NACDD Urges Congressional Leaders to Include Prevention, Wellness Funding in Economic Stimulus Legislation

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Chronic Disease Directors Join More than 160 Organizations in Submitting Letter of Support

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) joins more than 160 national organizations in urging House and Senate leaders to include funding for public health, prevention and wellness within the economic stimulus legislation.

The joint letter commended the House for passing its version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which includes $3 billion for prevention and wellness. At the same time, the organizations expressed their disappointment at the Senate's decision to strip $5.8 billion originally intended for prevention and wellness from its version of the bill.

"By including funding for public health, prevention and wellness initiatives, the House version of the economic stimulus bill restores lost jobs in state and local health departments while investing in areas that will improve health," said John Robitscher, Executive Director of the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors. "By removing this funding from its version, the Senate has lost an incredible opportunity to create needed jobs while improving the health of our workforce."

The letter notes that the state and local health departments lost over 11,000 jobs last year, and that the Prevention and Wellness Fund included in the House bill would help to prevent a projected additional 10,000 job vacancies from occurring next year in health departments.

"In an economic downturn, state and local health departments act as a safety net for individuals and families who have lost their health coverage and are searching for access to basic health services," said Robitscher. "Funding for prevention and wellness within the economic stimulus legislation would strengthen our public health infrastructure and our workforce while building stronger, healthier communities."    

About the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD):
The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) is a national public health association for chronic disease program directors of each state and U.S. territory. The NACDD works to reduce the impact of chronic diseases on the American population by advocating for preventive policies and programs, encouraging sharing of knowledge and developing partnerships for health promotion. (http://www.chronicdisease.org).

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Anne Kott

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