Number of the Day: 44

April 9, 2013 | Number of The Day

New Jersey fares quite poorly when it comes to funding for public health programs, whether they’re from the federal or state government. When it comes to funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which provides monies for fighting infectious diseases, birth defects, and developmental disabilities — as well as funds for health preparedness and vaccines — New Jersey ranked 44th among states with a per capita allotment of $16.25, according to Trust for America’s Health, a nonpartisan health organization.

The Garden State did little better with the Health Resources and Services Administration, ranking 36th, with per capita funding of $20.91. The HRSA pays for community health centers and AIDs programs.

Some of the federal funds are based on population, but most of them are awarded through competitive grants.

One might think that the state would be providing a greater-than-average amount of funding to make up the difference but it isn’t. New Jersey ranks 27th, with a $25.85 per capita spend on public health.

Investing in disease prevention is the most effective way to improve health, according to the organization; doing so would spare millions from developing preventable illnesses and reduce healthcare costs.