City governments (i.e. mayors, city council members, and agency directors, such as for housing, planning, public safety, parks and recreation, transit, and economic and workforce development) are essential contributors to the health of the public. For example, they have a daily impact on a number of Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) through policies, coordinated actions across multiple government sectors, their bully pulpit influence on business and community leaders, and budgetary decisions. Further, city government can take actions that reduce chronic diseases and injury and promote health, safety, and health equity. As such, city governments are critical partners with local public health departments (LHDs) to create a competent and connected public health system. However, by and large, city governments have a limited understanding about specific actions that could best improve health and safety outcomes and reduce health inequities, as well as when and how to engage LHDs.
Prevention Institute (PI) has worked consistently with city governments on a number of issues and, in partnership with the National League of Cities (NLC), is pleased to submit this proposal to build the capacity of city governments. Our purpose is to advance a competent and connected public health system by building the readiness and capacity of city governments to embed public health strategies into their operations – particularly actions to prevent chronic disease and injury and violence and attend to SDOH and health equity – and to engage collaboratively with LHDs. We will also build the capacity of LHDs to engage city governments in improving public health outcomes. Ultimately, we will build capacity for city governments and LHDs to respond collaboratively to public health priorities. Our intended outcome is improved capacity to establish and maintain partnerships within and across city governments sectors and LHDs to create a shared vision of health. We anticipate that the Capacity Building Activities (CBA) associated with this outcome will result in strengthened capability for city government and LHDs to respond to public health priorities collaboratively and strategically.
We have selected the overarching strategy of Partnerships – Activities to improve the establishment and maintenance of results-driven partnerships between city governments and LHDs. Our three-pronged strategy is: 1) Strengthen the capacity of LHDs to engage city governments in prevention and health equity efforts; 2) Enhance readiness and capacity among city governments to improve health and safety through prevention and health equity approaches; and 3) Enhance the readiness and capacity for city governments and LHDs to respond to public health priorities collaboratively and strategically. Across each of our strategies, we will employ three types of CBA: 1) training and technical assistance; 2) materials and tools development; and 3) knowledge distribution for widespread uptake.
PI’s mission is to build prevention and equity into key federal, state, local, and organizational policies and actions to ensure that the places where all people live, work, play, and learn foster health and safety. For 20 years, PI has been building capacity across all 10 HHS regions and developing a systematic methodology for advancing prevention and health equity, including a focus on building multisector partnerships to advance health outcomes. This is an opportunity to bring this honed methodology to scale with cities. NLC's membership is 19,000 local governments. Their mission is to strengthen and promote cities as centers of opportunity, leadership, and governance. NLC equips local elected officials with knowledge, tools, and techniques to enhance their ability to govern effectively. As city governments’ interest in health and health topics is growing, this is an important time to engage them as key partners with LHD's in a competent and connected public health system through high quality CBA.