Decisions regarding resource allocation and funding challenges in regional health departments in Nebraska are made based on the needs of the community, not by calculations or population size, and are dependent on resources received from the state.
Two regional local health departments with varying population densities were examined and analyzed across 16 in-person interviews. This case study investigates the decision-making process for resource allocation and the accompanying challenges they face, and finally the impact that these decisions have on their public health practice.
- Both regional health departments reported that decisions are made based on the needs of the community, while remaining equitable to all member counties within their jurisdiction regardless of population density.
- Limited and unstable funding negatively affects further development, and retaining a stable workforce was also cited as a major challenge for the regional health departments.
Further study utilizing a larger sample size and a different geographical area is needed to investigate resource allocation issues and funding challenges in other regional local health departments. Obtaining grants, utilizing existing resources and sharing resources across the community are all strategies than can help mitigate funding challenges in the future.