Public Health In America: How Foundations Are Contributing

January 6, 2015
by Lee L. Prina
Health Affairs

Rapid and effective detection, treatment, and containment of emerging and reemerging public health threats is key, says Jeffrey Levi of Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) in an October 28, 2014, Health Affairs Blog post. Levi’s post uses the Ebola crisis as a lens to examine our current public health system. He maintains, “We have consistently degraded our ability to respond to these new, emerging and re-emerging threats by underfunding and undercutting existing capabilities and expecting [the United States] to ramp up overnight when new threats emerge.”

TFAH’s report, Investing in America’s Health 2014: A State-by-State Look at Public Health Funding and Key Health Facts, notes that funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decreased by 15 percent from fiscal year 2005 to 2013. Spending on state public health was cut by 17 percent from just the years 2008–12, says the May 2014 report, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

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