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. OPPA works with partners to promote understanding of the health conditions impacting the people in Wisconsin. Major functions include development and implementation of practices and policies related to community health and prevention that are consistent with state statute; primary care services; and public health planning and information. Additional functions include the development of federal grant applications and overall coordination of the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant; evaluation of existing and proposed legislative proposals; and ensuring that quality 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. Regional OPPA staff have the responsibility to assure consistent and accountable public health services in local government; provide leadership in the development of health system capacity and the foundational public health capabilities; link the work of the Department of Health Services and local, tribal and state public health system partners; and monitor, analyze, plan and facilitate response to regional issues, conditions and events. They provide technical assistance and consultation for Community Health Assessments and Community Health Plans as well as local implementation of Public Health Accreditation Board standards and measures to assure effective and efficient public health services.
The Policy Section will develop and implement Division-wide strategic planning, including developing and tracking the State Health Plan (Healthiest Wisconsin 2010/2020) and the Wisconsin Health Improvement Planning Process (WI-HIPP); 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 Community Health Centers grants.
The Office has key relationships with all Bureaus and Offices in the Division of Public Health, other Divisions within the Department of Health Services, and other state agencies, local health departments, tribal health departments, community-based organizations, private voluntary organizations, and academic and health care provider networks.