Considering Consolidation to Build Stronger Local Health Departments

Resource Summary

This master’s degree paper submitted to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provides an overview of the issues surrounding consolidation of local health departments. The author discusses potential benefits (including cost savings, increased capacity to provide essential services, and increased preparedness), the concerns associated with consolidation (including loss of control, low priority of the needs for smaller partners, and the difficulty of change). The author concludes that consolidation may work for smaller health departments that are geographically close and have similar populations being served. Further the author notes the importance of strong leadership from elected officials, boards of health, and staff members, and the support of the community needed for efforts to be successful.