Structure and Functions of State Public Health Agencies in 2007

Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Arlington, VA 22202, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 07/2011; 101(7):1179-86. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2010.300011
Source: PubMed


We sought to document the structure and functions of state public health agencies throughout the United States in 2007 and compare findings with those from a similar 2001 assessment. In 2007 a survey of the structure and functions of state public health agencies was sent to and completed by senior deputies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia (a 100% response rate). The results of the survey showed that all emerging practice areas in 2001 had expanded by 2007. Also, state health departments generally had greater levels of responsibility in 2007 than they did in 2001, emphasizing the need for continued support of governmental public health systems and research on the operations of those systems.

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    • "Other research studies have found that, from 2001 to 2007, state health departments had increasing levels of responsibility, such as providing additional preventative services and oversight of hospitals and other institutions. These studies also found that all emerging practice areas, such as bioterrorism preparedness, injury control and prevention, tobacco control and prevention, and environmental epidemiology had expanded [5]. Despite the decline in epidemiology capacity, public health surveillance and epidemiologic investigations continue to be important and expanding functions for responding to public health threats in our communities [6], and they constitute one of the fifteen public health preparedness capabilities for state and local public health preparedness activities [1]. "
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