The History of CPPH:

The Center is currently located in the College of Public Health’s Department of Health Policy and Management within the KSU-CPH. Dr. John Hoornbeek, Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management, is currently serving as the Center’s director. The work of the Center is supported by KSU faculty, staff, students, and professional affiliates (see Faculty and Staff and Affiliates). Drawing on the capabilities of these individuals, and project partners from outside the university, the Center provides an outlet for community-based research and engagement for the Health Policy and Management Department and the College of Public Health as a whole.

The Center was originally situated in Kent State’s Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship and later transitioned to the College of Arts and Sciences’ Political Science Department. It was founded in the late 1970s by Dr. James Tinnin as the Center for Public Administration and Public Policy (CPAPP).  Originally, CPAPP’s focus was to provide continuing education, technical assistance, and research targeted towards local governments in Ohio. CPAPP’s primary emphasis in those days was on providing quality continuing education opportunities for local government officials. For a number of decades, Dr. Tinnin and his staff provided numerous training programs for elected and appointed officials at the local level, including training programs for Municipal Clerks, Mayor’s Court Clerks, and new Elected Officials. During this time, CPAPP developed a reputation as a quality source of education and assistance among local government leaders across Northeast Ohio and the state.

Dr. Tinnin retired in 2004 and was succeeded by the Center’s current director, Dr. Hoornbeek.  Under Dr. Hoornbeek’s leadership, CPAPP continued some of the training work it performed historically, but a greater emphasis was placed on public policy research and technical assistance efforts. During this time, CPAPP began building a reputation as a source of knowledge and assistance on issues related to intergovernmental collaboration and water-related environmental policy. Major projects completed by CPAPP from 2006-2011 include (all of CPAPP’s publications and reports from this time period are available in the publications library):

  • The completion of two U.S. EPA-funded projects related to the implementation of Total Maximum Daily Loads in Ohio, West Virginia, and nationally, and the facilitation of a process for establishing federal accountability measures for state water pollution programs.
  • Publication of case studies highlighting EfficientGovNow collaboration projects, and assistance efforts on local government collaboration in Northeast Ohio.
  • An assessment of local government E-Government Capabilities in Northeast Ohio.
  • An assessment of the extent of intergovernmental collaboration activities among local governments in Ohio for the Ohio Commission on Local Government Reform and Collaboration.
  • An examination of the issue of managing infrastructure in cities shrinking due to population loss, which led to a report  

In 2012, the Center transitioned from the Political Science Department to the Health Policy and Management Department of KSU’s College of Public Health. As a part of this transition, the Center was renamed the Center for Public Policy and Health (CPPH). Despite its new position within the university, and the name change, the Center continues to focus on its core functions of public policy research and technical assistance with Dr. Hoornbeek maintaining his role as Center Director. Training programs CPPH is involved with are implemented in collaboration with the college’s Office of Public Health Practice.

2012-2016 were busy years for Center staff as they engaged in a number of research and technical assistance projects even as the Center moved to its new home in Public Health:

  • National Shared Services Learning Community Project to build knowledge of the process and impacts of health department collaboration and to improve public health service in Portage County, OH (project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation).
  • Studied and providing assistance efforts related to the feasibility of consolidating the Ravenna Health Department and the Portage County Health department (project funded by the Ohio Development Services Agency).
  • Partnered with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to complete a study that assesses the impacts of health department consolidations in Ohio since 2001 (Study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with support from the Ohio RAPHI, Case Western Reserve U, and the University of Kentucky).
  • Assessed the impacts of the consolidation of local health departments in Summit County, one year after the consolidation was implemented (project funded by Summit County Public Health)
  • Developed countywide public health needs and performance assessments for Portage County, as well as an operational assessment of Ravenna Public Health.
  • Facilitation assistance to the City of Hudson’s strategic planning efforts
  • Worked with stakeholders within Portage County’s local public system to create a collaborative and comprehensive Community Health Assessment for Portage County. 
  • Assisted Marion Public Health by researching questions related to the spectrum of local tax support for public health services, city-county shares of local public health services, and appropriate practices for managing carryover fund balances at the end of the fiscal year. 
  • Facilitated a feasibility study process related to consolidating the City of Ravenna’s health department with the Portage County Health Department. 
  • Assisted the Ohio Department of Administrative  Services with an analysis of the current use of health benefit consortia and other means of purchasing health insurance as well as the creation of a resource guide to assist local government officials with health insurance purchasing decisions.
  • Investigated efforts to control nutrient flows to Lake Erie in Ohio, and reviewed similar efforts in other states in order to better understand what is being done in Ohio to address the nutrient enrichment of Lake Erie and what can be learned from other states facing similar water quality challenges.
  • Currently working with officials from the City of Steubenville and the Jefferson County General Health Department to complete a feasibility assessment of consolidating the two departments.
  • Worked with the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Stark County (MHRSB) and the System of Care Planning Expansion team to evaluate the current continuum of care and to identify system gaps in Stark County, Ohio.
  • Currently completing a program evaluation in cooperation with KSU’s Research and Evaluation Bureau on efforts to combat chronic diseases in Lucas County, Ohio.
  • Initiated new projects with organizations including Ohio State, the Cleveland Clinic, Summa Health System, and other local partners.

The Center’s staff and affiliates are looking forward to continuing to be a source of assistance and knowledge for public, nonprofit, and private sector organizations in Northeast Ohio and beyond.