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The Relationship of Policymaking and Networking Characteristics among Leaders of Large Urban Health Departments.

Leider JP, Castrucci BC, Harris JK, Hearne S - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2015)

Bottom Line: Connectedness was highest among local health officials (density = .55), and slightly lower for chief science officers (d = .33) and chiefs of policy (d = .29).After accounting for organizational characteristics, policy homophily (i.e., when two network members match on a single characteristic) and tenure were the most significant predictors of formation of network ties.This study suggests similar policy interests and formation of connections among senior leadership can potentially drive greater connectedness among other staff.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Beaumont Foundation, 7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1310E Bethesda, Maryland, MD 20814, USA. leider@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT

Background: The relationship between policy networks and policy development among local health departments (LHDs) is a growing area of interest to public health practitioners and researchers alike. In this study, we examine policy activity and ties between public health leadership across large urban health departments.

Methods: This study uses data from a national profile of local health departments as well as responses from a survey sent to three staff members (local health official, chief of policy, chief science officer) in each of 16 urban health departments in the United States. Network questions related to frequency of contact with health department personnel in other cities. Using exponential random graph models, network density and centrality were examined, as were patterns of communication among those working on several policy areas using exponential random graph models.

Results: All 16 LHDs were active in communicating about chronic disease as well as about use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs (ATOD). Connectedness was highest among local health officials (density = .55), and slightly lower for chief science officers (d = .33) and chiefs of policy (d = .29). After accounting for organizational characteristics, policy homophily (i.e., when two network members match on a single characteristic) and tenure were the most significant predictors of formation of network ties.

Conclusion: Networking across health departments has the potential for accelerating the adoption of public health policies. This study suggests similar policy interests and formation of connections among senior leadership can potentially drive greater connectedness among other staff.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Policy involvement (a) and passed ordinances (b) among local health departments (LHDs) in the Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC). Note: These figures illustrate the involvement of 17 large urban health departments in the United States in policy activities, as well as how many cities passed ordinances in particular health topics.
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ijerph-12-09169-f001: Policy involvement (a) and passed ordinances (b) among local health departments (LHDs) in the Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC). Note: These figures illustrate the involvement of 17 large urban health departments in the United States in policy activities, as well as how many cities passed ordinances in particular health topics.

Mentions: Respondents in all BCHC cities indicated they had worked on policy initiatives in obesity/chronic disease and tobacco, alcohol or other drugs (ATOD) in the past 2 years (Figure 1). In the chronic disease area, 75% said they were working on: (1) a school physical activity policy; (2) increasing health food options at schools and for the general public; and (3) urban policy design. Within ATOD policymaking, the majority of BCHC members worked on smoke-free indoor and outdoor air policies and reducing the sale of cigarettes to minors, with 6 of 18 members working on raising the cigarette tax.


The Relationship of Policymaking and Networking Characteristics among Leaders of Large Urban Health Departments.

Leider JP, Castrucci BC, Harris JK, Hearne S - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2015)

Policy involvement (a) and passed ordinances (b) among local health departments (LHDs) in the Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC). Note: These figures illustrate the involvement of 17 large urban health departments in the United States in policy activities, as well as how many cities passed ordinances in particular health topics.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4555272&req=5

ijerph-12-09169-f001: Policy involvement (a) and passed ordinances (b) among local health departments (LHDs) in the Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC). Note: These figures illustrate the involvement of 17 large urban health departments in the United States in policy activities, as well as how many cities passed ordinances in particular health topics.
Mentions: Respondents in all BCHC cities indicated they had worked on policy initiatives in obesity/chronic disease and tobacco, alcohol or other drugs (ATOD) in the past 2 years (Figure 1). In the chronic disease area, 75% said they were working on: (1) a school physical activity policy; (2) increasing health food options at schools and for the general public; and (3) urban policy design. Within ATOD policymaking, the majority of BCHC members worked on smoke-free indoor and outdoor air policies and reducing the sale of cigarettes to minors, with 6 of 18 members working on raising the cigarette tax.

Bottom Line: Connectedness was highest among local health officials (density = .55), and slightly lower for chief science officers (d = .33) and chiefs of policy (d = .29).After accounting for organizational characteristics, policy homophily (i.e., when two network members match on a single characteristic) and tenure were the most significant predictors of formation of network ties.This study suggests similar policy interests and formation of connections among senior leadership can potentially drive greater connectedness among other staff.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Beaumont Foundation, 7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1310E Bethesda, Maryland, MD 20814, USA. leider@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT

Background: The relationship between policy networks and policy development among local health departments (LHDs) is a growing area of interest to public health practitioners and researchers alike. In this study, we examine policy activity and ties between public health leadership across large urban health departments.

Methods: This study uses data from a national profile of local health departments as well as responses from a survey sent to three staff members (local health official, chief of policy, chief science officer) in each of 16 urban health departments in the United States. Network questions related to frequency of contact with health department personnel in other cities. Using exponential random graph models, network density and centrality were examined, as were patterns of communication among those working on several policy areas using exponential random graph models.

Results: All 16 LHDs were active in communicating about chronic disease as well as about use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs (ATOD). Connectedness was highest among local health officials (density = .55), and slightly lower for chief science officers (d = .33) and chiefs of policy (d = .29). After accounting for organizational characteristics, policy homophily (i.e., when two network members match on a single characteristic) and tenure were the most significant predictors of formation of network ties.

Conclusion: Networking across health departments has the potential for accelerating the adoption of public health policies. This study suggests similar policy interests and formation of connections among senior leadership can potentially drive greater connectedness among other staff.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus