March 10, 2022
On March 10, 2022, NYHealth hosted a webinar with Sarah Ravenhall, MHA, CHES, Executive Director, New York State Association of County Health Officials; Michael Mendoza, MD, MPH, MS, FAAFP, Commissioner of Public Health, Monroe County; and Kevin D. Watkins, MD, MPH, Public Health Director, Cattaraugus County Health Department.
Budget cuts across all of New York State’s 58 local health departments over the past decade add up to more than $150 million, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the immense challenges already facing local health departments.
Properly funded health departments are vital to healthy communities, yet spending on community health—the responsibility of local health departments—consistently lags behind spending on health care.
Real and sustained reinvestment in New York State’s public health infrastructure is needed to retain local health department staff as well as plan for, implement, and evaluate programs at the local level to prevent disease and promote health.
The panelists discussed reinvestment options for local health departments that will help retain and sustain a responsive, skilled public health workforce that can be adequately prepared for the next public health emergency.