Fewer Federal Ounces of Prevention for Tennessee

Tennessee is collecting fewer dollars for disease prevention from the federal government than all but eight other states, and less than the Southern State average, according to a study jointly released by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation March 1. Here are some of the numbers from the study:

• Tennessee ranks 42nd out of 50 states in the amount of federal funding received from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support state disease and injury prevention programs in fiscal year 2009.

• According to Shortchanging America's Health: A State-By-State Look at Public Health Funding in the United States, Tennessee received $16.41 per person, and a total of $103,311,155, which is below average for the Southern region of $19.75 per person.

• States in the Midwest received the least amount of CDC funding for public health at $16.50 per person, $3.30 less per person than the Northeastern states, which received the most—$19.80 per person. Western states receive $19.22 per person.

• The low of $13.33 per person went to Virginia; the highest CDC, $58.65 per person, goes to Alaska.

• The national average CDC funding is $19.23 per person.

More promising is Tennessee's state budget for public health. There, we ranked 18 (with 50 being the least funding), budgeting $45.74 per person. Hawaii is first in per person budget for public health at $169.92; Nevada last, at $3.55. The national median is $28.92 per person.

Source: Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation