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

Three counties share services through the The Northeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department

By Sarah M. Hartsig, M.S., Shawna Chapman, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.A., Jennifer Boden, M.A. | August 27, 2015

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

Three rural counties in Northeast Kansas are pooling resources in order to make a larger impact on health. By working together, these counties are able to deliver public health services effectively and efficiently. 

The Northeast Kansas (NEK) Multi-County Health Department is a collaboration between Atchison, Brown and Jackson Counties. It operates as a single agency, but provides public health services in each county. It also operates a home health agency, which is located in the city of Hiawatha and serves all three counties. The arrangement allows the counties to share one administrator and one accountant between all four locations. The counties receive many benefits by offering public health services through this sharing arrangement, such as staffing efficiencies, a revenue stream from the home health agency (which contributes to the financial stability of the entire health department), and moral support among peers from different counties.

The Kansas Health Institute has prepared a case study about the NEK Multi-County Health Department because it provides a good example of how counties can work together to deliver public health services effectively and efficiently.

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.