March 12, 2010

News Release

For Immediate Release

Missouri 50th in State Public Health Spending

A recent study reveals that Missouri ranks 50 out of 51 states and the District of Columbia in the amount of spending on public health. This means that people in Missouri will continue to suffer from preventable diseases and health conditions.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America’s Health released a report last week that states while federal funding for public health has remained flat, states are cutting funding that provides necessary services that protect the health of our community. Furthermore, states in the Midwest receive less federal funding than other regions of the country. This means vital services that protect the community, including disease control and prevention, food and water safety, emergency preparedness and prevention services continue to face reductions in funding and lead to a reduction in services. Left unfunded, these gaps in provision will continue to create an environment of people needlessly compromised by their health conditions.

This lack of funding is evident in the greatest health problems that face our community. Missouri has some of the highest rates of smoking, obesity and diabetes. The evidence is clear that spending money on prevention can reduce the rates of chronic disease conditions and possibly even reduce the levels of medical care spending. A 2008 study by the Trust for America’s Health found that for every $1.00 spent on prevention programs, $5.60 would be returned in healthy outcomes.

For more information on this study, please visit

For more information contact:
Katie Towns-Jeter MPH
Public Information Administrator

springfield greene county health department
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Harold K. Bengsch Building

227 E. Chestnut Expwy. • Springfield, MO 65802
417-864-1658 •