In July 2013, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), through the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services (BDAS) and Division of Public Health Services (DPHS), established a strategic partnership to align multiple public health priorities into a single integrated system. The partnership increased efficiency through single contracts with 13 agencies to serve as the host entity for a Regional Public Health Network (RPHN). The purpose of the RPHNs is to integrate multiple public health initiatives and services into a common network of community stakeholders. The 13 RPHNs include every community in the state.
The RPHNs mission is to expand regional infrastructure and coordination around public health services and to work with partnering agencies to deliver public health services that include prevention of substance misuse disorders continuum of care systems development focused on increasing awareness and access of substance misuse prevention, treatment, and recovery services, public health emergency preparedness, strategic planning to mitigate the health impacts of climate change, and other disease prevention and health promotion activities.
Each RPHN coordinates a Public Health Advisory Council (PHAC). The role of the PHAC is to advise RPHN partners by identifying regional public health priorities based on assessments of community health; guiding the implementation of programs, practices, and policies that are evidence-based to meet improved health outcomes; and advancing the coordination of services among partners. Additionally, the PHAC structure builds on existing leadership and coordinating groups across a number of public health priorities based on regional priorities and capacity.
The long-term goal for the PHACs and RPHNs is to collectively develop a performance-based public health delivery system that provides access to all 10 Essential Public Health Services. In support of this goal, NH DHHS continues to seek and direct funding and other resources to the RPHNs and encourage other public and private funders to utilize this regional alignment, as appropriate, when funding public health services.
For more information about the variety of public health programs available in your RPHN, please select your town or RPHN from the drop down menu above.