Local Public Health Resource Allocation

Limited Choices and Strategic Decisions

Cure Violence Community meeting

In this study of 11 leaders from Washington’s local health jurisdictions, programmatic mandates, funding restriction, local stakeholders, and workforce capacity trumped research evidence and perceived community need in public health resource allocation.

The Issue:
Local health departments (LHDs) must make strategic decisions with limited choices even as they are expected to improve their population’s health and contribute to the field.

Key Finding:                        

  • Authority among LHD leaders was perceived as greatly restricted by what public health activities were legally mandated and by what funding sources required.

Conclusion:
In public health resource allocation, programmatic mandates, funding restriction, local stakeholders, and workforce capacity trumped research evidence and perceived community need.

About the Study:
This study included telephone interviews with 11 leaders from Washington’s 35 local health jurisdictions in 2011. The study focused on identifying factors influencing resource allocation and programmatic decisions. Data were analyzed in 2011-2012.