FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 4, 2019                CONTACT Liz Voyles, liz@brassrc.com, 202-297-9641

Coalition of Big City Health Officials Applauds U.S. House for Passing the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2019 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) commends the House of Representatives for adopting the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2019.  The bill passed the Senate on May 16 and now heads to the President’s desk for his signature. The legislation will enable the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to better prepare public health departments and health systems for emergencies and disasters.

The Big Cities Health Coalition is a forum for the leaders of America’s largest metropolitan health departments to exchange strategies and jointly address issues to promote and protect the health and safety of their residents. Collectively, BCHC member jurisdictions directly impact almost 62 million people, or one in five Americans. 

“Local health departments are on the front lines every day, responding to some of the nation’s most severe public health emergencies, such as the measles outbreak, historic wildfires and extreme weather events,” said Chrissie Juliano, Executive Director of the Big Cities Health Coalition. “This legislation continues essential federal programs that provide training and resources to cities, counties, and states, who face an ever changing array of man-made and natural emergencies.”

In particular, BCHC welcomes the bill’s passage for two programs that direct federal funds directly to local public health departments to allow them to plan and execute their response to public health crises:

·    Public Health Emergency Preparedness Grants (PHEP) – PHEP grants strengthen local public health departments’ capacity and capability to respond to public health emergencies in a timely manner.  More than 55% of local health departments rely solely on federal funding for emergency preparedness.

·    Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) – HPP provides funding to state, city and territorial health departments to enhance healthcare system planning.  As the only source of federal funding that supports regional health care system preparedness, HPP promotes a sustained national focus to improve patient outcomes and enable rapid recovery.

The coalition commends the support provided by committed Representatives and their staff who worked tirelessly to help progress the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act, and we are delighted to see this legislation finally become law.

###

 

The Big Cities Health Coalition is a forum for the leaders of America’s largest metropolitan health departments to exchange strategies and jointly address issues to promote and protect the health and safety of their residents. Collectively, BCHC member jurisdictions directly impact more than 62 million people, or one in five Americans. http://www.bigcitieshealth.org/