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Health Reform and Local Health Departments: Opportunities for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

2010 | Download

A number of forces are reshaping local public health systems including state and national health reform debates and legislation, the economy, national security, and infectious disease concerns. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal health partners can provide leadership to help the public health system survive and thrive in this challenging environment.

This report identifies the challenges and opportunities the current environment may bring to different types of public health departments, and also addresses some of the actions that CDC may consider in order to help the public health system better serve the nation.

Download the report.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) commissioned this report to learn more about local health departments (LHDs), including the forces shaping their services and roles, their strategies for the future (including promising innovations), their perspectives on the role of public health in a reforming health care system and finally how CDC can best support LHDs in the future.

In order to provide this information, the Public Health Institute interviewed over 40 visionary public health leaders in 13 states, including urban and rural directors, several state health directors, directors of state public health laboratories, health plan executives and leaders of national public health organizations. We also drew on published materials regarding health reform, public health systems and efforts to integrate and coordinate public health and medical care delivery.

In this CDC-commissioned report, public health leaders from 13 states said they want the CDC to:

  • Develop and promote a case for public health's crucial role in the nation's health;
  • Focus and align research, practice and priorities; and
  • Strengthen the foundation of the public health system

Read the full report, or see additional attachments.


Elinor Hall, Robert Melton, Ange Wang

Produced through PHI's:

Center for Innovation and Technology in Public Health