By Peter Kyriacopoulos, Director of Public Policy, APHL
Strong governmental public health is capable of responding to the full array of diseases and other health threats that can cause harm to the people of this country. Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) funding offers one avenue of support, and there will certainly be others similarly targeted. PHEP provides funding to public health departments via CDC to build their capacity and capability to respond effectively to infectious disease outbreaks, natural disasters and other public health emergencies, including those that are willfully introduced.
The correct way to assure an effective and efficient governmental public health response to all threats is through dedicated and continuous federal funding. While there is not yet sustained federal funding for public health laboratories, it remains one of APHL’s top policy priorities. Both the House and Senate versions of health reform legislation include provisions creating trusts or investment funds that go far to accomplishing this goal. Until they are enacted, governmental public health will be compelled to seek funding from any and all possible sources.