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Public Health Rep. 1996 Jan-Feb; 111(1): 87–91.
PMCID: PMC1381749

Local health departments in Washington State use APEX to assess capacity.


THE ASSESSMENT PROTOCOL for EXCELLENCE in PUBLIC HEALTH process was carried out in the state of Washington to assess local health department capacity and to identify their self-perceived strengths and weaknesses. Staff from 24 of the 32 local health departments in Washington completed organizational capacity assessments. Fifty percent or more of the health departments identified the following eight indicators as strengths: legal authority, public policy and implementation, budget development, financial reporting and administration, audit, financial documentation, organization and structure of program management, and policy board procedures. Seven indicators were identified as weaknesses by 50% or more of the respondents: legal counsel, mission and role, data collection and analysis, planning and development, evaluation and assurance of community health assessment, community health assessment and planning, and community health policy. The results of the assessment highlight the traditional organizational and service delivery strengths of the local health departments and point out weaknesses in their ability to assess community health and to develop communitywide health policy.

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