Investing In America's Health (April 2013 Update)

Many public health departments are unable to adequately support community health efforts due to limited funding.

According to the April 2013 Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) report, adequate and sustained levels of funding are necessary for public health departments to support disease prevention efforts.

Without adequate and consistent funding, public health departments face many challenges in improving health. The Institute of Medicine and the Transforming Public Health project recently stressed the importance of foundational capabilities and how stable funding is necessary to support these baseline functions throughout the country. Public health departments play a major role in maintaining healthy neighborhoods, workplaces, and schools. However, due to limited funding, many have been hampered and are unable to carry out their baseline functions to support community health.

Key Findings:

  • TFAH recommends that public health funding should be increased at the federal, state, and local levels.  Sufficient funding for essential baseline functions such as the foundational capabilities should be available.
  • TFAH recommends that new financing models should be explored or changes in the reforming health system should be embraced. For example, integration of prevention and public health with the health care system can help achieve maximum results for improving health and containing costs.

TFAH is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. The report is supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.