The Impact of Diminished Funding for Public Health Preparedness: Examining Effects at the Local Level
Baker, Sarah Marie
A series of events at the turn of the century, including September 11 and the West Nile virus, contributed to a significant spike in funding for public health departments, including local health departments. However, funding for public health preparedness has been declining sharply since the 2008 recession. At the same time, the responsibilities and pressures placed on local health departments related to emergency preparedness have been expanding as extreme weather events are occurring more frequently and emerging infectious diseases continue to pose threats and challenges to the public. This study examines the relationship between local health departments’ ability to achieve public health emergency preparedness measures and funding levels, hypothesizing departments that experienced a budget cut will be less likely to achieve the measures. While my results are inconclusive, the increasing pressures placed on local health departments in a continued era of constrained resources confirms further research on this topic warranted.
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