What Public Health Services Should Citizens Expect from Their State Health Departments?

From 2005 to 2009, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) in Arlington, Va., explored the feasibility of developing a common understanding of state public health services, determined that this was feasible and then collected data on which this understanding could be based.

ASTHO’s 2007/2008 State Public Health Survey was the association’s main strategy for collecting data about state public health departments. Fifty-one of ASTHO’s 57 members completed the survey.

Key Results

  • ASTHO published Profile of State Public Health Volume One (2009), which describes state public health responsibilities, organization and structure, planning and quality improvement, and workforce, and includes a profile of each state health agency. The profile is based on the 2007/2008 State Public Health Survey.

  • The Public Health Accreditation Board included results from the 2007/2008 State Public Health Survey among the 15 sets of state and national standards it reviewed to develop its own draft standards for a national voluntary public health accreditation program.