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APTR Statements and Letters Regarding Policy Issues

 

APTR Urges Congress to Pass the Dream Act of 2019Open in a New Window

APTR has joined 70 health professions organizations in urging legislative action by Senate leadership for individuals with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and other undocumented youth. The letter urges the Senate to pass either the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 or the Dream Act of 2019. These bills would ensure that members of the health care workforce approved for DACA and other undocumented young people are able to continue their employment, education, training, and research in the health professions. By providing a legal pathway to citizenship for undocumented Americans who came to the U.S. as children, Congress can help our country produce a diverse and culturally responsive health care workforce to meet the needs of underserved populations and promote health equity.

View the Signed Dream Act Health Professions Letter

 

APTR Urges Congress to Include Recommended Report Language Around Maternal Mental Health DisordersOpen in a New Window

APTR and other national, regional, and local organizations request from Congress representatives the addition of specific report language within the FY 2020 LHHS appropriations bill to conduct an interagency report on HHS agency roles in addressing maternal mental health disorders.

Roughly twenty percent of childbearing women experience a maternal mental health disorder during pregnancy or within one year after their pregnancy and this percentage can increase to fifty percent when factoring in social determinants of health. Unfortunately, untreated maternal mental health disorders cost the US an estimated $14.2 billion in societal costs for births in 2017. These societal costs include maternal productivity loss, a greater use of welfare and Medicaid, and overall higher healthcare costs due to adverse maternal and child health outcomes.

To build on Congress' work to address maternal mental health, APTR and other organizations request language involving interagency roles to address maternal mental health disorders from the House FY 2020 LHHS appropriations report be included in the bipartisan Bring Postpartum Depression Out of the Shadows Act of 2015; a part of the 21st Century Cures Act.

Sign-on Letter: Maternal Mental Health Interagency Report

 

APTR Recommends Increase in HRSA Discretionary FundingOpen in a New Window

APTR and members of the Friends of HRSA Coalition recommend providing $8.56 billion for discretionary Health Resources and Services Administration programs in the FY 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. We are grateful for the increases provided for HRSA programs in FY 2019, but HRSA’s discretionary budget authority is far too low to effectively address the nation’s current health care needs. Additional funding will allow HRSA to fill preventive and primary health care gaps and to build upon the achievements of HRSA’s more than 90 programs and more than 3,000 grantees.  

Investing in programs that keep people healthy is important for the vitality of our nation. HRSA programs have been successful in improving the health of people at highest risk for poor health outcomes. The agency supports efforts that increase access to quality care, better leverage existing investments and achieve improved health outcomes at a lower cost. 

Increased HRSA Discretionary Funding Letter

 

APTR Urges Congress to Increase CDC Environmental Health FundingOpen in a New Window

APTR joined public health and environmental health organizations to express our support for increased funding for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Environmental Health in the FY 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. APTR urged the leaders of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies to build upon the FY 2019 increase and provide at least $230 million in the FY 2020 bill. This amount will ensure that NCEH programs are adequately funded including:
  • Increasing funding for the Climate and Health Program which is currently providing 16 states, two cities, three tribes and three territories (covering 50 percent of the U.S. population) with funding to help diagnose and prepare for the serious adverse health impacts of climate change including extreme heat, more severe storms, floods, droughts, increases in air pollution and pollen and the spread of infectious and vector-borne diseases – such as Lyme disease and dengue fever.

  • Improving environmental health surveillance

  • Expanding critically underfunded childhood lead poisoning prevention activities

  • Expanding the National Biomonitoring Network by providing additional resources to increase the number of states that can undertake state population-based biomonitoring surveillance. 

  • Strengthening and expanding funding to additional states under the National Asthma Control Program that tracks asthma prevalence, promotes asthma control and prevention and builds capacity in state programs. 

FY 2020 Appropriations Letter for CDC NCEH

 

APTR Supports Reintroduction of the Climate Change Health Protection and Promotion ActOpen in a New Window

APTR joined public health and medical organizations to thank Senator Edward Markey (MA) and Congressman Matt Cartwright (PA) for their ongoing leadership to address the health impacts of climate change through the reintroduction of the Climate Change Health Protection and Promotion Act.  By prioritizing the public health response to climate change, this legislation would bolster the capacity of our public health system and help to avoid many preventable illnesses and deaths.

This legislation will help the public health and medical communities address the challenges of climate change in several ways. First, it would require the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a national strategic action plan for addressing the public health impacts of climate change. Acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and in coordination with other federal agencies, the bill would enhance forecasting and modeling, track environmental and disease data and expand the science base to better understand the relationship between climate change and health outcomes. Importantly, the legislation would prioritize activities to address the health impacts of climate change including preparedness planning, surveillance, education and training in order to ensure that our already overburdened state and local public health workforce can adequately address the health impacts of climate change while continuing to respond to other ongoing threats and challenges. The legislation would also provide for the development of tools to educate public health and health care professionals and the public about the health impacts of climate change.    

Climate Change Health Protection and Promotion Act Letter

 

APTR Urges Congress to Fund $7.8 Billion For CDC ProgramsOpen in a New Window

APTR joined 225 state and national organizations to urge the Chairs of the House Appropriations Subcommittee  on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies  to provide at least $7.8 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s programs in the FY 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. We believe that Congress should prioritize funding for all of the activities and programs supported by CDC which are essential to protect the health of the American people. We are grateful for the important increases provided for CDC programs in FY 2019 and we urge Congress to continue efforts to build upon these investments to strengthen all of CDC’s programs. We also urged the continued support of the Prevention and Public Health Fund which currently makes up more than 10 percent of CDC’s budget and provides funding for critical public health and prevention activities. 


It is notable that more than 70 percent of CDC’s budget supports public health and prevention activities by state and local health organizations and agencies, national public health partners and academic institutions. In addition to ensuring a strong public health infrastructure and protecting Americans from public health threats and emergencies, CDC programs are crucial to reducing health care costs and improving health. Despite the progress CDC has made to meet these needs, the agency’s programs have been woefully underfunded.

FY2020 CDC Coalition Letter

 

APTR Urges Congress to Fund CDC National Center for Environmental HealthOpen in a New Window

The Association for Prevention Teaching and Research joined public health, environmental health and other supporting organizations to express support for increased funding for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Environmental Health in the FY 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.

As Congress moves forward with the appropriations process for FY 2020, APTR urges at least $230 million to NCEH to ensure all if its programs are adequately funded. This funding will help ensure that NCEH can work to strengthen and expand its programs.

Increasing our investments in environmental health prevention activities today will help reduce illness, disease, injury and even death. Relying solely on our health care system to tackle the dangerous problems – dirty air and water, toxic substances, lead poisoning, extreme weather and many other environmental hazards – that occur outside the walls of the clinic is a costly and ineffective solution. However, adequate investments today and into the future in core environmental health activities can be a critical down payment on health, productivity and happiness of countless Americans.

FY2020 Appropriations Letter for CDC NCEH

 

APTR Statement on Family SeparationOpen in a New Window

The Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR) stands in solidarity with other leading medical and public health organizations in opposing the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. While APTR is gratified that the President finally ended the separation of children from parents crossing the border into the U.S., this Administration’s continuation of its “zero tolerance” immigration policy perpetuates the detention of children and offers no relief for the more than 2,000 children currently separated from their families and living in detention centers.

Traumatic or stressful childhood experiences lead to increased health risks that include depression, behavioral problems and emotional issues, and are associated with an increased risk of premature death (Am J Prev Med. 2009 Nov;37(5):389-96). Additional risks include impaired brain development, as well as an increase of long-term risks of cardiovascular disease and mental illness.  These children and their parents may have already experienced violence and trauma within and while fleeing their homeland, compounding the stress they face from being held in an unfamiliar facility under restrictive conditions.

It is critical that these children be reunited immediately with their families to avoid further separation and detention that is harmful to healthy childhood development and detrimental to both short and long-term health and well-being. These children should have immediate access to qualified health care professionals to assess their physical and mental well-being.

This statement was developed by the APTR Policy Committee.

 

AJPM Special Initiative: Firearms ResearchOpen in a New Window

APTR is pleased to announce that its journal, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine has joined other research outlets in supporting firearms research by providing public access to the journal's published research on gun violence, free of charge. AJPM, which is jointly sponsored by APTR, believes gun violence is an important public health issue and is committed to supporting research at the intersection of firearms and public health, especially given the lack of funding support and other legislative obstacles that have stifled firearms research in the United States. 

The new Firearms Research collection includes about 40 articles published since 2011, and it can be found at http://www.ajpmonline.org/content/firearm_research and on Science Direct.

 

APTR Urges Congress to Address Firearm-related Injuries & FatalitiesOpen in a New Window

APTR joined other national medical, public health, and research organizations in urging congress to find a bipartisan path forward for comprehensive legislative solutions to firearm-related injuries and fatalities. Federal policy should address gun violence with the same dedication applied to other successful public health initiatives over the past 25 years, such as immunizations, public sanitation, and motor vehicle safety.

In a letter sent to every member of congress, APTR stated that, "strengthening firearm background checks and supporting federal research and public health surveillance on firearm-related injuries and fatalities would provide meaningful progress in achieving a public health solution for this issue." The letter was organized by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Letter sent to House

Letter sent to Senate

 

APTR Signed Health Professions and Nursing Education Coalition's FY 2018 Budget Letter and BrochureOpen in a New Window

APTR has signed on to support the Health Professions and Nursing Education Coalition's (HPNEC) advocacy and education efforts on the hill. HPNEC is recommending $580 million for HRSA's Title VII health professions and Title VIII nursing workforce development programs.

Title VII and Title VIII programs are essential to prepare the next generation of medical professions to the changing health care needs of the nation's growing and aging population. They further serve to bring together knowledge and skills across disciplines to provide effective, efficient, and coordinated care. 

View HPNEC's Budget Letter and Brochure: 

HPNEC Budget Letter >> 

HPNEC Brochure >>

 

APTR Joins Letter Supporting Prevention and Public Health FundOpen in a New Window

APTR has joined over 500 organizations urging President Trump to protect the Prevention and Public Health Fund which the Affordable Care Act (ACA,P.L. 111-148 and P.L. 111-152) authorizes. The Prevention Fund was established by the ACA to supplement appropriations for prevention and public health activities under the Public Health Service Act. 

The community sign-on letter states that “repealing the Prevention Fund without a corresponding increase in the allocation for the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education (LHHS) appropriations bill would leave a funding gap for essential public health programs, and could also foretell deep cuts for other critical programs funded in the bill.”  The letter also highlights the fact that the Prevention Fund is more than 12 percent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) budget and that “eliminating the Prevention Fund would be disastrous to the CDC budget and programs, and to the LHHS bill as a whole, leaving a nearly $1 billion budget hole which would be impossible to fill under current discretionary spending caps.”  The actions by the House to repeal and replace the ACA would eliminate the Prevention Fund starting in 2019.  

Community Sign-On Letter

 

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