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Virginia Public Health Association

General Assembly to Study Public Health Structure and Financing

11 Dec 2021 1:41 PM | Benjamin Barber (Administrator)
  • Last Thursday, legislators on Virginia’s Joint Commission on Health Care voted to study how local public health departments are structured and financed. Commission staff will conduct the study in 2022 and recommend reforms to lawmakers ahead of the 2023 General Assembly session.

    VPHA vigorously advocated for this study, noting that the Commission has never comprehensively studied this issue. Moreover, a VPHA analysis found that localities’ local health department budgets vary widely, with spending under $10 per person in some localities and over $100 per person in others.

    While it is too early to tell what staff will focus on, this study should help policymakers:

  1. Examine where public health needs are not being met
  2. Determine if new essential public health services are needed
  3. Gain insight into public health funding inequities
  4. Identify public health funding opportunities
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of local health departments in keeping Virginians safe and healthy. Studying how they are structured and financed is an important step toward improving the health of all Virginians.
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