|Improving Coordination and Cooperation with Other Government Entities and Service Providers
Public health represents a significant element of the health and human services continuum of care that is accessed by Baltimore’s citizens. Ultimately, the Department’s ability to execute its stated mission”To ensure all Baltimoreans access to comprehensive, quality health services and care, as well as to ensure a healthy environment”is inextricably dependent upon the efforts of other public, private, and non-profit entities with complementary missions.
Mutually beneficial partnerships, from both the quality of service and financial efficiency perspectives, represent one of the central themes of the Greater Baltimore Committee and Presidents’ Roundtable Health Department project team’s set of recommendations. There is no shortage of issues where collaboration and partnerships are abundantly necessary. These issues include drug abuse, violence, gun violence, lead paint, school readiness, and homelessness. A number of the recommendations identify opportunities where improved coordination and cooperation between the Department, other public sector entities, and local hospitals and other service providers could yield tangible improvements. To begin to realize these improvement opportunities, steps must be taken by the Department to actively engage service providers in meaningful dialogues about these issues. These steps include convening a Human Services Cabinet to develop strategies to manage these issues and to provide entities an opportunity to better integrate programmatic initiatives; to identify duplicative efforts and gaps in the level of services provided; and to fully leverage available resources to maximize service impacts. Additionally, the Department should pursue strategic partnerships that would align the Department’s clinics and administrative offices with local hospitals to upgrade the overall quality of care by providing services in more modern facilities, spurring more extensive collaborative efforts, facilitating resource and data sharing, and potentially diminishing the stigma of Department-operated clinics.
Introduction: Health Department