Strategic investments through OE22-2203 funding will help meet short-term critical infrastructure needs and have lasting effects on the Kansas public health system. Through this funding, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) will strengthen public health infrastructure and systems related to hiring, retaining, sustaining and training the workforce, enhancing foundational capabilities, and deploying a robust data infrastructure.
A1 Workforce: As recommended in the Notice of Funding Opportunity, KDHE will dedicate significant funding within Strategy 1 to hiring, retaining, sustaining and training staff. The agency will fill vacancies, create new positions, and retain staff through increasing educational opportunities and equitable pay as well as supporting staff with increased focus on behavioral health care, and training staff through provision of robust learning opportunities in response to workforce assessment needs. These activities will achieve the short-term outcome of increased hiring of diverse staff as well as improving organizational processes and systems.
A2 Foundational Capabilities: Strategy 2 activities will support improved overall systems, processes and policies to ensure a strong core infrastructure needed to protect health and provide fair opportunities for all. Key activities are not limited to: strengthening accountability through accreditation support, strengthening information technology organizational competencies through local health department electronic health record system implementation, and strengthening community partnerships and improving equity in leadership through local policymaker training to help achieve improved organizational systems and processes and lead to stronger foundational capabilities in the public health system. Alongside investments and actions in Strategy 1, Kansas will achieve an increased size and capabilities of the public health workforce.
A3 Data Modernization:¿ The proposed Data Modernization Initiative (DMI) will create modern, interoperable and real-time public health data and surveillance systems for Kansas that will better protect the health of the American public. KDHE’s goal for Strategy A3 is to enhance the data and information infrastructure used by Kansas public health to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of services provided to all Kansans.¿¿
KDHE activities will include identifying and hiring a data modernization director and supporting implementation staff; review and update the recent data modernization assessment completed; create implementation plans for modernizing the Kansas public health data environment and addressing DMI workforce needs; and implement the plans that will create data infrastructure enhancements and improvements. Additionally, KDHE will accelerate implementation by proposing an innovative modernization approach that enhance data quality, exchange, dissemination and use.¿
The results will be a modernized and efficient data environment providing increased data interoperability and greater access to, and use of, public health data. The system developed and deployed will use scalable, flexible, and sustainable technologies, policies and methods to implement the most up-to-date data and analytical capabilities so that Kansas public health can provide the Essential Public Health Services. Real-time data will inform workforce efforts, increase effective decision-making and improve the overall effectiveness of Kansas public health. The agency will leverage current supplemental funding for data modernization to expand workforce, lab system and data-related progress made thus far to enhance data interoperability and efficiency.¿
Through accomplishing both short and intermediate term outcomes, the public health system in Kansas will have accelerated prevention, preparedness and response to emerging threats and more positive health outcomes for all Kansans.