Sharing Session Recap: LHDs vs. the Economy: Survival of the Fittest
LHDs vs. the Economy: Survival of the Fittest
At today''s session, NACCHO hosted a conversation with local health officials about budget cuts and job losses at the local level and are they "fit" enough to make it through the current economic climate. About 30 local health officials shared their stories about the impact of the economic pressures on their health departments and communities. One health official said that she is optimistic and another said that LHDs are "right-sizing" their organizations. Some health officials expressed that they don''t see the end of budget cuts and still have concerns, city cuts, state cuts and now federal funding cuts.
Carol Moehrle, NACCHO Past President, facilitated the discussion drawing out approaches, strategies, and tools health officials have used to make decisions and survive the economic downturn. Some health officials expressed that these times are an opportunity and LHDs "[shouldn''t] cut the fresh, new growth, but prune the dead wood." LHDs need to be more visible, work with their partners in the community, and find stakeholders to speak on their behalf. One health department has started asking their staff to propose innovative ideas.
Though times are tough, by the end of the session, local health officials realized they are not alone.