Funding Losses Damaging Public Health Infrastructure
Ability to support partnerships and technical training also impacted by funding losses
THURSDAY, Jan. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The effect of funding losses on state public health programs is assessed and described in a study published Nov. 14 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.
Ariela M. Freedman, Ph.D., from Teach for America in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted semi-structured interviews with key informants from state health departments. Thematic analysis was used to assess collected data regarding impact of funding loss following expiration of a five-year federal grant for statewide obesity prevention partnerships.
The researchers found that after a grant expired many programs continued to run at reduced capacity, through either reaching fewer people or conducting fewer program activities. When funding was leveraged from other sources, priorities were often changed. All states experienced diminished evaluation capacity and either a severe or complete loss of ability to provide training and technical assistance to partners. Infrastructure loss and diminished capacity to communicate with partners were reported by nearly all states.
"Evaluating public health funding decisions may help guide development of best practice strategies for supporting long-term program success," the authors write.