Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sebelius announces $42.5 million for public health improvement programs through the Affordable Care Act

$399,836 to Georgia State Department of Community Health

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today (September 20) announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded funding for 94 projects totaling $42.5 million to state, tribal, local and territorial health departments to improve their ability to provide public health services. This funding, made possible through the new Prevention and Public Health Fund created by the Affordable Care Act, will be distributed through cooperative agreements to 49 states, eight federally recognized tribes, Washington, D.C., nine large local health departments, five territories, and three Affiliated Pacific Island jurisdictions to maximize public health efforts.

“These funds will help health departments around the country to improve the quality and effectiveness of the critical health services that millions of Americans rely on every day,” said Secretary Sebelius. “Strengthening our public health system through better coordination and collaboration will help to deliver higher quality health care more efficiently.”

This new 5-year cooperative agreement program entitled, Strengthening Public Health Infrastructure for Improved Health Outcomes, will provide health departments with needed resources to make fundamental changes in their organizations and practices, so that they can improve the delivery of public health services including:

- Building and implementing capacity within health departments for evaluating the effectiveness of their organizations, practices, partnerships, programs and use of resources through performance management

- Expansion and training of public health staff and community leaders to conduct policy activities in key areas and to facilitate improvements in system efficiency

-Maximizing the public health system to improve networking, coordination, and cross-jurisdictional cooperation for the delivery of public health services to address resource sharing and improve health indicators

-Disseminating, implementing and evaluating public health’s best and most promising practices

- Building a national network of performance improvement managers that share best practices for improving the public health system.

“Investing in public health builds a foundation for a strong and healthy society and contributes to lowering the cost of health care. Investing in proven preventive services and strong policies helps us to avoid unnecessary costs later,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.

“These funds are a down payment on improving public health services across the nation,” said Dr. Judith A. Monroe, CDC’s deputy director for state, tribal, local and territorial support. “With these funds, we will help our nation’s public health departments work more effectively and efficiently to detect and respond to public health problems. This program will strengthen the nation’s public health system and our ability to improve the health and well being of all Americans.”

In response to the CDC’s original funding announcement Public Health Systems and Infrastructure projects in July 2010, CDC received more than 140 applications from health departments seeking funds through this cooperative agreement. For more information, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/ostlts

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