The Department of Public Health’s Office of Local and Regional Health has reopened the Public Health Excellence Grant Program for Shared Services, with requests for responses due by noon on Dec. 3.

The grant program looks to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of local and regional public health by expanding opportunities for sharing of public health services. It aims to help health departments accomplish more by working together — by pooling resources and sharing staff, expertise, funds and programs.

The grant program seeks proposals from qualified vendors to support public health cross-jurisdictional shared-service arrangements. It is open to municipalities and regional planning agencies/regional councils of governments representing local boards of health chosen by the applicant municipalities to serve as their programmatic lead. Municipalities are discouraged from being a part of more than one Public Health Excellence grant, and the state will give priority consideration to applicants that are not already part of an existing grant.

Applicants may submit proposals that fall into one of three categories: expanding shared services arrangements to include more municipalities; expanding shared services arrangements to provide a more comprehensive and equitable set of public health services and/or sustainable business model; and supporting new cross-jurisdictional sharing arrangements.

A significant part of the funding is expected to support local public health staffing. Proposals may be submitted for up to $300,000 annually, and the Office of Local and Regional Health will make approximately six new awards.

To help the DPH with planning, the office requests, but isn’t requiring, that applicants file letters of intent by Nov. 19.