Rather than raising monies to replace public dollars, some school foundations stress systemic reform, working in "policy areas, such as school governance, school finance, educational leadership, and curriculum and assessment" de Luna, , p. They also try to re-engage citizens and recapture financial support for education. A common question arises: How much money will make a difference? McCormick et al. Literature Review and Research Findings The success of school foundations is well documented in California. Additionally, more than 3, community volunteers served on the boards of school foundations California Consortium of Education Foundations, While there may be some indication that school foundations may lead to greater inequities between wealthy and poor districts, it has been argued that school foundations actually help close the gap between higher-income and lower-income districts Zimmer.
Crampton and Bauman did find that entrepreneurship activities, such as developing school foundations, did increase per pupil spending and led to inequities. Merz and Frankel found that the number of nonprofits did not differ much across economic communities cited in Zimmer, et. Studies by McLaughlin and Brown and Rinehart suggest that most school foundations raise small amounts of money and therefore are more effective as public relations tools than revenue-raising mechanisms.
Steps in Developing School Foundations The literature is clear that careful planning is essential to the establishment of a foundation. Determining the need for a foundation in the community, assessing the real level of giving, identifying donors, engaging initiators who have relevant experience in evaluation and fundraising, clarifying the scope of education to be served, defining the purpose of the foundation, and developing objectives that are the expression of purpose in specific terms are critical steps in planning Clay et al.
State laws must be investigated before forming a foundation and foundations should not start fundraising until tax exempt status is granted both for the foundation and its donors Clay et al. Fundraising activities can range from art projects, athletic events, auctions for students' services, book and craft fairs to Christmas cards, calendars, yearbooks and school symbols Clay et al.
Muro suggests a new and challenging approach to fundraising:. Your school district is not a problem, and you are not seeking funds to shore up a sagging curriculum or poor athletic field. Your school, and you, as a fundraiser, are the ones who provide solutions to society's problems. In the larger sense, the request for support for a project should be addressed in terms of an opportunity p. Muro further suggests that a volunteer who solicits a peer is more likely to be successful than a paid professional person. In this case the solicitor and the prospective donor have a similar financial status, which facilitates the process.
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Donors need to see the donation as an investment in quality education. He considers face-to-face solicitation more effective than telephone and mail soliciting. Planning is essential to fundraising. The literature suggests that fundraising should apply the principle of proximity those closer to the school or the foundation are more likely to donate McCormick et al. Thus, we can involve the members of the school staff, administrators, board members, parents, alumni, major donors, and businesses, any of the school district business partners.
Outside the school district, regional and national corporations can become allies. Grace and Wendroff identify practices that could improve the relationship between the donor and the foundation the donor has dealt with. The donor should be given the opportunity to reinvest in a program if both parties consider that program worthwhile. Donors need to be informed on the impact their gift had. Foundations shouldn't just assume that a donor would not want to be contacted again.
The foundation must cultivate the relationship with its donors through frequent relevant feedback. Feedback includes:. Direction for Establishing a Board of Directors The literature identifies three types of foundation boards Clay et al. While deciding on the type of board that will be most appropriate for the foundation, the relationship between the foundation and the school or the school district must be envisioned. The basic format of a board includes a chairman, a president, a vice-president, a treasurer, and a secretary.
Private Giving to Public Schools and Distr...
Political factors at the state level can also have a significant impact on the abilities of public health leadership to influence policy. To address the specific issues of discontinuity occasioned by the rapid turnover, particularly of state health officials, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has funded a unique State Health Leadership Initiative administered by the National Governors Association to immerse newly appointed officials in a curriculum for political leadership and provide a network of resources and mentors.
Governmental public health leadership is a critical component of the infrastructure that must be strengthened, supported, and held accountable by all of the partners of the public health system and the community at. For this reason, the committee recommends that leadership training, support, and development be a high priority for governmental public health agencies and other organizations in the public health system and for schools of public health that supply the public health infrastructure with its professionals and leaders.
Credentialing is a mechanism that is used to certify specific levels of professional preparation. There are many different forms of credentials, including academic degrees, professional certifications, and licenses. For example, medical credentials include medical degrees to certify successful completion of course work, professional testing e.
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An individual credentialed as a Certified Health Education Specialist CHES has successfully completed a course of study and passed a competency-based test. Although some public health workers are credentialed as physicians, nurses, health educators, or environmental health practitioners, few are credentialed within those professions specifically for public health practice.
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Most physicians working in public health lack board certification in preventive medicine or public health; most nurses working in public health lack credentials in community public health nursing; and most individuals working as health educators lack the CHES credential.
Furthermore, no single credentialing or certification process has been established to test the various competencies required for the interdisciplinary field of public health; thus, the majority of the public health workforce 80 percent lacks credentials HRSA, CDC d has recommended the use of credentialing. Such a process would complement efforts to establish national public health performance standards for state and local public health systems based on the essential public health services framework and the related objectives of Healthy People Objective 23—11 DHHS, Although this national effort focuses on experienced public health leaders, support is growing for the concept of credentialing at a basic level all public health workers and at an.
Certification or credentialing would help establish that public health practitioners have a demonstrated level of accomplishment in and mastery of the principles of public health practice. In terms of building the capacity of the public health workforce, the credentialing process could help document the knowledge, skills, and performance of experienced workers who may not have formal academic training and could encourage other workers to seek additional training to meeting credentialing requirements.
An especially important component of this process is that it could play a key role in shaping the training and preparation of future public health practitioners and leaders. The key challenge is whether and how public health organizations can begin to integrate competency-based credentialing in their hiring, promotion, performance appraisal, and salary structures.
Although the idea of credentialing has considerable support at the federal level, states and particularly localities have voiced concerns that workforce credentialing mandates may become too closely tied to federal funding mechanisms. In these situations, the fiscal impact could be grave for public health departments that do not or cannot meet credentialing requirements community informants, personal communications to the committee, The committee finds that in the ongoing debate about public health workforce credentialing, what is most needed is a national dialogue that can address the full range of issues and concerns.
Therefore, the committee recommends that a formal national dialogue be initiated to address the issue of public health workforce credentialing. The Secretary of DHHS should appoint a national commission on public health workforce credentialing to lead this dialogue. The commission should be charged with determining if a credentialing system would further the goal of creating a competent workforce and, if applicable, the manner and time frame for implementation by governmental public health agencies at all levels.
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The dialogue should include representatives from federal, state, and local public health agencies, academia, and public health professional organizations who can represent and discuss the various perspectives on the workforce credentialing debate. The role of communication in public health practice cannot be underestimated. Governmental public health agencies must. Informing and advising the public about health promotion and disease prevention are standard duties of both state and local public health agencies, and listening to community voices is also critical for programs to be effective.
In emergency situations, public health professionals must have the ability to communicate clearly and effectively—being aggressive and credible enough to command attention—with both the public and other officials about the nature of the health hazards and the steps necessary to minimize health risks. The response to the discovery of anthrax exposures in the fall of brought into sharp focus the importance of effective communication in the face of serious health risks.
According to New York Times medical reporter Dr. Lawrence Altman, lapses and delays in communication with the public and with public health and health care professionals could have made the situation worse had the anthrax exposures been more widespread Altman, Altman suggested, however, that CDC could have issued information as a part of the parallel public health investigation that was already under way.
It should be noted that CDC used the Health Alert Network many times after September 11, , to alert public health officials and to disseminate information. The lack of information from DHHS was also frustrating to other federal, state, and local leaders and governmental public health officials, some of whom learned about new cases and contamination in their states though network and cable television newscasts Connolly, The lesson from these and other communication breakdowns is evident: clear and effective communication, both internal and external, is a critical service of the governmental public health infrastructure.
Because the responsibilities of public health agencies cover all aspects of health, public health officials are in a unique position to provide timely, accurate health-related information to the public on a wide variety of topics, ranging from depression and other mental health issues to obesity and physical activity, environmental health and safety, emergency preparedness, and policies that affect health or health outcomes. However, few public health agencies have staff members who are trained to interact effectively with the public and to work effectively with the news media.
Of these people, most are working in DHHS and other federal health agencies. Of the others, are working in state and territorial public health agencies and 12 are working in voluntary agencies HRSA, Given the tremendous potential of the mass media and evolving information technologies, such as the Internet, to influence the knowledge, normative beliefs, and behavior patterns of individuals and groups, governmental public health agencies must be prepared to use these communication tools.
The public health workforce must have sufficient expertise in communications to be able to engage diverse audiences with public health information and messages and to work with the media to ensure the accuracy of the health-related information they convey to the public.
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For example, public health officials can develop relationships with journalists and assist them in accurately representing health risks and interpreting the significance of new research findings so that reporting on public health issues is accurate and members of the public can make informed decisions about protecting their health. For these reasons, the committee finds that communication skills and competencies are crucial to the effective performance of the 10 essential public health services and the practice of public health at the federal, state, and local levels.
Therefore, the committee recommends that all partners within the public health system place special emphasis on communication as a critical core competency of public health practice. Governmental public health agencies at all levels should use existing and emerging tools including information technologies for effective management of public health information and for internal and external communication. To be effective, such communication must be culturally appropriate and suitable to the literacy levels of the individuals in the communities they serve.
enter To build this capacity in the public health workforce, communications skills and competencies should be included in the curricula of all workforce. Communication competencies should include training in risk communication, interpersonal and group methods for gathering and transmitting information, and interfacing with the public about public health information and issues, as well as the interpretation of health-related news.
Information and the systems through which it is produced are critical tools that enable public health agencies to meet their responsibilities for monitoring health status and for identifying health hazards and risks to the populations they serve. It is essential that the governmental public health infrastructure have a system that is capable of supporting the collection, analysis, and application of myriad forms of health-related data and information.
Without adequate surveillance, local, state, and federal officials cannot know the true scope of existing health problems and may not recognize new diseases until many people have been affected. Data are the essential elements of information; that is, data are the measurements and facts about an individual, an environment, or a community. Information is what is generated when data are placed in context via the tool of analysis. When rules are applied to the information, knowledge is generated Lumpkin, All of these elements—data, information, and knowledge—are critical products of public health information networks.
The committee emphasizes the need for an integrated information infrastructure to overcome many of these problems.
For communicable diseases, effective epidemiological surveillance can make the difference between the rapid identification and treatment of a few cases of disease and an outbreak that debilitates an entire community. Responsibility for surveillance, one of the most important functions of the public health infrastructure, is shared among federal, state, and local public health agencies.
States and localities collect and report data; and federal agencies, especially CDC, in the case of infectious and chronic diseases, provide valuable technical support, training, and grant funding GAO, a. The rapid development of new information technology offers the potential for a greatly improved surveillance capacity. For example, it is now possible to engage in real-time data collection via the Internet and through linkages to electronic patient records. New technologies also offer the potential for automated data analyses, such as pattern recognition software that would be able to detect unusual disease patterns.
Moreover, new technologies offer new options for disseminating the information produced by surveillance efforts Baxter et al.
Fragmentation has developed in surveillance systems in part because legal authority for surveillance rests with states and localities and they have not developed uniform standards for data elements, collection procedures, storage, and transmission. The lack of uniformity has made it difficult for states and localities to work collaboratively among themselves or with the private sector to develop more effective surveillance systems.
Although The Future of Public Health recommended the development of a uniform national health data set IOM, , progress has been limited. Another key factor shaping the development of surveillance systems is that, historically, investment in these systems has been largely categorical, resulting in fragmentation of surveillance efforts across the spectrum of infectious disease threats and other programs for other specific diseases and.
An inventory of public health data projects and systems identified more than separate DHHS data systems in seven broad programmatic areas Boufford and Lee, The multiplicity of surveillance systems for food-borne illnesses illustrates the problem see Box 3—3. A lack of integration in federal data systems helps drive fragmentation at the state and local levels.