While Arkansas faces some major public health problems such as high rates of chronic disease, public health officials in the state have been acting aggressively to mitigate causal factors through research, public policy, and the implementation of programs focused on prevention.
Funding levels for efforts to improve public health in Arkansas have been increasing substantially in recent years. In 2014, the combined federal and state funds spent on public health in Arkansas resulted in the fifteenth highest per capita expenditure in the country. The amount of funds allocated for public health in Arkansas increased 61% between 2009 and 2013 according to the United Health Foundation. This increase in funding has had the direct effect of increasing the number of public health professionals being hired at the state and county levels, and has helped raise the bar in terms of their salary potential.
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In 2003, Arkansas garnered national attention for groundbreaking legislation designed to combat childhood obesity when Mike Huckabee signed Act 1220. A four-year analysis of these health prevention efforts suggested that this act has been successful in reducing the levels of childhood obesity—a significant predictor of future ill health.
In addition to its efforts to reduce the occurrence of preventable chronic disease through education and prevention, the Department of Public Health uses epidemiologists to monitor 31 types of infectious disease, while environmental health specialists track such major health issues as the level of mercury found in fish.
Working together, public health officials in Arkansas have made major inroads into addressing the significant health challenges of the residents of this state. These efforts involve public health experts in state and local government, academia, private industry, and non-governmental organizations.
A Comparison of Salaries Among Public Health Professionals in Little Rock
The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services provides a comparison of the salaries of various public health specialties in Little Rock for 2013. While the salary of any given position can vary substantially, professionals with advanced degrees such as the Master of Public Health are likely to have salaries at the experienced level as shown here.
A Statewide Salary Analysis of Public Health Professionals in Arkansas
For comparison, a full analysis of the hourly and annual salaries of Arkansas’ public health officials is shown below as reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2014.