White House Announces Another $250 Million, This Time for Public Health Infrastructure and Prevention Efforts

Cheryl Clark, June 21, 2010

Just a few days after announcing it will fund $250 million to bolster the nation's workforce of primary care providers, the Obama administration on Friday announced another $250 million will augment efforts to expand prevention and public health infrastructure.

"With these investments, we are tackling the underlying causes of chronic diseases as well as strengthening our ability to meet the public health challenges of the 21st century," said U.S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin. "This moves America in the direction of becoming a fit and healthy nation."

Said Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius: "Investing in prevention and public health builds the foundation for improving the health and well-being of Americans, and for lowering costs in the healthcare system. Investing in proven preventive services will help patients get the care they need, avoiding costly and unnecessary care later. This prevention-focused approach is better for doctors, patients, and our national balance sheet."

Allocations of the $250 million will be as follows:

  • Community and Clinical Prevention—$126 million, with federal, state, and community initiatives that will integrate primary care services with behavioral health settings, obesity prevention, and fitness and tobacco cessation.
  • Public Health Infrastructure—$70 million to build support for state, local, and tribal public health efforts and to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks at a local level.
  • Research and Tracking—$31 million for data collection and analysis, which includes strengthening the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Community Guide and the Task Force on Community Preventive Services, and improving transparency and public involvement in the Clinical Preventive Services Task Force.
  • Public Health Training—$23 million to expand the CDC's public health workforce programs and public health training centers.

Both of the $250 million allocations were specified in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Cheryl Clark is a senior editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media Online. She can be reached at cclark@healthleadersmedia.com.

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