On Wednesday, May 8, the House Appropriations Committee voted to advance the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) spending bill for FY2020. Included in the bill is $100 million in new funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the first year of a multi-year initiative that would allow CDC, state, local, tribal and territorial health departments to implement leading edge, interoperable, secure IT systems and recruit and retain skilled data scientists.
As a founding leader of the Data: Elemental to Health Campaign, HIMSS is working closely with the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), and the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS) to educate Members of Congress on the critical importance of this national investment in modernizing public health surveillance.
The current state of our nation’s public health surveillance enterprise, the interactive system of government public health agencies at the federal, state and local levels that work with healthcare providers and the public to detect, report, and prevent illness and death are fragmented, antiquated and in dire need of modernization. Funding for this critical modernization at an enterprise level at the CDC, as included in this bill, will allow governmental public health agencies to move from sluggish, manual, paper-based data collection to seamless, automated, interoperable and secure data systems. The funding in this bill also supports efforts to develop our nation’s public health workforce to use and maintain a modern public health surveillance enterprise.
As the FY2020 appropriations process moves forward in the House and Senate, HIMSS will continue to work with our partners to build bipartisan support in Congress for the “Data: Elemental to Health Campaign.”