Public Health Preparedness is Crucial Element of American Rescue Plan

Society of Healthcare Epidemiologists calls for sustained funding of public health
March 11, 2021

The Society of Healthcare Epidemiologists of America (SHEA) is grateful for provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act that help Americans recover from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and increase funding to advance the modernization of our public health infrastructure. By improving COVID-19 surveillance, emerging pathogen preparedness, and public health reporting, the American Rescue Plan furthers key elements of SHEA’s mission and sets up the United States for a strong response to future outbreaks. 

The new funding includes support for:

  • development, manufacturing, production, and purchase of vaccines, therapeutics, and ancillary medical products and supplies to prevent, prepare, or respond to COVID-19 and any variant; 
  • activities to detect, diagnose, trace, and monitor COVID-19 by all levels of public health departments while also enhancing information technology and data modernization; and
  • strengthening and expanding activities and workforce related to the genomic sequencing and disease surveillance of new COVID-19 strains. 

“SHEA believes that federal investment in the public health infrastructure must be prioritized not only to address COVID-19 but also to modernize systems so we can successfully manage future infectious disease outbreaks. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed vulnerabilities that require sustained investment to protect against future illness and loss of life from the next virus,” said SHEA President Mary Hayden.

To continue efforts toward modernizing our public health infrastructure, we call on Congress and the Biden Administration to support new investments in other parts of the public health infrastructure continuum, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). The NHSN collects and provides data analyses needed for early identification of infectious disease outbreaks and antibiotic resistance in healthcare facilities. Further increasing and sustaining this investment in public health resources like NHSN is essential to protecting the lives of Americans.  

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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 shea-online.orgfacebook.com/SHEApreventingHAIs and twitter.com/SHEA_Epi.

Contact: Christine Vaughan | cvaughan@thereisgroup.com

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