Cuts in public health fund undermine preparedness

January 8, 2012
by Christopher G. Atchison, Director of the State Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa
Gazette (Iowa)


Recently, the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) issued a report that warned of a dramatic decline in funding for emergency preparedness across the nation from fiscal year 2009-10 to fiscal year 2010-11. Iowa alone has seen a 16.2 percent decrease in funding during this time.

Jeffrey Levi, the group’s executive director, said this reduction means “a decade’s worth of progress [is] eroding in front of our eyes.” As someone who has spent 25 years in public health practice, I believe Levi is correct, and his warning is ominous.

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