Thursday, January 22, 2009

Partnership for Prevention's Chairman today urged Congress to increase and stabilize resources for the U.S. Task Force on Community Preventive Services.

"...The Task Force on Community Preventive Services, supported by CDC staff, has had erratic and consistently insufficient funding. It has only been able to cover a minority of the possibly effective community policies and programs, and it has had virtually no funding to disseminate its findings," Jonathan Fielding, MD, MPH, testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

Fielding, who is Director and Health Officer at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, also serves as the chairman of the community preventive services task force. He said the clinical services group "has been more comprehensive because it has a clearly delineated domain (clinical medicine) and has had a sustained, although inadequate, funding base." He urged more funding for both groups. While Fielding didn't specify a funding source, the $2.35 billion in CDC funding proposed in the House's version of the economic stimulus bill could be one possible source.

Fielding also echoed Partnership's recommendation that Congress enact legislation identifying a specific source and a specific annual amount for the sustained funding of core public health activities at the state and local levels. Using tobacco control as an example, he said many state and local health departments "have no sustained funding, and almost none have sufficient funding to implement the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."


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