If you have any questions about this policy proposal, please send an email to grassroots@shea-online.org.

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Background

The Prevention and Public Health Fund (Prevention Fund), the nation’s largest investment in preventative measures to protect public health, is a critical source of funding for programs. The purpose of the fund is to provide mandatory federal funding for public health and prevention programs that would work “upstream” to improve health and prevent disease.

The Prevention Fund is intended to ensure a coordinated, comprehensive, sustainable, and accountable approach to improving our country’s health outcomes through the most effective prevention and public health programs. Since its creation, the Prevention Fund has been instrumental in maintaining and increasing support for evidenced-based chronic disease programs funded by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Since the inception of the Prevention Fund, it has seen dramatic cuts to originally enacted levels. Because the House and Senate can tap into the Prevention Fund, it has repeatedly been chipped away at by Congress or used by the Executive Branch to fund non-public health services. 


Why is this important?

The Prevention Fund is integral to many state public health that rely on federal funding for execution and sustainability. For example, all states rely on CDC’s Epidemiology and Lab Capacity program and funding for state healthcare-associated infection prevention programs which are supported through grants disbursed by the CDC. These funds provide assistance to public health departments to assess infection prevention practices and quality improvement initiatives, and to build capacity for surveillance, detection, and prevention of emerging infectious diseases.  The Prevention Fund also provides some funding for the Prevention Epicenters Program, another priority federal program for SHEA.

Importantly, for the CDC the Prevention Fund accounts for approximately 12 percent of its budget per year. Without this funding, the ability to directly support states and communities in addressing their most pressing health challenges, the prevention of infections and chronic illnesses, and investments in programs that are proven and effective would be crippled.

The Prevention and Public Health Fund is a critical investment in prevention and public health, and by statute, is meant “to provide for expanded and sustained national investment in prevention and public health programs to improve health and help restrain the rate of growth in private and public sector health care costs.”


Where does SHEA stand?

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America stands with the thousands of healthcare professionals and hundreds of healthcare organizations who support the Prevention Fund at the funding levels when originally enacted under the Affordable Care Act. SHEA opposes the use of the fund for initiatives that do not fall under the original intention of the fund and support its responsible use. SHEA also urges Congress and the White House to not pass legislation that would deauthorize or defund the Prevention Fund, as doing so would have devastating consequences for CDC’s annual budget and state public health departments by potentially eliminating the CDC Epidemiology and Lab Capacity program as well as state funding for healthcare-associated infection programs.

SHEA supports the passage of S.1944, The Public Health Funding Restoration Act. 


What will SHEA do next?

SHEA will work with and support our coalition partners led by Trust for America’s Health to advocate for restoring the fund to originally enacted funding levels and to ensure the fund is recognized as an important source of funding to sustain state and local public health departments during budget talks or any other proposed legislation that may come from the United States Congress. SHEA will also actively advocate for the Public Health Restoration Act, which will further the goal of ensuring all PPHF funds will be used for their original purpose and not be a blank check for the needs of other programs not related to preventative public health programs.


How can I get involved?

SHEA understands and appreciates your desire to stay informed and to get directly involved in SHEA’s next steps. To receive regular updates and to receive instructions on how to get involved, join SHEA’s Grassroots Network by texting PREVENTION to 52886 or sending an email grassroots@shea-online.org with the subject line “Subscribe.”


Time Line

June 2019
May 2018
February 2018

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