Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has awarded $49 million in grants, supported in part by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, to improve the quality of healthcare and strengthen the public health infrastructure.
Awarded to all 50 states, the grants are designed to strengthen state, local and territorial health departments’ capacity to perform epidemiology and lab work, detect and prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAI) and support immunization programs. This is double the spending for the same programs in 2010.
Of the grants awarded, $35.8 million in Prevention and Public Health Fund dollars and $3.8 million in additional CDC funding will increase epidemiology, lab and health information systems capacity at health departments in all 50 states, two territories and the six large metropolitan jurisdictions (such as Los Angeles and Philadelphia).
Almost $9 million will be used to bolster states’ abilities to prevent HAIs, which lead to nearly 100,000 deaths every year. Funds will help states coordinate HAI prevention activities, implement multi-facility, multi-disciplinary prevention efforts, improve monitoring of antimicrobial use and enhance electronic reporting of HAIs.
Another $600,000 will be used to improve states’ immunization infrastructure and programs. The funds will strengthen the evidence base for immunization programs and policy by supporting important evaluations on the effectiveness of various vaccines, HHS said.
The grants will fund state and local public health programs supported through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A full list of grant recipients is available here.