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Institutionalizing the Academic Health Department Within the Context of the 3-Fold Academic Mission

Livingood, William C. PhD; Goldhagen, Jeffrey MD, MPH; Bryant, Thomas III MSW; Harmon, Robert G. MD, MPH; Wood, David L. MD, MPH

Journal of Public Health Management & Practice: May/June 2014 - Volume 20 - Issue 3 - p 336–341
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e31829b53e8
Original Articles

A mature model of an academic health department (AHD) that has been institutionalized over 2 decades is described within the context of the 3-fold traditional mission of academics (teaching, research, and service/practice). This adaptive model for AHDs, based on mutual benefits that can be viewed through the lenses of both the academic health center mission and the public health functions and services, has important implications for AHD sustainability. Continued collaboration in any academic-public health partnership will depend in part on the commitments of the changing leadership. However, institutionalizing support for the academic mission enables this collaboration to transcend changing leadership styles and priorities. The collaboration of Duval County Health Department and University of Florida College of Medicine-Jacksonville is an example of a model of AHD that has endured major changes in leadership within both the academic center and the Duval County Health Department.

This study presents a mature model of an academic health department that has been institutionalized over 2 decades within the context of the 3-fold traditional mission of academics (teaching, research, and service/practice) through a primary but not exclusive university-public health agency partnership.

University of Florida College of Medicine-Jacksonville, Center for Health Equity and Quality Research, Jacksonville, Florida (Drs Livingood and Wood); Duval County Health Department, Institute for Public Health Informatics and Research, Jacksonville, Florida (Drs Livingood and Mr Bryant); Jiann Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia (Dr Livingood); Department of Pediatrics, University of Florida College of Medicine-Jacksonville, Jacksonville, Florida (Drs Goldhagen and Wood); and Cerner Corporation, Kansas City, Missouri (Dr Harmon).

Correspondence: William C. Livingood, PhD, University of Florida College of Medicine-Jacksonville, Center for Health Equity and Quality Research, Tower II, 6th Floor, Room 6015, 580 West 8th St, Jacksonville, FL 32209 (William.Livingood@jax.ufl.edu).

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2014 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.