Regionalization in Local Public Health Systems

Regionalization of public health preparedness and response refers to the development of public health systems that span the different regions of a metropolitan area.

In this article, four collaborative case studies that focused on the Washington metropolitan area, or National Capital Region (NCR), were described. The goals of the case studies were to investigate the configuration and impact of regional public health structures on preparedness and response. The data collected encompassed the work experience of the first author, observations, document review, and interviews with 19 health officials and other individuals in the NCR. 

Key Findings:

  • Although the Washington metropolitan region is referred to as the NCR, there was no official regional public health structure in the area.
  • Most public health preparedness and response efforts among local and state health departments and public health partners, such as nongovernmental organizations, in the NCR were informal in nature and sustained voluntarily.
  • The major challenge identified to regionalization of public health preparedness and response was determining how to integrate the federal government and its agencies in such efforts.

A lack of a formal structure and ongoing questions as to the role of the federal government characterized public health regionalization efforts in the Washington metropolitan area.


April Issue of Health Affairs Focuses on Patient Safety and Health Care Quality

  1. 1. The Ongoing Quality Improvement Journey
  2. 2. A Road Map for Improving the Performance of Performance Measures
  3. 3. Global Trigger Tool' Shows that Adverse Events in Hospitals May be Ten Times Greater Than Previously Measured
  4. 4. Preventing Bloodstream Infections
  5. 5. Measuring the Performance of Individual Physicians by Collecting Data from Multiple Health Plans
  6. 6. Measuring Health Care Performance Now, Not Tomorrow
  7. 7. Despite Improved Quality of Care in the Veterans Affairs Health System, Racial Disparity Persists for Important Clinical Outcomes
  8. 8. The Importance of Transitional Care in Achieving Health Reform
  9. 9. An Early Status Report on the Beacon Communities' Plans for Transformation Via Health Information Technology
  10. 10. A Comparative Study of 11 Local Health Department Organizational Networks
  11. 11. Public Health Performance
  12. 12. A Self-Assessment Process for Accreditation Preparedness
  13. 13. Public Health Delivery Systems
  14. 14. Regionalization in Local Public Health Systems
  15. 15. A Shot in the Rear, Not a Shot in the Dark
  16. 16. What Predicts Local Public Health Agency Performance Improvement?
  17. 17. Growth of a Scientific Community of Practice
  18. 18. Evolution of Coauthorship in Public Health Services and Systems Research
  19. 19. Resources that May Matter
  20. 20. Evidence Links Increases in Public Health Spending to Declines in Preventable Deaths
  21. 21. Public Health Financial Management Competencies
  22. 22. Decision Science
  23. 23. Public Health Financial Management Needs
  24. 24. Data-Driven Management Strategies in Public Health Collaboratives
  25. 25. Using Geographic Information Systems to Match Local Health Needs with Public Health Services and Programs
  26. 26. Public Health Systems and Services Research
  27. 27. Mapping the Multidisciplinary Field of Public Health Services and Systems Research