile of Local Health Departments (LHDs) Study, 64 percent of the nation’s LHDs serve populations of less than 50,000 persons. Many small health departments across the country do not have the capacity to meet national accreditation standards on their own. Regional arrangements offer a strategy to help smaller health departments meet these standards by working with other health departments, thereby ensuring their jurisdictions are receiving all essential public health services that they have the right to expect.
With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NACCHO supported efforts in Kansas and Massachusetts to develop and consider new regional LHD arrangements as a means of meeting the standards and measures in the Operational Definition of a Functional LHD, which is serving as the framework for the Public Health Accreditation Board’s (PHAB) voluntary national accreditation standards. Regional models were explored in order for the LHDs in each state to more efficiently and effectively provide public health services, as well as to better position themselves to achieve accreditation status in the future.
Overviews of the Kansas and Massachusetts initiatives, as well as case studies that provide participant insights are available on the Kansas and Massachusetts pages. An evaluation details the work that was accomplished and provides lessons learned in each state as a result of their experiences.
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