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Local Health Departments in a Managed Care Environment

Local Health Departments' Activities

In the Context of a Community-based Process


Janet Jackson Charles, M.S.W., Deputy Director, Southwest Washington Health District, Vancouver, WA.

Dale W. Galassie, M.A., M.S., Executive Director, Lake County Health Department, Waukegan, IL.

Building upon the previous discussion, in this session representatives from two local health departments (LHDs) described their own experiences in examining new roles and responsibilities in the context of community assessment efforts.

Janet Jackson Charles described a very broad-based community assessment process that was undertaken with the support of many of the key players in the community. Among other things, this process led to the LHD shifting its focus from the delivery of personal health care services and toward more population-based activities and to the establishment of an exciting followup assessment and planning effort called Community Choices 2010 that involved the Chamber of Commerce and includes the active involvement of the LHD.

Dale Galassie then spoke of the LHDs community and self-assessment activities, including the county's use of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) workbook for local health officials, and the resultant decisions to form the Lake County Community Health Partnership and to pursue a role in the delivery of care to the county's poor under the State's Medicaid managed care initiative.


Clark County, Washington: Community Choices 2010 (CC 2010) Strategic Plan, Executive Summary, Winter 1993-94.

Southwest Washington Health District Operational Chart and Public Health Core Functions, 1997.

Milne T. Toward a Population Focus: The Transition of a Local Health Department. Journal of Public Health Management Practice 1997;3(1):42-50.

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