Today, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released a new report highlighting longstanding federal public health programs that support state and local health departments, and recommendations for improving these programs based on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The policy brief, titled “Preparing for Future Health Threats: Improving and Sustaining Foundational Public Health Capabilities in Response to COVID-19,” is the third in a series of white papers released by the Ranking Member on the government’s continued pandemic response. The first installment, titled “Modernizing CDC: Ensuring a Strategic Approach and Improving Accountability,” was released in May 2021, and the second paper, titled “Reforming and Strengthening ASPR: Ensuring Specialized Capabilities, Sufficient Capacity, and Specific Authorities to Meet 21st Century Public Health Security Threats,” was released in June 2021.
“Local, state, and federal efforts together provide the framework of public health response in our nation,” the report states. “Whether in the midst of an emergency response or during routine day-to-day operations, it is clear that public health preparedness programs need to be updated and improved both to secure public health and to prevent the next pandemic.”
The report concludes, “Improving the strategic focus, oversight, and sustained visibility of the foundational federal programs will increase overall public health capacity and better position us to address public health threats today and in the future.”
The policy brief, “Preparing for Future Health Threats: Improving and Sustaining Foundational Public Health Capabilities in Response to COVID-19,” examines current federal public health programs and ways to enhance foundational capabilities to better support state and local health departments. These capabilities give health departments the resources they need to operate effectively during everyday operations and public health emergencies. Specifically, the report includes the following recommendations:
To read the complete policy brief, click here.