226928 Resource Allocation and Funding Challenges for Regional Local Health Departments in Nebraska

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 9:30 AM - 9:50 AM

Li-Wu Chen, PhD , College of Public Health, Department of Health Services Research and Administration, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Sara Roberts, MPH , Health Services Research and Administration, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Janelle Jacobson, MPH, CHES , College of Public Health, Department of Health Services Research and Administration, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
David Palm, PhD , Division of Public Health, Office of Community Health Development, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Lincoln, NE
Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this study intends to examine how resources allocation decisions are made and what funding challenges exist in regional local health departments (RLHDs). In 2008, we conducted a state-wide survey of RLHD directors to collect the information about their perceived benefits of RLHD model in Nebraska. In 2009, we conducted a case study at two Nebraska RLHDs to gain insight into their experiences of resource allocation. Sixteen interviews were conducted with RLHD directors, RLHD staff, and Board of Health members. The benefits of RLHD model identified in the state-wide survey included the ability to better leverage resources, to build a stronger structural capacity, and to provide services to underserved communities. In the case study, interviewees stated that resource allocation decisions were made based on community needs. The decision-making process to allocate resources across communities was less formalized. Interviewees also suggested that the size of vulnerable population had a significant impact on the resources needed to support RLHD programs. RLHD's decisions about resources are very dependent on the amount and type of resources received from the State. The funding challenges identified by interviewees included continuing to receive adequate financial resources and providing services equally across communities in the RLHD jurisdiction. Strategies used by RLHDs to address these challenges included seeking grants to support programs, leveraging existing resources, and building community partnerships to share resources. Future research is needed to examine how scale and scope economies can be maximized when allocating resources within RLHD jurisdiction.

Learning Areas:
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the decision-making process used by regional health departments to allocate financial and human resources in their jurisdiction. Identify the resource allocation and funding challenges faced by regional health departments and the strategies used to address these challenges.

Keywords: Public Health Research, Financing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because as the primary investigator of this funding research project, I oversee the design, the data collection and the data analysis associated with this research study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.