HHS pumps $971 million into disaster preparedness

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 22, 2013

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On the heels of large-scale disasters such as Hurricane Sandy, the Dept. of Health and Human Services has allocated more than $971 million in grants to improve disaster preparedness for health care and public health.

The funding will be used to continue improving preparedness and health outcomes for a broad spectrum of public health threats within every state, eight U.S. territories and four of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. Those are Chicago, Los Angeles County, New York City and Washington.

The grants include an estimated $352 million for the Hospital Preparedness Program cooperative agreement and more than $619 million for the Public Health Emergency Preparedness cooperative agreement (link).

Both programs encourage health care entities and public health departments to work with other federal health and preparedness programs in their jurisdictions to maximize resources and prevent duplication, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (link).

For the first time, HPP and PHEP funds are being awarded jointly to encourage cooperation between the nation’s health care and public health systems, according to HHS. Local and state health agencies have responded to eight foodborne outbreaks this year, two new global diseases and 37 disaster and emergency declarations, according to July 3 data from the CDC.

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