Division of Public Health

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Programs and Services

Community and Rural Health Planning Unit
Sue Medinger, Administrator

The Community and Rural Health Planning unit includes the following Offices: 1) Community Health and Performance Management; 2) Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities; 3) Emergency Medical Services; 4) Health Disparities and Health Equity; and 5) Rural Health.  See below for a description of responsibilities.

Office of Community Health and Performance Management

  • Distributes funds to the local health departments under the Health Care Funding Act and submit an annual report to the Legislature; provide technical assistance.
  • Coordinates efforts within the Division of Public Health to achieve national accreditation;
  • Coordinates the development and implementation of the Division of Public Health Strategic Plan;
  • Coordinates the development and implementation of the State Health Improvement Plan;
  • Provides a state public health needs assessment; and
  • Collaborates with local health departments, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Public Health, and other partners to improve the public health system in Nebraska.

Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities

The Nebraska Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities is an independent Council comprised of individuals and families of persons with developmental disabilities, community providers, and agency representative who advocate for system change and quality services.  The Planning Council focuses on improving the system of supports for persons with disabilities and their families.  Goals concentrate on persons who experience a severe disability that occurs before the age of twenty-two, including persons with physical disabilities, mental/behavioral health conditions and developmental disabilities.  Major activities include:

  • Awards grants to various agencies and other entities to address gaps and barriers in the system.
  • Identifies legislation introduced and educates policymakers on the impact of these bills on persons with developmental disabilities.
  • Presents testimony at relevant hearings and follows applicable regulation development.
  • Funds six Regional Councils to meet the State Council's goals at local levels and to assist with grant reviews, hosting public forums and advocacy efforts.
  • Council staff serve on committees to ensure discussions include the needs of persons with developmental disabilities.

Emergency Medical Services and Trauma Systems

The mission of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS)/Trauma program is to strengthen emergency care through cooperative partnerships and to promote the well-being of the citizens of Nebraska and those who visit, live and work in the State.  The Office of Emergency Medical Service (EMS)/trauma Systems fulfills this mission by providing a broad range of services, training and technical support to:

  • Ambulance Services (paid and volunteer)
  • Out of Hospital Providers
  • Trauma Centers 
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) Hospitals
  • Urban and Rural Hospitals
  • Local Ambulance Boards, Municipal and County Governments
  • Emergency Medical Services Licensed Training Agencies

Office of Health Disparities and Health Equity

The Office of Health Disparities and Health Equity works to improve health outcomes for Nebraska's culturally diverse populations with a vision of

health equity for all Nebraskans.  Priority populations include racial ethnic minorities, Native Americans, Refugees, and Immigrants.

Priority Issues:

  • Promote and provide training on cultural competency to improve access to health services for racial ethnic minorities.
  • Provide relevant statistical data to assess and identify health status of racial ethnic minorities.
  • Increase awareness of health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities and factors that influence health outcomes.
  • Identify needs and expand community-based health promotion and disease prevention outreach efforts.
  • Collaborate with public health partners to develop and promote programs and best practices to achieve health equity.

Office of Rural Health

The mission of the Nebraska Office of Rural Health is to define and promote the development of a health care system that assures the availability and accessibility of quality health care services to meet the needs of people living in rural Nebraska.

  • Administer five grants specifically for the rural communities, rural healthcare providers, rural hospitals and rural healthcare delivery systems.
  • Distribute funds to Critical Access Hospitals to promote quality improvement, secure financial and operational stability, and support Emergency Medical Services through community assessments and training.
  • Keep current on new legislative and federal changes impacting the changing landscape for rural healthcare.
  • Provide information and training to the rural communities regarding workforce issues, access to care, new cooperative ventures, mergers, hospital closures and healthcare network formations.
  • Work with other Nebraska healthcare organizations to achieve positive changes in the healthcare delivery model.
  • Receives and administers grants and funding to support and improve the healthcare workforce in the rural areas.  Identify shortage areas in the various healthcare professions and connect students and the healthcare providers with funding available.
  • Develops state rural health policy in consultation with the Rural Health Advisory Commission.


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