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Article
A State-Level Analysis of Maternal and Child Health Partnerships among Indiana Local Health Departments
Frontiers in Public Health Services and Systems Research
  • Priscilla A Barnes, Indiana University-Bloomington
  • Laura T Haderxhanaj, Indiana University Bloomington
  • Gulzar H. Shah, Georgia Southern University
Abstract

Background: As one of many organizations within a system of networks, numerous U.S. local health departments (LHDs) use partnerships as a structural intervention to address physical, mental, social concerns of women and infants.

Purpose: This state level study examines current levels of maternal and child partnerships among Indiana LHDs and sectors in the public health system. Geography and organizational readiness (infant mortality listed as a goal in the strategic plan) were used as proxy measures to examine how likely LHDs work with these sectors.

Methods: An eighteen-item online survey was administered to 93 LHDs collected between March and June 2014. Descriptive and Pearson Chi-Square analyses were conducted using SPSS 23.0.

Results: LHDs reported having more formal (coordinating, cooperating, collaborating) partnerships with hospitals, the state health department, and physician practices/medical groups. LHDs less frequently reported partnerships with transportation, midwives, and parks and recreation. Furthermore, LHDs in non-metropolitan LHDs were more likely to have both informal and formal partnerships with non-public health sectors than LHDs in metropolitan jurisdictions. LHDs that did not have infant mortality as a goal in their strategic plan were more likely to have informal partnerships with health care, health insurance, and quasi-governmental organizations.

Implications: This study presents opportunities to further explore the influence of contextual and functional characteristics in existing LHD partnerships that focus on women and infants.

Citation Information
Barnes PA, Haderxhanaj LT, Shah GH. A State-Level Analysis of Maternal and Child Health Partnerships Among Indiana Local Health Departments. Front Public Health Serv Sys Res 2016;5(1):13-20. DOI: 10.13023/FPHSSR.0501.03.