ATLANTA, May 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) has issued the following statement regarding today’s announcement that the Biden-Harris Administration will invest $7 billion from the American Rescue Plan to hire and train public health workers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:
«CSTE applauds the Biden administration’s commitment of $7 billion from the American Rescue Plan to grow and strengthen our nation’s public health workforce. We are energized by the Administration’s continued focus on building a larger, more diverse workforce with long-term sustainability and an emphasis on health equity, rather than what has historically been one-time emergency funding. Specifically, we are encouraged to see the inclusion of epidemiologists and data scientists in the public health professionals highlighted in the plan. Effective disease surveillance and good data are the backbone of any public health emergency response, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the flaws and prior lack of investment in our nation’s public health infrastructure and workforce. CSTE estimates the U.S. will need nearly 9,000 new epidemiologsts nationwide to adequately address current gaps in epidemiology capacity and establish a sustained public health infrastructure, and today’s announcement is a step in this direction.
«For over a decade, CSTE has worked tirelessly with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other partners to foster public health workforce development via fellowship programs in applied epidemiology and surveillance/informatics, mentorships and other training opportunities. This new funding for state, territorial, local and tribal health departments to meet increased staffing demands in all areas, as well as the expansion of existing, successful programs such as CSTE’s Applied Epidemiology Fellowship (AEF) and CDC’s Epidemiology Intelligence Service (EIS ) shows the Administration’s continued commitment to revitalizing our nation’s public health infrastructure. CSTE looks forward to further collaboration with Congress and the Biden administration to grow and build the next-generation public health workforce. This is truly a historic day for public health in the U.S.»
Founded in 1951, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) represents the interests of State Epidemiologists from all 50 U.S. states and territories, comprising the Council. CSTE is also the professional home to more than 2000 practicing applied epidemiologists working at the state, local, tribal and territorial levels. For more information, visit www.cste.org.
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SOURCE Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists