ACHI: Tackling Obesity through Informing Policy I HPIO Informs Policymakers through Nonpartisan Analysis, Education I LPHI: Building Coalitions to Clear the Air I KHI: Promoting Children's Health in All Policies I NCIPH: Building Bridges between Hospitals and Public Health I PHMC: 40 Years as a Leadership and Workforce Development Model I More than a Middleman: PHS Administers Millions to Combat HIV/AIDS
Governmental public health frequently relies on public health institutes (PHIs) to provide non-biased tracking and analysis of major health trends. The Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI) was tasked by the state’s General Assembly in 2003 with measuring and evaluating body mass indexes (BMIs) of all public school children. By the 2008-2009 school year, ACHI was assessing 98.7% (1,072 of 1,086) of Arkansas' public schools, reporting results and attendant health concerns for students in grades K-12. ACHI’s analysis of the data—eight years’ worth to date—has been instrumental in informing further policy decisions as well as monitoring the childhood obesity trends in the state.
As independent nonprofits, public health institutes are well-situated to provide non-biased analysis and engage multiple stakeholders in discussion and action. The Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) provides state policymakers with the nonpartisan information and analysis they need to create informed health policy. In July 2012, HPIO released a new publication, “The Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act: A review of the decision and its impact on Ohio.” Part One seeks to explains the Court’s decision and Part Two discusses the impact of the Court’s decision on Ohio. The report represents a core way in which HPIO informs sound health policy development through analyzing and educating stakeholders.
Public health institutes (PHIs) are uniquely situated to engage a broad range of stakeholders—from grassroots non-profits to government agencies—in discussion and action to make communities healthier. The health expertise of their staffs—complemented by their capacity to devote extensive resources into cultivating relationships among diverse groups—makes PHIs ideal convening agencies. Since 2002, the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) has implemented and evaluated the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) and worked with the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Louisiana in a statewide partnership to prevent and reduce tobacco use and exposure. These cross-sector partners, working in concert with community groups and other concerned interests, helped bring about the passage of the 2007 Louisiana Smoke-Free Air Act.
In November 2009, the Kansas Health Institute (KHI) launched Children’s Health in All Policies (CHAP), a new initiative designed to address policies that impact children’s health in the context of policymaking at all levels. The core of the CHAP initiative was to engage stakeholders from the Kansas legislature, government agencies, and non-government organizations to examine how the determinants of health can be improved by focusing on issues and opportunities that policymakers often do not associate with health. KHI launched the CHAP initiative to identify effective cross-sectorial policy solutions to the leading health problems of Kansas children.
In 2010, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation published a report, “Helping Public Health Institutes Become a Key Player in the ‘New’ Public Health,” which idenitified public health institutes as “filling the gap between what communities need to be healthy—places to live, learn, work, and play—and the services that are provided by the governmental public health system.” This case study highlights the unique role of the North Carolina Institute for Public Health (NCIPH) as a neutral convener between hospitals and health departments2 to advance focused health improvement initiatives of mutual interest. Additionally, it demonstrates the capacity of public health institutes to help communities move from assessment to action through effective partnerships and implementation of proven strategies.
For the past 40 years, Philadelphia-based Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) has served as a model of leadership and workforce development, promoting internal and external partnerships that build the next generation of leaders. Internally, PHMC fulfills its commitment to growing the public health workforce and its talent development priorities through the Community Scholars Program, an innovative partnership model with Drexel University School of Public Health. Externally, PHMC affiliate National Nursing Centers Consortium (NNCC) supports nurse-led care and nurses at the front lines of care by helping member health clinics meet the demands of providing care to the uninsured and underinsured.
As a fiscal intermediary of both the federal and New York City government, Public Health Solutions (PHS) implements and assesses effective HIV/AIDS prevention and care methods in New York City and beyond through administering millions in HIV/AIDS care and prevention funds. PHS’ HIV Care Services (HIVCS) project has furnished services for individuals living with HIV/AIDS under the federal Ryan White Treatment Modernization Act since 1991, currently managing over $100 million in funds for over 150 organizations providing care and support services. HIVCS’ 200+ Ryan White-funded contracts provide primary and specialty medical care, case management, nutrition and wellness promotion, and supportive counseling, among other vital services.