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ASTHO Profile of State Public Health


The 2010 survey is the second survey in a longitudinal series about state/territorial health agency responsibilities, structure, planning and quality improvement activities, workforce, and more that provides core data for ongoing public health systems research and a source for tracking state public health performance and best practices. Information from the survey will allow the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) to continue to provide comparable information about the nature and scope of state public health; orient new health officials and support them throughout their tenure; respond to lawmakers' questions in the context of health reform; and advocate for a stronger public health system.

Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
Data Years Available: 
2007-08, 2010
Mode of Collection: 
Web-based survey. Mail response is an option.
Selected Content: 
Population Covered: 
State and territorial health departments in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories

The ASTHO Profile Survey is the only comprehensive source of information about State public health agency activities, structure, and resources. ASTHO sends a link to the web-based survey to senior deputies at State health agencies in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The approximately 120-question instrument covers the following topic areas: 1. Structure, governance, and priorities; 2. Workforce; 3. State health agency activities; 4. Planning and quality improvement; 5. Health information management; 6. Finance.

Along with general instructions, senior deputies received recommendations on the most appropriate staff/departments to fill out each section of the survey. Surveys could be filled out by multiple personnel in multiple sittings. The Profile Survey response rate was 96 percent among the 50 states and DC in 2012. Extensive follow-up was conducted with the states throughout 2013 to verify responses. When response errors were identified, ASTHO’s Survey Research team worked with the state to correct these responses. In instances where the state did not respond to multiple follow-up attempts, the Survey Research team used their expertise to determine whether or not to retain the data.

Response Rates and Sample Size: 
Interpretation Issues: 
References: and related web pages.