Contemporary Public Health Finance: Varied Definitions, Patterns, and Implications

Jason M. Orr, Jonathon P. Leider, Rachel Hogg-Graham, J. Mac Mccullough, Aaron Alford, David Bishai, Glen P. Mays

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The financing of public health systems and services relies on a complex and fragmented web of partners and funding priorities. Both underfunding and "dys-funding" contribute to preventable mortality, increases in disease frequency and severity, and hindered social and economic growth. These issues were both illuminated and magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated responses. Further complicating issues is the difficulty in constructing adequate estimates of current public health resources and necessary resources. Each of these challenges inhibits the delivery of necessary services, leads to inequitable access and resourcing, contributes to resource volatility, and presents other deleterious outcomes. However, actions may be taken to defragment complex funding paradigms toward more flexible spending, to modernize and standardize data systems, and to assure equitable and sustainable public health investments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-374
Number of pages16
JournalAnnual Review of Public Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 20 2024

Bibliographical note

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  • COVID-19
  • foundational public health services
  • governmental public health
  • public health finance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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