Public Health Departments May Need to be Regionalized, 1999 Survey Suggests
In 1999, the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), a national, Washington-based organization of local health officials, conducted a national survey of local public health agencies in order to profile local public health infrastructure.
Project staff disseminated project findings in a report, Local Public Health Infrastructure: A Chartbook and online. Findings include:
- Sixty percent of local public health agencies are county-based; 69 percent of all agencies serve jurisdictions with a population of less than 50,000.
- The median annual local public health agency expenditure in constant 1999 dollars was $621,100.
- The most common programs and services provided by local public health agencies include:
- Adult and child immunizations.
- Communicable disease control.
- Community assessment.
- Community outreach and education.
- Environmental health services.
- Epidemiology and surveillance.
- Food safety.
- Health education.
- Restaurant inspections.
- Tuberculosis testing.
- Currently, the greatest workforce needs are consistent across local public health agencies, and include public health nurses, environmental scientists and specialists, administrative support, health educators and epidemiologists.
- Overall, local public health agencies cited funding as one of the biggest challenges facing them.