Sharing Public Health Resources in Wisconsin

Jan 25, 2013, 10:43 AM

A new report from the Institute for Wisconsin’s Health finds that almost three-quarters of the state’s local and tribal health departments currently share at least some services and that the concept is paying off in improved efficiency and effectiveness. The report is based on the results of a “Quick Strike” project funded by the Public Health Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRN), a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The IWH researchers found that 71 percent of the state’s local health departments have some type of “shared services” arrangement with neighboring public health agencies, such as staffing, funding, equipment or other resources to jointly deliver a program, service, or support function.

According to the researchers, reasons for sharing public health services include better use of resources, cost savings, the opportunity to provide better services and responding to program requirements.

Bonus Link: Read a NewPublicHealth interview with Patrick Libbey, co-director of the Center for Sharing Public Health Resources, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that helps public health departments and policy makers understand the value of sharing resources.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.