Press Release: New National Program Measures Public Health Efficiency through Collaboration

3 Min Read

Mar 21, 2016


Kansas Health Institute


Topeka, Kan. – The Center for Sharing Public Health Services—a multi-year, multi-million dollar national initiative housed at the Kansas Health Institute (KHI) and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—will begin work this month on a new initiative called the CJS Implementation and Impact Measurement Program.

The goal of the initiative—which will examine four groups of health departments around the country—is to measure changes in effectiveness and efficiency that result when two or more jurisdictions, such as counties or cities, collaborate to deliver public health services.

This collaborative approach is called cross-jurisdictional sharing (CJS), and it is one strategy local governments can consider for delivering public health services when faced with decreased funding. By pooling resources, public health departments may be able to enhance services and provide programs that otherwise would not be economically feasible.

As part of the measurement initiative, the Center will work with four groups of health departments which are implementing new CJS arrangements. The Center will help them measure gains in effectiveness and efficiency in their programs. This will reveal changes that result from using a CJS strategy.

The four groups of health departments, which were selected through a competitive
process, are:

Northern Michigan Public Health Alliance: Six public health departments will work together to conduct a community health assessment and improvement initiative that covers 16 counties and approximately 400,000 people.

Horizon Public Health (Minnesota): Three previously independent health departments merged into one health department that serves approximately 67,000 people in five counties and will assess the gain in efficiency of their administrative processes after the merger.

Public Health Regional Networks (North Dakota): Public health departments will work together to develop uniform septic system ordinances and to share inspection and enforcement activities.

Washington and Ozaukee County Health Departments (Wisconsin): Two county health departments that serve 220,000 residents have merged into one health department and will assess the gain in efficiency of sharing one information system.

“We are excited to begin working on this new measurement initiative,” explained Gianfranco Pezzino, M.D., M.P.H., senior fellow and strategy team leader at KHI and co-director of the Center. “By studying these four groups of health departments and helping them develop measurement plans, we will demonstrate how CJS can help local governments more effectively deliver public health services.”

The Kansas Health Institute (KHI) 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 that was established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation.

Since 2012, the Center for Sharing Public Health Services has served as a national resource on cross-jurisdictional sharing (CJS), building the evidence and producing and disseminating tools, methods and models to assist public health agencies and policymakers as they consider and adopt CJS approaches.

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working with others to build a national Culture of Health enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

About Kansas Health Institute

The Kansas Health Institute supports effective policymaking through nonpartisan research, education and engagement. KHI believes evidence-based information, objective analysis and civil dialogue enable policy leaders to be champions for a healthier Kansas. Established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, KHI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization based in Topeka.

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