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  1. Handler, Arden S. DrPH
  2. Henderson, Vida A. PharmD, MPH, MFA
  3. Rosenfeld, Amy MPH
  4. Rankin, Kristin PhD
  5. Jones, Brenda DHSc, MSN, RN
  6. Issel, L. Michele PhD, RN


With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it is essential for the public health sector to elucidate its role with respect to its mission of assuring population health, and to clarify its role with respect to the private health care system. To that end, we examined the value added to the population health enterprise of successful public-private partnerships (PPPs) such as those found in the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) in Illinois. Key Informant (KI) interviews focused on IBCCP implementation were conducted with IBCCP lead agency (LA) program coordinators (n = 35/36) in winter 2012-2013. Analysis was conducted using Atlas.ti software. The KI interviews revealed the existence of highly developed PPPs between the IBCCP LAs and individual medical providers and hospitals across Illinois. The data suggest that the small amount of funding provided by IBCCP to each LA in Illinois has been used to build and sustain robust PPPs in the majority of the IBCCP communities. The PPPs developed through the IBCCP can be seen as an unplanned benefit of CDC's investment in breast and cervical health through the NBCCEDP. While the IBCCP/NBCCEDP might be considered a "boutique" categorical program which some may consider no longer necessary as individuals gain insurance under the ACA, the KI data underscore the critical role of public sector dollars, not only to serve individuals and communities directly but also to mobilize the private health care sector to act in partnership with public entities and become advocates for underserved communities.