In April of 2013, at the encouragement of a number of public health leaders, the Public Health Leadership Forum (PHLF), funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and organized, managed, and facilitated by RESOLVE, convened a group of stakeholders to further explore a recommendation from For the Public’s Health: Investing in a Healthier Future (IOM 2012), to further define a minimum package of public health services including foundational capabilities (FCs) and an array of basic programs no health department can be without, now known as foundational areas (FAs). 

Over the course of several meetings, the working group built on efforts in Washington, Ohio, and other states to draft an initial V-1 Foundational Capabilities and Areas with Addendum. The document is intended to be used as a discussion piece within the public health community to continue the development of, support for, and coalescence around the case for foundational public health services essential to communities everywhere for the health system to work anywhere. Clarity and consistency of an overall conceptual framework, including definitions and methodologies for estimating costs is critically important to support a case for sustained funding for Foundational Public Health Services.

Foundational Capabilities (FCs): Cross-cutting skills needed in state/local health departments everywhere for health system to work anywhere; essential skills/capacities to support all activities

Foundational Areas (FAs): Substantive areas of expertise or program-specific activities in all state/local health departments necessary to protect the community’s health

Programs/Activities Specific to a Health Department or a Community’s Needs: Additional, critical significance to a specific community’s health, supported by FAs/FCs; most of a health department’s work

Foundational PH Services (FPHS): Comprised of the FCs and FAs; a suite of skills, programs/activities that must be available in state/local health departments system-wide

Working Group Meetings: