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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Yesterday the Budget & Policy Center issued a report detailing the impact of budget cuts on public health in the state. The report was co-released by the Washington State Public Health Association and the Washington State Nurses Association.

The Budget & Policy Center and the Washington State Association of Local Public Health Officials independently surveyed local public health agencies to get a sense of the impact of recent budget cuts on public health programs and services, staff, and funding. The Budget & Policy Center received responses from 15 of 35 local health jurisdictions; WASLPHO received answers from 31.

As the map below indicates, 24 of 31 local health jurisdictions, which are the primary providers of public health services, have cut vital programs as a result of budget cuts. These include services to support the health of lower income pregnant women, vulnerable children, and seniors through prevention and education programs.

Other key findings from the report include:

-- Lay-offs of public health professionals in 23 of 31 LHJs

-- Drops in funding for 24 of 31 LHJs, for example, over $780,000 in Spokane, $1.4 million in Snohomish, and $1.75 million in Thurston Counties

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