A Guide for Developing Public Health Institutions

This product was provided to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation by the grantee organization, National Network of Public Health Institutes.

This past year has been a time of major transition for public health. An important, underlying theme of this transition is the realization that, if the overall health status of the population is to improve, public health systems and structures must develop cross-sector approaches to health improvement. Public health institutes (PHIs) are nonprofit, multisector entities that rely upon partnerships and collaborations among federal, state, and local public health agencies, universities, foundations, and other key organizations, including business, to foster innovations that improve public health. Over the past five years, the number of PHIs has grown dramatically, due in major part to the influence of Turning Point. Emerging PHIs are seeking advice and consultations from established PHIs to adopt best practices and avoid costly mistakes and duplication of efforts. However, there is currently no formal process to provide emerging PHIs with mentoring and guidance to assist in their development. The purpose of this project is to: (1) assess the needs of emerging PHIs; (2) provide technical assistance based on those needs; and (3) link emerging PHIs with mentors. This project will be considered successful if it results in increased multisector efforts, enhanced capacity of emerging PHIs to identify and obtain resources to undertake health improvement initiatives, and increased ability of emerging PHIs to support and complement their state and local health departments.