For Immediate Release: September 21, 2010
TFAH Commends CDC for New Strengthening the Nationís Emergency Response State by State Report
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 21, 2010 - The following is a statement from Jeff Levi, PhD., Executive Director of the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) on the release of the new Strengthening the Nation's Emergency Response State by State report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
"This report shows the national investment to prepare today for potential health emergencies we could face tomorrow is a smart strategy. Every American deserves to be protected from health threats beyond their control, such as bioterrorism, natural disasters, infectious disease outbreaks, and environmental hazards.
The report is a major step forward in improving accountability and transparency - following up on Congress's expressed desire for CDC to continue to report state-by-state data - allowing Americans to see how their tax dollars are being used to better protect their families and communities from a range of health threats.
This document details major achievements states have made to strengthen the nation's ability to respond to a range of emergencies - such as improvements in public health laboratory capabilities, communications and disease tracking, and Strategic National Stockpile coordination. However, it also revealed serious gaps that must be addressed and different capabilities in different states - often due to lack of resources.
The Strengthening the Nation's Emergency Response report is a reminder that we cannot let down our defenses - we need to continue to shore up our preparedness for health emergencies. The current economic climate and budget cuts represent real threats to our preparedness. They are already starting to erode the progress that has been made and forcing state and local public health departments to cut jobs. We shouldn't have to relearn the lesson that it's better to be safe than sorry."
Trust for America's Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. www.healthyamericans.org
Laura Segal 202-223-9870 x 27 or firstname.lastname@example.org