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Abstract

Research reviews have identified a gap in understanding the diversity of health department governance structures and in understanding how the variations in governing relates to health outcomes. This report details the categorization of local public health governance and reveals that certain governance types may be better suited to achieve better population health outcomes. State systems achieve the poorest health outcomes, but the best health outcomes are achieved when the political branches have a key role in local public health governance. Public health systems should consider greater local control and involvement in governance; but local governance should include the political branches -- and even the state -- to achieve more positive health outcomes.