249500 Trends in state health agency services: 2001-2010

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 10:30 AM

Katie Sellers, DrPH , ASTHO, Arlington, VA
Katherine Barbacci, MPA , Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Arlington, VA
Nikki Lawhorn, MPP , Division of Evaluation and Research, Louisiana Public Health Institute, New Orleans, LA
Kusuma Madamala, PhD, MPH , Survey Research, ASTHO, Consultant, Arlington, VA
James A. Pearsol, M Ed , Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Arlington, VA
Paul Jarris, MD , The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Arlington, VA
Background and Significance

The emerging field of Public Health Systems and Services Research has sparse literature on the services provided by state health agencies. The ASTHO Profile Survey provides an opportunity to investigate variation among states and track changes over time in the scope of services provided.


In 2001, Beitsch and colleagues assessed the structure and functions of state public health agencies. The survey was sent to all active state health officials (SHOs), who had the option of completing the survey on paper or via the web. Responses were collected from 47 of the 50 states , yielding a 94% response rate. This assessment was compared to the 2007 ASTHO Profile survey and the 2010 ASTHO Profile Survey. For both of these surveys, links to web-based instruments were emailed to senior deputies in state, territorial and District of Columbia health agencies. For comparability, the current analysis excludes the territories. The response rate among states and the District of Columbia was 100% in 2007 and 2010.


State health agencies have taken on increasing responsibilities over the course of the decade. Many services that were considered “emerging” in 2001, became widespread by 2007. Despite this trend, state health agencies discontinued some services, most likely in response to budget cuts or moves toward health reform. Services that were less commonly provided by SHAs in 2010 than 2007 include health insurance regulation, SCHIP, and tobacco control and prevention.

Learning Areas:
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Articulate trends in state public health service delivery over the course of the past decade. Communicate the broad scope of responsibilities shouldered by state health agencies. Hypothesize reasons for the changes over time.

Keywords: Government, Public Health Administration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a doctorate in public health and I led the data collection and analysis on this project.
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.