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Abstract

This article is number two in the series From the Frontier: Translating Research to Practice. The narrative describes the interactions between a local health department director and two academicians in addressing the impact of the 2008 financial crisis. In a first set of activities, practice-academic partners used Financial and Operational Ratio and Trend Analysis to identify periods of a negative total margin and the impact of that on the agency’s declining fund balance. The use of private sector processes of retrenchment, repositioning, and reorganization led to a financial turnaround for the agency. In a second set of activities, practice-academic partners analyzed consolidation of multiple local health departments as one option for improving long-term financial stability. These connected activities provide examples of both implementation science and practice-based research.