The Institute of Medicine’s 2012 report on public health financing recommended the convening of expert panels to identify the components and costs of a “minimum package of public health services” that should be available in every U.S. community. The report recommended that this minimum package include a core set of public health programs that target specific, high-priority preventable health problems and risks, along with a set of “foundational public health capabilities” that are deemed necessary to support the successful implementation of public health programs and policies. In response to this recommendation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other national professional associations, formed the Public Health Leadership Forum, an expert consensus panel process to identify a recommended set of core programs and foundational capabilities for the nation. The Forum’s initial charge focused on the specification of foundational public health capabilities. The Foundational Capabilities Workgroup was formed as a part of the Forum to identify and define the elements to be included as foundational capabilities for governmental public health agencies at both state and local levels.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation asked the National Coordinating Center for Public Health Services and Systems Research based at the University of Kentucky to convene a second expert panel workgroup, the Workgroup on Public Health Cost Estimation, to develop a methodology for estimating the resources required to develop and maintain foundational capabilities by governmental public health agencies at both state and local levels. Working in parallel with the Foundational Capabilities Workgroup, this Cost Estimation Workgroup has considered relevant cost-accounting models and cost estimation methodologies, and reviewed related cost estimation studies, in order to make recommendations on an approach for generating first-generation estimates of the costs associated with developing and maintaining foundational capabilities.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

The authors listed above are members of the Workgroup on Public Health Cost Estimation from the University of Kentucky.