Interjurisdictional Collaboration: Local Public Health Officials Versus County Commissioners

This article reports on a survey of Montana local health officers and county commissioners to determine their viewpoints on interjurisdictional collaboration in public health service delivery. The results indicate that public health officials and county commissioners seem to have similar viewpoints on reasons to collaborate and policy considerations, but different viewpoints on barriers to collaboration.

Available online: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21135650

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  • Fiscal and Service Issues: Long-standing commitment to home rule, current political climate, perceived threats to local elected officials, loss of local input into public health services and priorities, and lack of collaborative government and staffing models were all identified by public health officials as barriers to interjurisdictional collaboration.
  • Governance: Public health officials and county commissioners seem to have similar viewpoints on reasons to collaborate and policy considerations, but different viewpoints on barriers to collaboration.
  • Research and Evaluation: Analysis was based on survey responses from 29 lead local public health officials representing 34 counties, and 54 county commissioners representing 33 counties.
  • Rural / Small Jurisdictions: The survey questionnaire was administered in a rural or frontier state (Montana) that operates a generally decentralized public health system.

 
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  • Fiscal and Service Implications / Phase Two: Long-standing commitment to home rule, current political climate, perceived threats to local elected officials, loss of local input into public health services and priorities, and lack of collaborative government and staffing models were all identified by public health officials as greater barriers to interjurisdictional collaboration.
  • Governance / Phase Two: Public health officials and county commissioners seem to have similar viewpoints on reasons to collaborate and policy considerations, but different viewpoints on barriers to collaboration.
  • Implementation and Management / Phase Three: Reconciling the differences that public health officials and county commissioners have about barriers to collaboration is critical to effecting system change.

 

Felton, J., & Golbeck, A. (2011). Interjurisdictional Collaboration: Local Public Health Officials Versus County Commissioners. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 17(1), E14-E21.