Assignment: Doing More With Less
As explored in Week 4, public health organizations at the local, state or regional, and governmental levels provide services to and/or engage with many community members. This week, you explore how leaders and managers work within public health departments seek to fund all of the many programs and initiatives they provide, from immunizations to surveillance for communicable and infectious diseases to screenings and food safety and inspections. Leading and managing such responsibilities is no small feat, especially in an environment of fiscal scarcity. Public health services, like most public services, are almost always provided within a financially constrained environment, one that is vulnerable to economic shifts. With limited funds come many choices: Focus on prevention or promotion? If cuts are needed, what should go first? Facilities improvements? Salaries? Personnel? Supplies? Programs themselves?
In the course text, Shi and Johnson (2014) define public health finance as “A field of study that examines the acquisition, utilization, and management of resources for the delivery of public health functions and the impact of these resources on population health and the public health system” (p. 181). Thus, the skillset involved in obtaining funds (acquisition) is absolutely critical to public health leadership. Obtaining funds without the context around what funds are needed, why, and how funding will address specific community health problems is a hollow task, however. Public health leaders need to be well versed in budgeting, applying strategies for funding, and analyzing variations in public health funding. Fortunately, tools exist that aid in the process of determining funding and devising strategies for funding.
For this week’s Assignment, review the budget worksheet provided in the Weekly Resources. In addition, in the media titled “Public Health Finance”, reflect on the insights a finance director from the Howard County Health Department provides regarding challenges and strategies related to funding programs.
With the budget worksheet in mind, review the Learning Resources. Research other resources providing information on funding public health initiatives. Access the national websites to search for funding for public health and other initiatives: Explore your state, local, and regional health-related funding organizations’ websites. Research these organizations’ targeted grant opportunities.
The Assignment (2–3 pages including a budget worksheet):
Part I: Explain the funding issues related to your selected public health project or service related to your Final Project. Include an explanation of whether these issues are long- or short-term, how urgent, and which stakeholders might be most affected (1–1.5 pages).
Part II: Based on the Learning Resources and your research, as well as the information included in the budget worksheet, recommend some potential funding sources and explain why you recommend them. In your explanation, include variations in funding and how these variations influenced your decision making (1–1.5 pages).
Part III: Complete the budget worksheet provided indicating the funding opportunities and costs related to the chosen project.
*Please copy and paste the budget worksheet as an appendix to create one single document for Parts I-III.
By Day 7
Complete and submit your Assignment (including the budget worksheet in the appendix).