News from your Executive Director
Week ending 18 March 2011
Only two days until the Society’s National Conference in San Diego. Registration is still open.
Visit: http://thesociety.org/events.asp?Cid=25 for more details. Thanks to the work of the Professional Development and Communications and Marketing Committees, you can now earn 12 CHES credits at the Society’s conference!
From Capitol Hill
- A resolution sponsored by Senators Robert Casey (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC), "affirming the importance of exercise and physical activity as key components of a healthy lifestyle, including in combating obesity, reducing chronic diseases, and lowering health care costs," was passed by the Senate last week under unanimous consent. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112sres97ats/pdf/BILLS-112sres97ats.pdf.
§ Representative Ron Kind (D-WI) and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) have reintroduced a new version of their Fit Kids Act. The bill amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to increase a focus on physical education and activity, nutrition education, and health education. For a link to a summary of the bill – http://healthyamericans.org/assets/files/Summary%20of%20FIT%20Kids%20Act.pdf.
I am pleased to provide you with new resources from Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), Investing in America’s Health: A State-By-State Look At Public Health Funding And Key Health Facts. This annual report examines public health funding and key health facts in states around the country. The full report, as well as state-by-state fact sheets with key health data, can be found at our website, www.healthyamericans.org.
TFAH’s analysis of public health funding and disease rates finds wide variation in funding for public health – and for rates of disease around the country.
- DIFFERENCES IN FEDERAL FUNDING FOR STATES: Federal public health spending through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) averaged out to only $20.25 per person in FY 2010. And the amount of federal funding spent to prevent disease and improve health in communities ranged significantly from state to state, with a per capita low of $13.96 in Ohio to a high of $51.89 in Alaska.
- DIFFERENCES IN STATE FUNDING: This report also examined state funding and found that the median amount in state fiscal years 2009-2010 for public health equaled only $30.61 per person, with ranges from a low of $3.40 per person in Nevada to a high of $171.30 per person in Hawaii. Regionally there were large differences in state funding.
- DIFFERENCES IN HEALTH STATISTICS BY STATE: The report finds major differences in disease rates and other health factors in states around the country. For instance, rates of uninsured range from a low of 4.4 percent in Massachusetts to a high of 26.1 percent in Texas, while obesity rates range from a low of 18.9 percent in Colorado to a high of 32.5 percent in Mississippi.
The federal funds are a mixture of population-based formula grant programs and a series of competitive grants – where some states receive funding and others do not, but there is no officially defined mode or coordination for targeting or strategically focusing the funds. State and local funding varies dramatically based on the structure of a state’s public health department.
In addition to the report, TFAH has released brand new state pages that include key health data for each state and Washington, D.C. since 2009 and compare states on each indicator. The state pages can be accessed at http://healthyamericans.org/states/ and include information on funding, preparedness and specific health indicators (cancer rates, asthma, AIDs, Tobacco use, etc.) for adults and children/adolescents.
If you would like more information, please contact Dara Lieberman, TFAH’s Government Relations Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.