WASHINGTON, July 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Trust for America's Health (TFAH) applauds the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for releasing the first joint awards of two preparedness grant programs, the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) cooperative agreement and Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP).
The following is a statement from Jeff Levi, Executive Director of TFAH, who also serves as Chair of the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health.
"This is a great step toward improving the efficiency of the country's public health preparedness system. These two grants have been the backbone of supporting state and local preparedness efforts for a decade. Without them, state and local health departments would not have the training, staff or other resources to prepare for and respond to health emergencies. But, since their inception, neither program has reached its full potential.
"Aligning the grants is common sense: bringing PHEP – which is administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to state and local public health systems for preparedness activities – and HPP – which is managed by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and improves surge capacity and community and hospital preparedness for public health emergencies – together should create synergies and make it easier for public health officials to do their jobs.
"Until this announcement, the grant processes have been separate, leading to confusion and inefficiencies for grantees and the federal government. As an independent watchdog, TFAH has been supportive of the alignment process – both through our annual Ready or Not? report and in congressional testimony – as a way to simplify the process, reduce inefficiencies and better leverage the funds.
"The next step is making sure the grant alignment actually meets the intended goals of reducing burdens on grantees, improving federal efficiencies, and increasing programmatic benefits to state and local preparedness programs."
Trust for America's Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. www.healthyamericans.org
SOURCE Trust for America's Health