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Issue Brief: Cross-Jurisdictional Public Health Sharing Arrangements in Kansas

By Christi Nance, Jason Orr, M.P.H., Sarah M. Hartsig, M.S., Shawna Chapman, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.A. | December 22, 2015

Issue Brief: Cross-Jurisdictional Public Health Sharing Arrangements in Kansas

Public health funding in Kansas and the nation has decreased in recent years, while the responsibilities of public health agencies have not. As resources become more limited, public health departments must explore alternate ways to effectively and efficiently provide foundational public health services to their communities.

Some counties in Kansas are responding to this challenge by pooling public health resources with other counties, in what have become known as cross-jurisdictional sharing (CJS) arrangements. By sharing services, functions and programs with other jurisdictions, public health departments and policymakers can create economies of scale that allow for a larger impact on the health and well-being of their communities.

The Kansas Health Institute (KHI) recently looked inside the development, progression and future of several public health CJS arrangements in Kansas and documented the findings in four case studies. Now, a new KHI issue brief entitled Cross-Jurisdictional Public Health Sharing Arrangements in Kansas ties these four case studies together by looking at things they have in common.

Common themes include:     

  • As public health funding continues to decrease, CJS can help counties and public health departments deliver foundational public health services in their communities.
  • CJS arrangements can increase public health effectiveness and efficiency by allowing partners to improve current services or acquire new ones, while maximizing the use of resources (such as shared staff).
  • There can be challenges to CJS arrangements, like increased travel expense and difficulty communicating between partners.

The Kansas Health Institute delivers credible information and research enabling policy leaders to make informed health policy decisions that enhance their effectiveness as champions for a healthier Kansas. The Kansas Health Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy and research organization based in Topeka, established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation.