Consolidating Health Departments in Summit County, Ohio: A One Year Retrospective

This report provides an overview of the eight major strategic and operational challenges the newly formed Summit County Public Health Department faced as it worked through its first year of transition after consolidating three local public health districts into a unified public health organization. The challenges involved implementing new overall strategic decisions, adjusting personnel and facilities, converting technological systems, managing changing organizational cultures, and communicating with key stakeholders and staff. The report details how these challenges were addressed, progress to date, and overall outcomes and accomplishments.

Available online (pdf): http://www.odh.ohio.gov/~/media/ODH/ASSETS/Files/lhd/Final%20SCPH%20Report.ashx

It is included in the CJS Resource Library under the categories listed below. Select a link to find other resources in that category.

  • Accreditation / Essential Services: The report mentions that the department has applied for accreditation by PHAB, one of the early departments in the country to do so. It assesses the consolidation’s impact on public health programmatic capacities and expertise and on provision of public health services.
  • Background / History: The article describes the reasons for and steps leading to the consolidation of three public health districts in Ohio to form the Summit County Public Health Department.
  • Change Management: The report addresses the need to adjust employee roles, locations and salaries; integrate and convert technologies; and relocate facilities.
  • Communications: The report details efforts to improve the operational challenge most commonly mentioned to researchers, which is communications and engagement with staff.
  • Consolidation: The report discusses perceptions of goals of the consolidation and the pace of progress.
  • Fiscal and Service Issues: The report summarizes results of a report of cost savings achieved after consolidation and changes in external grant funding during the same period.
  • Governance: The report provides a chart and description of the duties of the new organizational structure put in place after the consolidation and details development of a new strategic plan and work to build credibility and engage key external stakeholders.
  • Monitoring and Improving: The report was prepared at the request of the Summit County Public Health Department to assess its first year post-consolidation.
  • Research and Evaluation: The report provides details of the researchers’ collection of data by reviewing key documents, interviewing managers and stakeholders, surveying members of the boards of health for the consolidating units, and conducting focus groups and a survey of staff members.

 

This resource is also linked to the Roadmap. Select a link below to read more about each area.

  • Context and History / Phase Two: The article describes the reasons for and steps leading to the consolidation of three public health districts in Ohio to form the Summit County Public Health Department.
  • Fiscal and Service Implications / Phase Two: It summarizes results of a report of cost savings achieved after consolidation and changes in external grant funding during the same period.
  • Governance / Phase Two: The report provides a chart and description of the duties of the new organizational structure put in place after the consolidation and details development of a new strategic plan and work to build credibility and engage key external stakeholders.
  • Logistical Issues / Phase Two: The report details how challenges were addressed, progress to date, and overall outcomes and accomplishments.
  • Communications / Phase Two: The report details efforts to improve the operational challenge most commonly mentioned to researchers, which is communications and engagement with staff.
  • Change Management / Phase Two: It addresses the need to adjust employee roles, locations and salaries; integrate and convert technologies; and relocate facilities.
  • Monitoring / Phase Two: This report was prepared at the request of the Summit County Public Health Department to assess its first year post-consolidation.
  • Implementation and Management / Phase Three: The report addresses how challenges were met involving implementing new overall strategic decisions, adjusting personnel and facilities, converting technological systems, managing changing organizational cultures, and communicating with key stakeholders and staff.
  • Communications and Change Management / Phase Three: It addresses the need to adjust employee roles, locations and salaries; integrate and convert technologies; and relocate facilities.
  • Monitoring and Improving / Phase Three: This report was prepared at the request of the Summit County Public Health Department to assess its first year post-consolidation.

 

Hoornbeek, J., Budnik, A., Beechey, T., & Filla, J. (2012). Consolidating Health Departments in Summit County, Ohio: A One Year Retrospective. Kent, OH: Kent State University, College of Public Health, Center for Public Administration and Public Policy.