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Monthly Briefing

Monthly Briefing

January 2017 Monthly Briefing

The Bottom Line

ASPPH’s 2016 Legislative and Policy Initiatives to Inform 2017 Efforts

  •  ASPPH Shares Policy Priorities with Presidential Candidates
  • Federal Funding Continues as Top Priority for ASPPH
  • ASPPH Advances Prevention Research in the Cancer Moonshot
  • Population Health Initiatives Expand

What's New

ASPPH Shares Policy Priorities with Presidential Candidates

During the summer, ASPPH developed a 12-page white paper, Academic Public Health’s Priorities for America, intended to inform the Presidential candidates and their transition teams. The document focuses on advancing public health education, science, and practice as the basis of improving population health. ASPPH calls on the new Administration to make public health a national priority and advance the research, training, and other actions necessary to protect and promote health for all our citizens. The paper was authored by the ASPPH Legislative Committee, under the leadership of Dr. Howard Frumkin. Input from deans and primary representatives was included in the final document following extensive discussion at the Association’s Leadership Retreat in July. The final white paper was approved by the ASPPH Board. The paper offers four overarching policy priorities and scores of more specific policy recommendations.

Federal Funding Continues as Top Priority for ASPPH

ASPPH’s fiscal year 2017 funding priorities were established by the ASPPH Legislative Committee and shared with Congress during member and staff discussions with legislators and their staff throughout the year.  The Association sent numerous standalone and coalition letters to key legislators in support of its legislative agenda. Numerous face-to-face meetings were held with Senators, Representatives, and staff during the Congressional Session. The Association sponsored a “Hill Day” in late February that engaged numerous deans and program directors as advocates.

In addition to the aggregate funding levels for the major research and workforce agencies (NIH, AHRQ, CDC, and HRSA), ASPPH’s advocacy agenda focused on specific programs within CDC and HRSA. Congress was unable to reach agreement on the fiscal year 2017 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill.  The agencies covered by the bill have operated since October 1 under a series of continuing resolutions (CRs).  The current CR is scheduled to expire on April 18, 2017.  Under the CR, all of ASPPH’s priority programs (CDC Prevention Research Centers, HRSA Public Health Training Centers, CDC NIOSH Agricultural Forestry and Fishing Centers, CDC NIOSH Education and Research Centers, and the CDC Centers for Public Health Preparedness) are funded at the same level as in FY 2016.

ASPPH Advances Prevention Research in the Cancer Moonshot

ASPPH organized a March 21 letter to Vice President Biden and Congressional leaders, signed by more than 70 deans and directors of schools and programs of public health expressing concern that the Cancer Moonshot initiative “may be undervaluing the vital role that public health and prevention have played  and must continue to play  in reducing cancer incidence and mortality.” The academic public health leaders wrote, “We urge you to pay careful attention to the balance between treatment and prevention-related investments. The development of new and innovative therapeutic cancer interventions is vital, but history has shown that the greatest impact in reducing cancer mortality rates has come from preventing cancers. While curative treatments often appear more exciting to the public, investments in public health and prevention research hold even more promise for both short- and long-term reductions in cancer incidence and mortality rates. Developing cancer cures is essential, but controlling cancer is also a policy and public health challenge. We must operate on both fronts.” The letter was later published in Lancet Oncology.

Subsequently, an NCI Blue Ribbon Panel was formed to make recommendations on how any new funding from the Moonshot initiative should be allocated.  The panel’s final report included a set of prevention investment recommendations. On September 2, ASPPH wrote to the Vice President endorsing the Blue Ribbon panel’s report and highlighting the prevention recommendations.  The report was subsequently accepted and endorsed by the Mr. Biden.

Population Health Initiatives Expand

Under the leadership of the ASPPH Population Health Leadership Group, ASPPH’s initiatives to promote population health continue to expand. A detailed survey of the membership was completed in September.  A set of structured interviews with external stakeholders was completed in October.  The results of these initiatives will be released in early 2017. Both initiatives were intended to identify existing capabilities and opportunities for academic public health to advance population health, as well as challenges that may be hindering needed collaborations.

Other Activities

Previous Month's Briefings

November 2016 Monthly Briefing

Since October 1, the Federal Government has been operating under a continuing resolution that expires on December 9. Congress is expected to convene in a lame duck session after the election to finalize the fiscal year 2017 appropriations bills. ASPPH has provided the presidential candidates with a new white paper outlining the Association’s policy priorities. The Cancer Moonshot initiative has delivered their final reports.

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October 2016 Monthly Briefing

ASPPH has released a new white paper, Academic Public Health’s Priorities For America, to the Presidential transition teams. The document focuses on advancing public health education, science, and practice as the basis of improving population health. ASPPH calls on the new Administration to make public health a national priority and advance the research, training, and action necessary to protect and promote health for all our citizens. Congress on September 28 cleared a short term Continuing Resolution to keep the government operating through December 9, 2016. The measure also provided $1.1 billion in funding to address the Zika crisis.

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July 2016 Monthly Briefing

The Senate and House Appropriations Committees have approved differing version of the fiscal year 2017 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill. Most of ASPPH’s legislative priorities fared well, with key program accounts funded at the same level as in FY 2016.The bill is not expected to be considered by the full House or Senate. Instead, a continuing resolution will likely be enacted to fund the covered agencies until a lame duck session after the November elections. Supplemental funding to address the Zika crisis did not clear Congress before it adjourned for the summer. The Blue Ribbon Committee created to inform the Cancer Moonshot is scheduled to report in August.

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