Protecting Public Health in Times of Austerity: Measuring Impacts and Setting Priorities

Year: 2011
Funding: NNPHI PHS2 Award
Status: Completed

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This mixed-methods project has three primary aims:  (1) characterize the budget-setting and priority-setting processes within state health departments and across specific divisions (Preparedness, Environmental Health Sciences, and Maternal/Child Health) using secondary data analysis;  (2) model several federal financial reduction scenarios and consequent public health impacts, using ASTHO 2010 Profile and federal public health funding data; and (3) integrate findings from aims (1) and (2) to identify likely decision-making factors, criteria, pressures, and opportunities practitioners will face under federal austerity measures, with a focus on public health practice and policy implications. With looming federal budget deficits and greater emphasis on funding health care through the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion, it is anticipated that public health federal funds will be reduced, perhaps significantly so, in coming years. As such, it is critical to the future of public health to better understand, manage, and quantify the potential impact of federal austerity measures.  As collaboration with ASTHO, this project will develop products in "real time" to assure relevance and contributions to current budget debates.  Additionally, practitioners will receive tools to help contend with budget cuts and proactively plan for impending cuts with a focus on assuring adequate public health protections.                                                                           



Thomas Burke & Beth Resnick
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Research Areas