American Public Health Association
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For Immediate Release
Contact: Media Relations, (202) 777-2509
mediarelations@apha.org

APHA Urges Congress to Include Public Health Provisions in Stimulus Bill

  Statement from Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E)

 Executive Director

American Public Health Association

Washington, D.C., February 9, 2009 – “At a time when more and more Americans are losing their jobs and turning to the nation’s public health system as a way to protect their health, the American Public Health Association (APHA) is thoroughly disappointed with the Senate’s decision to eliminate prevention and wellness funds from the economic stimulus bill.

 

“The important health provisions would have helped meet the bill’s need to quickly stimulate the economy by: (1) creating and preserving jobs across the nation; and (2) putting the funds to immediate use through existing mechanisms. The prevention and wellness funds would have also allowed state and local governments to continue offering critical services and provided an opportunity to work toward improving the health of all Americans.

 

“Eliminating the $5.8 billion for prevention and wellness as recommended by the Senate Appropriations Committee hampers the ability of state and local governments to meet the growing urgent needs of their residents.

 

“It is critical to both the economic health of our nation and to the health of its people, that the final bill sent to the president includes provisions aimed at protecting health. An investment in prevention is required, as it will take a healthy, productive work force to help usher our nation back to financial stability.

 

“We urge House and Senate conferees to preserve and strengthen the prevention and wellness provisions included in the House bill and help our nation become the strongest we can be.”

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Founded in 1872, the APHA is the oldest, largest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. The association aims to protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. APHA represents a broad array of health providers, educators, environmentalists, policy-makers and health officials at all levels working both within and outside governmental organizations and educational institutions. More information is available at www.apha.org.