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Infectious Diseases Experts Applaud Spending Measures Supporting Public Health
Funding Would Support Research and Innovation in Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance 

December 19, 2019 (Arlington, VA) — The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) applauds Congress for its leadership in investing in public health strategies, as represented in the FY 2020 appropriations minibus, H.R. 1865, passed by the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

“We are encouraged by increased funding and resources to address antibiotic resistance and infection control,” said Hilary Babcock, MD, MPH, FSHEA, president of SHEA. “Prioritizing funding for research and critical public health prevention programs is necessary to stay ahead of these complex threats and ensure our healthcare systems are safe for everyone.”

As part of the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education bill, lawmakers unveiled legislation that would allocate new federal healthcare funding for the remainder of the fiscal year. Key provisions would look to improve the nation’s efforts to prevent, contain, and control antibiotic-resistant bacteria and healthcare-associated infections through much needed funding, including:

  • $636.8 million increase in budgetary authority for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for public health prevention programs.
  • $2 million increase for CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative to build on the findings and successes of the Antimicrobial Resistance Challenge, of which SHEA is a committed participant. Within this $2 million increase, $500,000 would be allocated to funding for innovative research projects.
  • $50 million new line item within CDC’s Public Health Scientific Services to modernize public health data infrastructure.
  • $50 million increase for the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to prioritize combating antibiotic resistance.

Additionally, Congress has provided funding and directives for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response to address antimicrobial resistance.

“This legislation funds initiatives that are very important to our nation’s health and safety. Funding for infectious diseases research sustains this growing and critical base of knowledge for protecting public health and preventing the spread of disease. We thank Congress for supporting our commitment to addressing antibiotic resistance in a comprehensive and meaningful way,” Babcock said.

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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.