New Analysis of Local Health Department Budget Cuts Surveys Demonstrates Depth of Program and Job Losses
29,000 local health department jobs lost since January 2008, threatening essential services
Washington, DC (June 21, 2011) – A recent survey analysis by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) found that roughly 19 percent of the nationwide local health department workforce has been eliminated since 2008, posing a staggering challenge to local health departments striving to keep Americans safe and healthy in the face of increasing staff and program cuts, even as the country''s economic slump increases demand for services.
The 2010 survey results reveal that 6,000 local health department jobs were eliminated last year, bringing the total number of local health department jobs lost since 2008 to 29,000. In addition to the layoffs, 18,000 local health department employees were subjected to reduced hours or mandatory furloughs.
Federal, state, and local budget reductions have also reduced available services. Forty percent of local health departments reduced services in at least one program area between mid-2009 and mid-2010. Maternal and child health programs were among the hardest hit, with nearly one in every five local health departments (18%) reporting reduced or eliminated services to pregnant women, new mothers and children. Population-based primary prevention, environmental health programs, and clinical health services were also among the most common targets for cuts."
"Protecting and defending the health of residents in local communities and meeting their expectations for service is increasingly difficult," said NACCHO Executive Director Robert M. Pestronk. "These annual budget cuts and job losses threaten the ability of local health departments to prepare for and respond to emergencies, and provide basic services that all individuals and families count on. The future of our nation''s health is jeopardized."
Read the full report on the survey findings here.
Follow news about budget cuts and job losses in local health departments across the country at www.naccho.org/newsmap.
About the National Association of County and City Health Officials
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation''s 2,800 local governmental health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities.