Public health programs face a dire future. Earlier this year, Congress passed a continuing resolution that slashed nearly $40 billion in federal spending for this fiscal year, including cuts to health programs such as the Health Resources and Services Administration and a $740 million cut to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Coupounding the already tough financial climate at local health departments, the Prevention and Public Health Fund — a mandatory funding stream created by the Affordable Care Act — remains at risk. The reality is, deeper budget cuts at CDC and HRSA will threaten the critical services they provide to states and local communities across the country and force public health workers to do more with even fewer resources.
To help reverse this devastating trend, APHA has kicked off our annual Public Health Action (PHACT) Campaign, asking public health advocates to educate their members of Congress about the importance of public health. This year, PHACT is focused on protecting public health funding.
We are encouraging our members and grassroots advocates to join the campaign by attending a town hall event during the August congressional recess, scheduling a district office meeting, emailing or calling their Representative or Senators, or writing an op-ed explaining why public health funding must be protected.
You can take action today by sending a message to your Representative or Senators. APHA has a downloadable toolkit with fact sheets, sample letters, tips for publicizing advocacy activities via social networking and much more. Check the PHACT website throughout the summer for state fact sheets, details of local town hall meetings and other updates.
Questions about getting involved? Send us an email at PHACT@apha.org.
Join the PHACT Campaign and help protect funding for vital public health programs. There’s too much at stake.