FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 7, 2018
CONTACT:  Tamara Moore, 202-868-4008 tmoore@thereisgroup.com

 

Infectious Diseases Experts Concerned by Cuts to Prevention and Public Health Fund
Latest Government Funding Bill Threatens to Cut Program Critical to Public Health and Safety

February 7, 2018 (Arlington, VA) — The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) is alarmed by the continuing resolution passed by the House of Representatives’ that would initiate a series of cuts to the Prevention and Public Health Fund in FY2021. These funding reductions would result in a net cut of $2.85 billion by 2027.

“In Congress’s urgency to avoid another government shutdown, they could compromise vital infectious diseases outbreak programs and ultimately place Americans’ lives at risk,” said Keith Kaye, MD, MPH, president of SHEA. “Infectious diseases prevention programs made possible by the Prevention and Public Health Fund have made great strides in keeping the public safe. Uncertainty over the sustainability and availability of funds for these programs could have serious ramifications.”

The Prevention and Public Health Fund is responsible for numerous imperative infectious diseases outbreak prevention programs implemented at the national and local levels, including those that address planned for and unanticipated infectious diseases threats. In fact, this Fund supports approximately 12 percent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s budget. On a local level, the Fund supports public health departments around the country in their state healthcare-association infection prevention programs and antibiotic stewardship programs. For many states, these cuts jeopardize the most basic infrastructure for these programs.

Defunding the Prevention and Public Health Fund would severely hamper our nation’s ability to combat preventable healthcare-associated infections and respond to infectious diseases outbreaks. SHEA urges Congress to preserve the Prevention and Public Health Fund as it continues to work towards a more permanent solution to government funding.

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The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) is a professional society representing more than 2,000 physicians and other healthcare professionals around the world who possess expertise and passion for healthcare epidemiology, infection prevention, and antimicrobial stewardship. The society's work improves public health by establishing infection-prevention measures and supporting antibiotic stewardship among healthcare providers, hospitals, and health systems. This is accomplished by leading research studies, translating research into clinical practice, developing evidence-based policies, optimizing antibiotic stewardship, and advancing the field of healthcare epidemiology. SHEA and its members strive to improve patient outcomes and create a safer, healthier future for all. Visit SHEA online at www.shea-online.org, www.facebook.com/SHEApreventingHAIs and @SHEA_Epi.