On Public Health Security - February 2016 - PHPR Funding: The President’s Budget Request for 2017

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PHPR Funding: The President’s Budget Request for 2017


On Public Health Security
February 2016
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Stephen C. Redd

Dear Partners,

With the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, and travel-associated cases of Zika virus reported in the United States, stories of public health emergencies are all over the news lately. The Department of Health and Human Services is the lead federal agency coordinating federal partners’ response to the water crisis. CDC/ATSDR has experts in the field assisting state and local health departments with both the water crisis and the increase in Legionnaires disease cases. On the global front, we activated and began coordination of the Zika virus response from CDC’s Emergency Operations Center on January 22.

These emergencies underscore the importance of having sufficient resources to undertake our work. Congress passed a full-year appropriation’s bill for fiscal year (FY) 2016 in December 2015. Overall, CDC’s funding increased by more than $272 million in FY 2016, which includes a $52 million increase for the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (PHPR), the majority of which is for the Strategic National Stockpile. This February, the President released his FY 2017 Budget which requests level funding for our emergency management work, the Strategic National Stockpile, and the PHEP cooperative agreement. The request includes an additional $5.4 million to strengthen oversight of dangerous biological agents and toxins. Below are examples of how PHPR plans to use the funding.

Support for Emergency Response. As I mentioned in last month’s eNews, our overarching priority is to execute CDC’s response to public health emergencies with nearly flawless precision. Sustained funding in FY 2017 for CDC’s emergency management program will allow for rapid and effective response to domestic and international public health emergencies. Since 2013, we trained health officials from around the world on how to implement emergency management principles through the Public Health Emergency Management Fellowship Program. For example, In January, CDC welcomed eight fellows from eight countries (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Togo, and Vietnam). These efforts support the Global Health Security Agenda by providing opportunities to build emergency management capacity worldwide.

Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) Funding. With a level funding request of $575 million for FY 2017, CDC will maintain the SNS, which is the largest federally owned repository of medical countermeasures including pharmaceuticals, critical medical supplies, mobile Federal Medical Stations, and medical equipment available for rapid delivery across the nation. At this funding level, CDC can replace the majority of its expiring medical countermeasures. It is hard to predict when or where SNS’s countermeasures will be needed, but when the Ohio Department of Health responded to a botulism outbreak last year, CDC provided the lifesaving antitoxin. Sustained funding for FY 2017 helps CDC prepare to respond to the next public health emergency.

Support for State and Local Health Departments. The FY 2017 budget includes $660 million to support state and local health departments through the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) cooperative agreement. CDC conducted a review of the PHEP program in 2015, and we plan to use FY 2017 proposed resources to implement review recommendations, including:

  • Developing specific guidance and program requirements for medical countermeasure planning and response and epidemiological surveillance;

  • Updating equipment and technology for state biological and chemical reference level laboratories; and

  • Developing and implementing an action plan for improving coordination of infection prevention efforts in coordination with Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, within the public health and healthcare sectors.

Additionally, we will use funds to begin a new five-year project period for the aligned Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) and PHEP cooperative agreement. Planning is underway to develop program metrics for the new HPP-PHEP funding opportunity announcement scheduled to be released in June 2017. This work reduces administrative burden on states, localities, and territories receiving preparedness funding, and allows them to better prepare their communities to respond to, and recover from, public health emergencies.

Enhancing the Federal Select Agent Program. CDC, in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), ensures research on select agents and toxins is conducted as safely and securely as possible through oversight provided by the Federal Select Agent Program (FSAP). In 2015, a workgroup of CDC experts reviewed the areas of the FSAP overseen by CDC. The workgroup recommended changes in inspections, incident reporting, and transparency. The FY 2017 budget request includes an increase of $5.4 million to upgrade CDC’s Select Agent Program, including upgrading the current database and increasing and improving inspections.

The above resources are essential to ensuring we have a robust preparedness infrastructure at the federal, state, and local levels, which will allow us to effectively respond to any public health emergency. As Director of CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, it is my job to make sure our funding is used to achieve the greatest impact possible. I will update you throughout the year on our efforts, and know we will be working closely with you, our partners, on many of these activities.

Thank you,
Stephen C. Redd, MD
Director, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Noteworthy Events

The 2016 ASPPH Meeting

Join the Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health on March 20 – 22 in Arlington, Virginia for its annual meeting. Events will include programming related to CEPH-accredited public health education, research, and practice. The deadline to register online is Friday, March 11.

The 2016 Preparedness, Emergency Response, and Recovery Consortium and Exposition (PERRC)

Held on March 22 – 24, in Orlando, Florida, this consortium & expo seeks to unite health care and public health to address best practices surrounding disaster recovery and response efforts. Registration remains open until the event.

“Building Capital: Investing in the Future of Health Education” Meeting

The Society for Public Health Education will host its 67th Annual Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina on March 30 – April 1. CDC’s Associate Director of Policy will be among the plenary speakers. Registration is currently open.

The 2016 Preparedness Summit

With the theme “Planning Today for Rebuilding Tomorrow: Resiliency and Recovery in the 21st Century,” NACCHO’s 2016 Preparedness Summit will be held in Dallas, Texas, April 19 – 22. A host of workshops, plenary sessions, and exhibits will be pertinent to current priority areas in public health preparedness and resiliency. Registration is available online.

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Check out CDC's new Zika response badge! Feel free to post this badge on your site to link readers to CDC’s website for Zika response updates and information.


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