Fairbanks School of Public Health Founding Dean Paul Halverson is encouraging residents and community leaders to review the final report of the Governor’s Public Health Commission, which contains recommendations designed to improve the delivery of public health services across the state.
Governor Eric J. Holcomb appointed Halverson to serve on the 15-member commission, which was established on Aug. 18, 2021, and charged with examining the strengths and weaknesses of Indiana’s current public health system and making recommendations for improvements.
The recommendations, contained in a 128-page report released earlier this month, are the culmination of a 10-month process that involved research, stakeholder meetings and public comment focused on six key workstreams: governance, services and infrastructure; workforce; funding; data and analytics; emergency preparedness; and childhood and adolescent health.
“My hope is that this report will allow the Indiana legislature to make informed decisions about public health,” said Halverson. “The recommendations in this report are a culmination of not only the work of the last year, but also the evidence-based research from the Fairbanks School of Public Health’s Indiana Public Health System Review, which called for the formation of this commission.”
Key recommendations in the report include:
- Providing additional state support to ensure every local health department can provide foundational public health services;
- Providing stable, recurring and accessible funding;
- Enhancing workforce recruitment, training and retention efforts;
- Enhancing data analytics resources for local health departments;
- Improving emergency preparedness and filling gaps in EMS workforce; and
- Increasing the number of school nurses to improve access to school-based health services.
The full report with a complete list of recommendations is posted at www.in.gov/gphc.
The commission was co-chaired by former state Sen. Luke Kenley and Dr. Judy Monroe, a former state health commissioner who now serves as president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. Current State Health Commissioner Kris Box served as secretary, and former Congresswoman Susan Brooks served as citizen advisor. Other members included representatives from local health departments, local government and healthcare associations.