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McCullough publishes study in Health Affairs journal

Mac McCullough, School of Public and Population Health
Mac McCullough

Mac McCullough, School of Public and Population Health professor and associate director for community engagement and impact, recently published: “Not Only How Much But How: The Importance of Diversifying Funding Streams in a Reimagined Public Health System,” in the June issue of Health Affairs.

This study was one of the first of its kind to examine revenue diversification as a technical concept in public health and the first to do so with a nationwide lens. McCullough conducted this research with co-authors from the University of Minnesota Center for Public Health Systems and the National Association of County and City Health Officials.  

The research team combed through city and county data – gathered in years before the COVID-19 pandemic – to determine a yearly diversification index for local health departments. They found that health departments serving larger populations generally have a greater number of more equally-sized funding sources, showing more revenue diversification.

Revenue portfolios are an under-examined aspect of the public health system, and this study suggests that some organizations may be under financial strain by not having diverse revenue portfolios.

McCullough also presented this research at the recent Reimagining Public Health virtual panel to discuss the June issue’s central theme: “What might it look like to reimagine public health care and the systems that support the health of the community?”

McCullough’s research examines how investments in public health and social services improve population health. His teaching centers on finance, policy and management in health care and public health.