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Exploring Public Health Service Sharing and Consolidation in Oak Creek and South Milwaukee

Our latest research on intergovernmental service sharing suggests that the cities of Oak Creek and South Milwaukee could improve public health services in both communities at no extra cost should they decide to pursue health department consolidation.

Key findings:

  • Despite their differences in geographical size and population, South Milwaukee and Oak Creek provide similar types and levels of public and environmental health services and devote remarkably similar amounts of resources and staffing to deliver those services.
  • Sharing or consolidation of staff resources could help resolve existing recruitment challenges, enhance programming capacity and quality, improve billing and reimbursement, and eliminate redundant administrative functions.
  • While significant savings are unlikely to materialize from full consolidation, existing appropriations could be combined to produce higher-quality services and/or to prevent service reductions in the face of fiscal constraints.
  • The report suggests a three-phased approach, which would allow for immediate implementation of service sharing opportunities, but allows the two cities to stop short of full consolidation if deemed appropriate.


This report was commissioned by the City of Oak Creek and the City of South Milwaukee.