Yale University

How Connecticut Health Directors Deal With Public Health Budget Cuts at the Local Level.

TitleHow Connecticut Health Directors Deal With Public Health Budget Cuts at the Local Level.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsPrust, Margaret L., Kathleen Clark, Brigette Davis, Sarah W. Pallas, Jennifer Kertanis, Elaine O'Keefe, Michael Araas, Neel S. Iyer, Stewart Dandorf, Stephanie Platis, and Debbie Humphries
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Date Published2015 Feb 17
AbstractObjectives. We investigated the perspectives of local health jurisdiction (LHJ) directors on coping mechanisms used to respond to budget reductions and constraints on their decision-making. Methods. We conducted in-depth interviews with 17 LHJ directors. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using the constant comparative method. Results. LHJ directors use a range of coping mechanisms, including identifying alternative revenue sources, adjusting services, amending staffing arrangements, appealing to local political leaders, and forming strategic partnerships. LHJs also face constraints on their decision-making because of state and local statutory requirements, political priorities, pressures from other LHJs, and LHJ structure. Conclusions. LHJs respond creatively to budget cuts to maintain important public health services. Some LHJ adjustments to administrative resources may obscure the long-term costs of public health budget cuts in such areas as staff morale and turnover. Not all coping strategies are available to each LHJ because of the contextual constraints of its locality, pointing to important policy questions on identifying optimum jurisdiction size and improving efficiency. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print February 17, 2015: e1-e6. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302499).
Alternate JournalAm J Public Health

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