Nebraska was considered the tenth healthiest state in the country in 2014 according to the United Health Foundation. Its public health strengths include a high rate of immunization among children and a low rate of deaths from drugs. Public health officials in Nebraska work to further increase the health of the state’s residents through prevention, disease surveillance, and public policy.
Combined state and federal per capita spending on public health in Nebraska increased 25.6% between 2008 and 2013, and the state’s public health budget was more than $74 million for fiscal year 2013-14. Such levels of spending increases the availability of public health jobs in the state, and have the potential to increase the salaries for these positions.
Nebraska’s flagship agency for improving public health is the Department of Health & Human Services Division of Public Health. This agency developed a roadmap for the state with its Nebraska Public Health Improvement Plan of 2013.
One of the key areas that Nebraska is focusing on is the electronic exchange of health information. This has the potential to improve public health in the state by providing near real-time reporting of syndromes and will enable the state to obtain cancer data directly from electronic health records. Another benefit of this approach is to enable near real-time laboratory results for communicable diseases.
While epidemiologists in Nebraska are monitoring a number of types of diseases, West Nile virus surveillance is one of their priorities. Although the number of human cases of this disease dropped by 37.1% between 2013 and 2014, fatalities increased from five to seven during this time frame.
State public health officials act in concert with their colleagues at the local level, in academics and non-governmental organizations, and with the state legislature to improve the state of public health in Nebraska, all while receiving very respectable salaries.
A Review of Public Health Salaries for Omaha, Nebraska
The Nebraska Department of Labor provides salary data for a variety of public health officials located in the Omaha metropolitan statistical area in 2013. While some of the salaries differ significantly between the median and those for experienced professionals, public health professionals with a high level of education such as a Master of Public Health are likely to earn salaries on the higher end of these scales.
A Review of Salaries Among Public Health Professionals throughout Nebraska
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a detailed analysis of the hourly wages and annual salaries for a number of public health professionals working at locations throughout Nebraska (2014).