Addressing the infrastructure needs of local health departments

Since 2001, the threats of bioterrorism, SARS, pandemic influenza and other public health emergencies have resulted in profound systemic and cultural changes within local public health departments (LHDs). The increased levels of federal funding allocated to LHDs as a result of these new threats has required greater accountability to justify the investments. As the primary membership organization for LHDs, the role of the National Association of County and City Health Official (NACCHO) has also changed significantly over the past few years. NACCHO has developed an operational definition of what every person should expect from his/her LHD regardless of where they live. NACCHO also promoted accountability of LHDs through the development of a voluntary national accreditation system. NACCHO requires a strong core capacity not only to advocate for the needs of LHDs, but also to provide education, information, research, and technical assistance to improve public health. The purpose of this collaborative project is to strengthen NACCHO's strategic and organizational effectiveness. The key deliverable for this project will be a plan that will include the following components: (1) identification of NACCHO's core capacity needs to appropriately support the work of LHDs, including core communications capacity needs; (2) an analysis of how other organizations with similar missions and funding profiles address building core capacity; (3) an examination of staffing levels needed by NACCHO; and (4) an assessment of how NACCHO's financial and operational policies and procedures align with core capacity needs. As NACCHO is a key partner for the Foundation's Public Health team, this project will provide the team with a coordinated, integrated analysis and set of recommendations on the resources needed by NACCHO to improve the impact of public health agencies. This strategic and organizational planning process will also contribute to long-term sustainability of the projects funded by RWJF to improve the functioning of LHDs.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $193,600.00

Awarded on: 1/5/2007

Time frame: 3/1/2007 - 10/15/2008

Grant Number: 59204


National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)

1100 17th Street, N.W., 7th Floor
Washington, 20036-4636


Robert M. Pestronk
Project Director


Carol K. Brown
Project Director