Key Concepts & Definitions
Communities across the nation continually face new challenges and opportunities. To serve people more effectively with fewer resources, many public health officials and policymakers are exploring new ways to structure the management and delivery of public health services.
One strategy is the sharing of services, resources, and functions across multiple public health agencies and jurisdictions. Collaboration allows communities to solve issues or problems that cannot be easily solved by a single organization or jurisdiction.
The Center for Sharing Public Health Services developed a formal definition for cross-jurisdictional sharing in 2013: “The deliberate exercise of public authority to enable collaboration across jurisdictional boundaries to deliver essential public health services.”
Cross-jurisdictional sharing approaches vary across a broad spectrum—from informal agreements to the creation of new public health entities, and from sharing equipment or staff to establishing fully integrated regional organizations—as illustrated by this graphic from the Center for Sharing Public Health Services.