Staff Sharing Arrangements for Local Public Health

Public health challenges, such as disease outbreaks and substance abuse problems, do not recognize jurisdictional boundaries.

Staff Sharing Arrangements for Local Public Health,” a new report from the Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE) in collaboration with the Center for Sharing Public Health Services, examines three cross-jurisdictional sharing (CJS) arrangements in which local public health organizations share staff as a means to expand organizational capacity, better manage expenditures, and/or contain or address existing or emerging issues.

In the three case studies, staff sharing enhanced the health departments’ abilities to:

  • More effectively plan and respond to common infections as well as rare diseases;
  • Qualify for grant funding that may not have been available to an individual jurisdiction on its own;
  • Offer additional services, such as call-in assistance lines, that otherwise would not have been economically feasible; and
  • Provide dependable backup coverage and coordinate scheduling for skilled clinical positions.

“Many of this report’s findings and conclusions on staff sharing arrangements are not just applicable to public health departments, but are generalizable to a range of public organizations,” said Joshua Franzel, President/CEO of SLGE. “The shared staffing approach is one key way for local health departments to continue to provide essential services against the backdrop of constrained public resources.”

“Public health cooperation makes sense in terms of both clinical and environmental health expertise and operating efficiency,” added Gerald Young, Senior Research Associate with SLGE. “These jurisdictions have leveraged their respective resources to provide their local residents a wider array of services than they would have been able to deliver on their own.”

“It is heartening to see the value-add potential of cross-jurisdictional staff sharing arrangements described in this report. The ability to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public health services is very clearly shown,” said Patrick Libbey, Co-Director for the Center for Sharing Public Health Services.

Read the full report HERE.

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