The Office of Policy and Practice Alignment has a primary responsibility to build partnerships and to provide leadership and support through the development and recommendations of statewide policy related to the Wisconsin Public Health System. Major functions include: statewide development and implementation of program practices and policies related to community health and prevention; communicable disease and preparedness; environmental and occupational health; emergency medical services; primary care services; and public health planning and information. Additional functions include the development of federal grant applications and overall coordination of the Prevention Block Grant; evaluation of existing and proposed legislative proposals; and ensuring that quality emergency medical care, primary health care, and public health programs and services are available for the citizens and visitors of Wisconsin.
The Office has two units and five Regional Offices.
The Regional Offices of the Division of Public Health primarily function as information pipelines through which central office and local public health departments communicate. They have the responsibility to plan, promote, implement and evaluate comprehensive state and local public health programs and services, and provide professional development opportunities. They also provide technical assistance and consultation for Community Health Assessments and Community Health Plans.
The Policy Section will develop and implement Division-wide strategic planning, including developing and tracking the State Health Plan (Healthiest Wisconsin 2010/2020); address health disparities; encourage the use of evidence-based practices to promote health equity; promote a sufficient, competent and diverse public health workforce; prepare Wisconsin's public health system for national accreditation; promote continuous quality improvement for the state and local public health agencies; facilitate partnerships, build coalitions and lead systematic state and community level planning to improve the health of all jurisdictions.
The Office is also responsible for overseeing Primary Health Care Programs, including the Primary Care Cooperative Agreement, the Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) designation program, the federal National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and J-1 Visa Waiver programs, and the Health Care for the Homeless program.
The Office has key relationships with all Bureaus in the Division of Public Health, other Divisions within the Department of Health Services and other state agencies, local health departments, community-based organizations, private voluntary organizations, and academic and health care provider networks.