Sunday, January 29, 2023
Health

CDC announces $3.2 billion to build up public health system

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday announced that it has awarded $3.2 billion in funding directly to state, local, and territorial health departments to boost staffing, services, and systems to protect communities. The CDC said the first-of-its-kind funding includes $3 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act, the COVID-19 stimulus bill passed and signed into law in March 2021.

Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, the CDC’s director, said the pandemic severely stressed health departments, which were already weakened by neglect and underfunding. The funding is tailored to meet community needs, help marginalized communities, and modernize data systems.

“This grant gives these agencies critical funding and flexibility to build and reinforce the nation’s public health workforce and infrastructure, and protect the populations they serve,” she said. “We are meeting them where they are and trusting them to know what works best for their communities.”

Much of the funding is geared toward recruiting, training, and retraining the public health workforce. It also includes $140 million from a new appropriation to strengthen the public health infrastructure and $65 million in technical assistance for jurisdictions that are strengthening their services.

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), the National Network of Public Health Institutes, and the Public Health Accreditation Board have been awarded grants as partners in the CDC’s funding to help support health departments.

In a statement, Michael Fraser, PhD, ASTHO’s chief executive officer, said the investment in public health is historic and will help the country prepare for the next pandemic. “We will be helping states address training needs, supporting recruitment and retention efforts, and bringing subject matter experts and leaders together to build up their public health systems,” he said.

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