CARES Act Includes $500 Million to Modernize the Nation’s Public Health Data Infrastructure

A medical professional uses a laptop.

Today, President Donald Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which is the third aid package to fight the COVID-19 national emergency. The CARES Act includes $500 million that solidifies congressional and Trump Administration support for Data: Elemental to Health, a multi-year campaign to modernize the public health infrastructure in the United States.

We need your help to thank Congress for including the funding in the CARES Act. Please take a few minutes to send eMessages to your Members of Congress and Senators.

HIMSS and our partners have been advocating for greater funding for more than year. Working together, HIMSS along with the APHL, CSTE, NAPHSIS, NACCHO, and ASTHO have focused on bringing the public health infrastructure, surveillance system and workforce into the 21st Century. The funds included in the CARES Act will provide an essential and immediate injection of resources to build a public health surveillance system that provides automatic, enterprise, interoperable data exchange in real time, enabling a coordinated and timely response across the health system.

Denise Hines, Chief Americas Officer at HIMSS, applauds congressional leaders and the president for prioritizing funding to transform our public health data surveillance infrastructure.

“We strongly support the swift action taken by Congress and President Trump to provide $500 million in funding for the Data Modernization Initiative at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and bring our outdated public health data infrastructure into the 21st century. HIMSS and our Data Modernization Campaign colleagues have worked for over a year to raise awareness on the inefficiencies in our public health technology infrastructure. The challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the immediate need to get timely and reliable data to our public health professionals and health care providers on the front lines to fight the spread of this disease.

“The ability to make smarter, faster decisions will protect and ultimately save American lives. A modern public health surveillance system will allow us to predict and respond more quickly to future public health threats. We are encouraged by this commitment and look forward to working with Congress and the Administration to ensure sustained funding for these modernization efforts at the CDC.”

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