Partnering with Your Local/State Health Department

Has your health center or student clinic considered partnering with your local health department during STD Awareness Month?

Many city and county health departments have clinics patients can go to for STD testing and treatment. In some cases, the health department may be able to come to you.

Here are some reasons why you may want to consider partnering with your health department.
Health departments may be able to:

  • Offer free or low-cost testing through their clinics;
  • Help your clinic offer rapid and/or anonymous testing;
  • Promote your STD testing event;
  • Offer counseling and health education support;

If you don't have a contact at your health department already, here are a few steps to help make the connection, build the partnership, and carry out a successful event:

  • Call your state/county/city health department and ask for the STD director;
  • Discuss the availability of STD testing and any outreach programs they have in place;
  • Discuss GYT or other STD-related campaigns or testing events with the STD director, and ask if local testing or mobile testing is available;
  • Ask if there are local coalitions or that may be able to support a testing event with volunteers or outreach, or if they have existing relationships with local Planned Parenthood branches or other family planning clinics;
  • Discuss the potential inclusion of local, private health care providers like a local PPO/HMO, teen clinic, or other clinical practice;
  • Discuss strategies for promoting your testing event;
  • Create a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the health department and your health center to determine roles, responsibilities, and goals; and
  • Make plans to evaluate your efforts.

Partnering with your local health department can offer many benefits for you and your patients.