The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
announced today over $ 40 million in grant funding, partly supported by
the Affordable Care Act, for state, tribal, local and territorial health
departments and several schools of public health

This is meant to enhance the nation’s
public health infrastructure and strengthen the public health workforce.

Awarded in nearly every state, this funding will improve the delivery of
necessary public health services in communities, cities and states
across the country.

These funds will help health departments around the country maximize
the impact of the essential services they provide every day, and build
the public health workforce to ensure we’re ready to meet the public
health challenges of tomorrow.” –  Kathleen Sebelius Department of Health and Human Services secretary


The grants will fund key state and local public health programs

supported through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

Most of this aid comes from the Prevention and Public Health Fund
created by the Affordable Care Act.

This is the second year of CDC’s 5-year program known as the National
Public Health Improvement Initiative (NPHII) Strengthening Public Health
Infrastructure for Improved Health Outcomes.

More than 100 people have already been hired through the NPHII and an additional 116
positions are expected to be filled through today’s awards.

The NPHII funding allows health departments to improve the delivery and
impact of the public health services they provide by improving the performance of their programs; fostering the identification,dissemination as well as adoption of public health’s best and most promising practices.

Likewise, it seeks to build a network of performance improvement managers across
the country that share strategies for improving the public health
system, maximizing cohesion across states’ and communities’ public
health systems to ensure seamless and coordinated services for residents.

A strong, efficient, and effective public health system is critical for
building a healthy society.” – Thomas R. Frieden, M.D. director CDC

Today’s awards will also support 10 Public Health Training Centers at
accredited schools of public health and other public or non-profit
institutions, bringing the total number of Public Health Training
Centers to 37 across the country.

HRSA’s Public Health Training Center Program provides our nation’s public health workforce education and training in areas such as environmental health, public health leadership, nutrition, and cultural competency.

This expanded national educational network will provide highly-skilled training to nearly 500,000 public health and related healthcare practitioners.

The announcement is another part of the Obama Administration’s broader effort to improve the health and well-being of our communities through initiatives such as the President’s Childhood Obesity Task Force, the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign, National Quality Strategy, and National Prevention Strategy.