The Kansas City Cross-Jurisdictional Partnership is an evolving group of public health directors, technical experts, private sector health insurance plans and businesses. The group began meeting in 2003 as a demonstration project of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). NACCHO selected the Kansas City site due to the number and complexity of jurisdictions in the metropolitan area along with the strength of previous collaborative initiatives. The group's primary purpose is to improve preparedness collaboration between local public health agencies, private health insurance plans and employers in a large, multi jurisdictional community that crosses state boundaries. The majority of public health preparedness planning has focused on public health, healthcare, and other traditional first response professionals. However, many new gaps and opportunities are being identified and addressed. Participants recognize the potential impact of a public health emergency on business continuity and have begun to identify resources that may prove invaluable to the community during a crisis. The diverse perspectives offered by participants have expanded and clarified many preparedness challenges facing the community. Health insurance plans are joining forces with public health to provide surge capacity in areas such as contact tracing, home health monitoring for isolation and quarantine and managing and staffing phone banks with medical personnel to answer citizen inquiries. Area businesses are able and willing to offer transportation equipment and staff, communications staff and technology, and serve as mass prophylaxis distribution sites for employees, employee families and the general population, and other specific expertise in basic product lines. This project has led to the identification of several concepts that will be instrumental in the future successful collaboration between project partners. This ongoing process will continue to lead to the identification of further opportunities.
PH Issue: There are significant staff and physical resource shortfalls in responding to large scale public health emergencies. Relevancy: KCHD conducted a needs assessment to determine the # staff required to carry out a full scale public health response to a bioterrorism incident or other communicable disease outbreak. The practice addresses the issue by offering solutions for augmenting public health resources and staff.
The partnership began with a small group of health insurance plans offering to lend medical and non-medical personnel to staff phones and assist with epidemiology surveillance. Since its inception, other companies like American Century, Black & Veatch, Cerner Corp., Hallmark Cards, Sprint, and Yellow Freight have joined the Partnership. Both health insurance plans and area corporations have incorporated public health annexes into their disaster recovery plans and have offered additional resources to assist public health in recovery efforts.
Agency Community RolesLHD role: KCHD has taken the lead in bringing a core group of LHDs, private businesses and health insurance plans together to define initiatives and establish planning guidelines.
Stakeholder Role: CDC regularly attends the Partnership meetings as do the state health departments for both Missouri and Kansas. Meetings are facilitated and supported by representatives from St. Louis University. Representatives from the Mid America Regional Council also participate in order to integrate these public/private sector initiatives with multi-discipline metro-area homeland security initiatives.
Furthering the goals: KCHD meets with member LHDs, health insurance plans and private corporations between Partnership meetings to implement projects and initiatives identifed. Additionally, planning templates and Partnership initiatives have now been introduced to the Partners in Emergency Planning Board, a metro-area private contingency planners group who have asked KCHD to present the concepts to the general membership in July.
Costs and ExpendituresCosts:
One full-time emergency response planner ($65,000/year).
Contract costs for St. Louis University support.
Some expenses covered through a Seed Contract from NACCHO.
17 existing BT grants/dual responsibility for LPHA staff.
ln-Kind contributions from private sector members.
Establishing a call center that will be staffed by 500-1000 medical & non-medical personnel @ Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City. [Fall, 2005]
Develop MOUs with and train staff from at least six of the Partnership's private members to dispense medications to employees and family members during an event requiring SNS materials. [Winter, 2005]
Assist health insurance plans and private corporations in integrating a public health annex into disaster recovery plans [ongoing]
Continue to identify initiatives that mutually benefit public health, the metro-area citizens, health insurance plans, and private businesses. [ongoing]
Continue to partner with St. Louis University in facilitating the Cross-Jurisdictional partnership, evaluating its progress and effectiveness, and publishing information that will benefit metropolitan areas across the nation.
Outcomes can only be attributed to the practice because no relationship existed between public health and these private entities before the partnership's existence. Public Health investment is minimal compared to the gaps private sector members are willing to fill. While public health developed its own needs assessment, private sector members have offered unsolicited resources in response to public health issues raised during formal and informal meetings (e.g. How to get SNS materials from point A to point B? Yellow Freight offered vehicles and drivers. e.g. How to distribute SNS materials to the public?: Once businesses distribute to their own employees and employee household members, THEY suggest opening the dispensing sites to the public). The practice is achieving the goals initially identifed and continues to address PH issues and concerns that are coincidentally identifed during meetings.
Stakeholder commitment is very strong. 95% of the stakeholders are represented at every meeting. Support is ensured through project implementation.