Case Study: Public Health Shared Services: Northeast Kansas (NEK) Multi-County Health Department

This case study features three counties in Northeast Kansas that are engaged in cross-jurisdictional sharing (CJS) to deliver essential public health services. CJS is the deliberate exercise of public authority to enable collaboration across jurisdictional (such as county) boundaries. CJS can increase effectiveness and efficiency by allowing public health officials and policymakers to pool resources with other jurisdictions in order to make a larger impact. This case study is based on interviews of local health department personnel in April 2015.

Available online:

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

  • Background / History: In the late 1960s, the three counties participated in regional health council meetings.
  • Governance: A board of directors provides governance for the NEK Multi-County Health Department.
  • Tribal Issues: The NEK Multi-County Health Department covers an area that is home to all four sovereign nation Tribes in Kansas.

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

  • Why? / Phase One: There were two main goals for the combined health department. First, the health council wanted to provide the public health services the community needed. Second, they wanted to pool populations and resources in order to compete with larger counties for grants.
  • Governance / Phase Two: A board of directors provides governance for the NEK Multi-County Health Department.
  • Implementation and Management / Phase Three: A federal grant provided funds to plan and develop a multi-county health department through an interlocal agreement in accordance with Kansas statute (K.S.A. 12-2901). As part of the planning process, a consultant from New York was brought in to help setup the department’s structure.
  • Monitoring and Improving / Phase Three: Over the years, the NEK Multi-County Health Department has responded to a variety of changes.