Protect Funding for Core Local Public Health Services and Prevention Programs
Urge your members of Congress, especially those who serve on the U.S. House and Senate Appropriations Committees, to protect and increase funding for local public health services and prevention programs made possible by the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF).
Counties support the majority of America’s approximately 2,800 local health departments and protect our residents’ health, safety and quality of life. In fact, 70 percent of local health departments are county-based and another eight percent serve multiple counties. Local health departments provide immunizations, conduct surveillance to detect and monitor emerging infectious diseases, protect the food and water supply, and prepare for and respond to disasters, acts of bioterrorism and other health emergencies. In addition, local health departments work with community partners to help prevent the leading causes of death and disability and reduce health care costs.
Federal investments are responsible for nearly 25 percent of local health departments’ revenue. According to the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), local health departments have lost over 20 percent of their workforce capacity since 2008. Dedicated funding sources such as the PPHF are critical to helping counties support core local public health programs such as immunizations and chronic disease prevention. PPHF also invests in new and innovative programs tailored to the unique health problems facing our communities, including the underlying social determinants of health.
Local public health programs are essential for preventing chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes, which are responsible for 75 percent of all healthcare spending and are responsible for 70 percent of deaths in the U.S. Since the inception of the PPHF in FY 2010, new public health threats have emerged- such as substance use disorders and suicide epidemic, infectious disease outbreaks and increases in chronic illnesses- and federal resources have not kept pace.
Despite funding essential public health work, the PPHF has already been cut by over $11.85 billion from FY 2013 – FY 2027. Further cutting PPHF funding, especially without increasing funding for local public health programs through regular appropriations, would negatively impact local public health departments already strained by having to respond to illness outbreaks like the current COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing opioid crisis while maintaining core operations to keep residents healthy and safe.
KEY TALKING POINTS
The PPHF allows local and state health departments to tailor community solutions. States and localities face unique public health needs and challenges that call for innovative and community-driven solutions. In FY 2022, the PPHF funded all ($160 million) of the Preventive Health and HealthServices Block Grant. This program provides state and local health departments the flexibility to solve problems unique to their residents, while still being held accountable for demonstrating the local, state and national impact of the investment. States develop health plans, report their activities to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and implement prevention and treatment solutions for populations in need.
The PPHF supports cost-effective and life-saving immunizations. Immunizations are one of the most cost-effective public health interventions, saving an estimated 42,000 lives and preventing 20 million cases of disease for babies born in a given year with a return on investment of $10.20 for every $1 invested, according to the CDC. In FY 2022, the PPHF contributed more than half of the funds -$419 million – for the CDC’s Immunization and Other Respiratory Diseases Program. This program provides funds to purchase vaccines for at-risk populations and immunization program operations, including support for implementing billing systems for immunization services at public health clinics to sustain high levels of vaccine coverage.
The PPHF funds early and rapid detection of disease and injury. Local public health infrastructure is crucial to controlling infectious diseases like tuberculosis, once the leading cause of death in theU.S., and responding to outbreaks like salmonella. In FY 2022, at a total of $40 million, the PPHF funded all of CDC’s Epidemiology and Lab Capacity (ELC) Cooperative Agreement Program. This is a single grant vehicle for program initiatives that strengthen state and local efforts to detect, track and respond to known infectious disease threats in communities and maintain counties’ core capacity to be the eyes and ears on the ground to detect new threats as they emerge. The five-year performance period for ELC began in August 2019 and funds 64 jurisdictions.
For further inofrmation, contact Blaire Bryant at 202.942.4246 or firstname.lastname@example.org