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  1. Yeager, Valerie A. DrPH
  2. Balio, Casey P. PhD
  3. McCullough, J. Mac PhD, MPH
  4. Leider, Jonathon P. PhD
  5. Orr, Jason MPH
  6. Singh, Simone R. PhD
  7. Bekemeier, Betty PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN
  8. Resnick, Beth DrPH, MPH


Objective: The purpose of this study was to review changes in public health finance since the 2012 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report "For the Public's Health: Investing in a Healthier Future."


Design: Qualitative study involving key informant interviews.


Setting and Participants: Purposive sample of US public health practitioners, leaders, and academics expected to be knowledgeable about the report recommendations, public health practice, and changes in public health finance since the report.


Main Outcome Measures: Qualitative feedback about changes to public health finance since the report.


Results: Thirty-two interviews were conducted between April and May 2019. The greatest momentum toward the report recommendations has occurred predominantly at the state and local levels, with recommendations requiring federal action making less progress. In addition, much of the progress identified is consensus building and preparation for change rather than clear changes. Overall, progress toward the recommendations has been slow.


Conclusions: Many of the achievements reported by respondents were characterized as increased dialogue and individual state or local progress rather than widespread, identifiable policy or practice changes. Participants suggested that public health as a field needs to achieve further consensus and a uniform voice in order to advocate for changes at a federal level.


Implications for Policy and Practice: Slow progress in achieving 2012 IOM Finance Report recommendations and lack of a cohesive voice pose threats to the public's health, as can be seen in the context of COVID-19 emergency response activities. The pandemic and the nation's inadequate response have highlighted deficiencies in our current system and emphasize the need for coordinated and sustained core public health infrastructure funding at the federal level.