APHA and Other Statements
Funding increases outlined in President Biden’s fiscal year 2024 budget proposal would bolster the public health system’s ability to combat the many urgent challenges facing the nation, including public health emergencies and infectious and chronic disease threats, according to the American Public Health Association.
The president’s proposed budget provides $144.3 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Health and Human Services. Within the total, the proposal allocates nearly $11.6 billion in funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly $2.4 billion more than fiscal year 2023. The proposed budget also recommends a discretionary funding level of $9.205 billion for the Health Resources and Services Administration.
“The administration’s proposed FY 2024 budget rightly continues its focus on the critical need to strengthen the nation’s public health infrastructure, workforce and pandemic preparedness capabilities,” said APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD. “Once again we laud the administration’s continued focus on critical public health priorities and look forward to working with them and all members of Congress to support these long overdue investments.”
The president’s proposed budget provides significantly increased funding for a number of critical public health priorities, including:
“We are grateful to President Biden for these and other proposed funding increases and for the important new initiatives outlined in the budget proposal that would undoubtedly improve the public’s health. We look forward to working with the administration and Congress to enact the strongest possible funding for all public health programs in FY 2024,” Benjamin said.
The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at www.apha.org.
Statement from APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD
“With 51 mass shootings in January, averaging more than 1.6 per day, the first month of 2023 has been disheartening. More than 200 people have been injured and 85 people have already died in mass shootings this year.
When will we say enough and do something to end this tragedy?
We grieve with the families of those impacted by these horrific events and everyone affected by gun violence, but that’s not enough. We need to do more. We need to implement change now.
Gun violence is preventable. APHA has a history of advocating for actions to protect our children, families, friends and communities from the pain and suffering caused by gun violence. Join our call for commonsense solutions to address gun violence, including universal background checks and increased funding for gun violence prevention research.
Let’s stop this emerging epidemic in its tracks. Survivors, victims, their families and all communities impacted by gun violence deserve it.”
Visit APHA’s website for resources addressing gun violence prevention.
Every year, the American Public Health Association honors excellence in public health leadership and innovation, from state and local health officials to those speaking up for public health from the halls of Congress.
This year’s awards will be presented Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 12 p.m. during APHA’s 2022 Annual Meeting and Expo, which officially kicks off Nov. 6.
“The commitment and accomplishments of these outstanding public health leaders is inspiring," said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, executive director of APHA. "Their contributions, and those of countless others, have helped strengthen the field and build a healthier nation as we continue to face serious public health challenges."
This year’s honorees include:
Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH, MPA, director of ICAP at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, will receive APHA’s Sedgwick Memorial Medal for Distinguished Service in Public Health for her groundbreaking work in global HIV research, treatment and care. Through ICAP, El-Sadr partnered with global health leaders, innovators and researchers to increase access to care and prevent the occurrence of diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV, with 2.5 million people getting lifesaving HIV treatment and 43 million people receiving HIV testing.
Prabhat Jha, MD, DPhil, FRSC, professor of Global Health at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, will receive the APHA Award for Excellence for his groundbreaking work in expanding global death reporting in low- and middle-income countries. Jha is known for leading the Million Death Study which surveyed 23 million people in India about the causes of death of their close contacts and found tobacco use as a leading cause of death. The new data spawned tobacco control policies that saved millions of lives and was instrumental in the creation of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., will receive the 2022 Distinguished Public Health Legislator of the Year Award for his continued push for legislation that improves the health and well-being of all Americans. In addition to his ongoing effort to pass laws to reduce gun violence and increase access to reproductive health, Schumer was instrumental in the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act to help reduce the costs of medications for people on Medicare and lower the costs of health insurance.
Sara Rosenbaum, JD, founding chair of the Milken Institute School of Public Health’s Department of Health Policy at George Washington University, will receive the 2022 APHA Executive Director Citation for her work in elevating the voice of APHA and public health experts during public health-related federal court cases. Rosenbaum helped inject the voices of public health academia into court cases involving issues such as reproductive rights and the Affordable Care Act. She was also a founding commissioner and former chair of the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission and served on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice and CDC’s Advisory Committee to the Director.
Rear Admiral Denise Hinton, MS, RN, will receive the 2022 APHA Presidential Citation for her public health service as the deputy surgeon general and her past leadership roles in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Today, Hinton advises U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on evolving national public health data and the use of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. After working for the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, she became a chief scientist where she tackled issues such as COVID-19 response and One Health during her oversight of the FDA’s national and global health security, counterterrorism and emerging threat portfolios.
Sacoby Wilson, PhD, MS, professor of applied environmental health with the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, College Park and former Environment Section chair, will receive the David P. Rall Award for Advocacy in Public Health for his community-based environmental justice work. As director of the Center for Community Engagement, Environmental Justice and Health (CEEJH), Wilson has helped marginalized communities ravaged by industrial pollution in Washington, D.C., South Baltimore, other parts of the Mid-Atlantic, the Southeast, and the Deep South fight for cleaner air and water.
Flavio Marsiglia, PhD, MSW, distinguished foundation professor of Diversity and Health and director of the Global Center for Applied Health Research at Arizona State University, will receive the Helen Rodriguez-Trias Social Justice Award for his public health prevention work helping marginalized communities near the U.S.-Mexico border. Marsiglia’s work includes the founding of the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center to address health disparities in underserved communities and the creation of a substance use prevention initiative targeted at Hispanic youth, which was later adapted for Black and American Indian children in the Southwest.
William Mercer, MD, former health officer of the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department, will receive the Milton and Ruth Roemer Prize for Creative Local Public Health Work for his efforts to reduce youth tobacco use and expand access to health care for West Virginia residents who are homeless. Mercer developed the Joe Too Cool to Smoke program for local schools, using the likeness of Snoopy from the Peanuts gang to teach Ohio Valley children about the dangers of tobacco use. He later founded Project Homeless Outreach Partnership Effort, or Project HOPE, which sends a mobile medical van to shelters and encampments to provide medical care and medicine to people who are homeless.
Arthur James, MD, FACOG, an adjunct professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, will receive the Martha May Eliot Award for his lifetime work in lowering Black infant mortality rates and bringing attention to racism’s effects on public health. James’ accomplishments include creating a "community-oriented obstetrical care" model to address the causes of infant mortality in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and reaching Healthy People 2000’s goal for reducing Black infant mortality in Kalamazoo from nearly 30 deaths to 10 deaths per 1,000 live births.
Mulugeta Gebregziabher, PhD, professor of biostatistics at the Medical University of South Carolina, will receive the Victor Sidel and Barry Levy Award for Peace for bringing global attention to the Ethiopian government's human rights violations against residents of the country's Tigray region. A native of the Tigray region, Gebregziabher has used published research, global symposiums and advocacy of world leaders to inform public health professionals, governments and academia about the violent attacks on Tigray’s innocent civilians, health care infrastructure and food security.
Jessica Williams, PhD, associate professor for Pennsylvania State University’s Department of Health Policy and Administration, will receive the Lyndon Haviland Public Health Mentoring Award for her work in guiding the development of students and young professionals in APHA’s Medical Care Section. Williams helped match students and early-career professionals with mentors who trained them on peer reviewing publications and helped found the Barbara Starfield Medical Care Scholar program to immerse young professionals in the Section’s advocacy and policy work through events such as APHA’s Annual Meeting and Expo.
Nathan Grubaugh, PhD, MS, associate professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, will receive the 2022 Ayman El-Mohandes Young Professional Public Health Innovation Award for his breakthrough research in saliva-based COVID-19 testing. Grubaugh’s previous infectious disease research on the Zika virus contributed to the creation of saliva-based PCR-based testing for COVID-19 in collaboration with Research Scientist Dr. Anne Wyllie, which is being used across the country. This research informs local and state public health departments and elected officials about variants of concern.
A new APHA-supported public health web series has the potential to reach millions of viewers around the world and open their eyes to the importance of public health.
The first episode of “Crash Course Public Health” debuted today on Crash Course, a popular educational YouTube channel. The 10-episode series will explore a range of issues — from health equity, racism and mental health to climate change, gun violence and transportation — in under 15 minutes each. The first episode, hosted by behavioral scientist Vanessa Hill, introduces how social, economic and environmental conditions influence health, and the different ways public health impacts daily life.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has made a lot of people aware of public health work, but there’s so much more to public health than just infectious disease,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, executive director of APHA. “’Crash Course Public Health’ will help people understand the myriad factors that influence their health and the health of their communities, and how they can play a role in improving them.”
Created in conjunction with APHA and Complexly, “Crash Course Public Health” will join 44 other courses available on the Crash Course YouTube channel, which has over 13 million subscribers. Crash Course videos cover a wide range of subjects and are used by teachers, students and learners of all kinds to make learning accessible and fun.
"We believe high-quality educational videos should be available to everyone for free.” said Hank Green, CEO of Complexly. “We’re excited to launch ‘Crash Course Public Health’ to introduce the basics of social determinants, community health and health systems to a wider audience. This highly relevant series will help people be more aware of the impact of public health work, and how they can be a part of building a healthier world.”
“Crash Course Public Health” serves as a companion series to “That’s Public Health,” a 20-episode YouTube series that debuted in 2021. Created by APHA and Complexly, the series features short, easy-to-understand animated videos on a range of public health topics. “That’s Public Health” has been lauded and shared by both health educators and health departments alike.
APHA began partnering with YouTube in 2020 to help elevate evidence-based content from authoritative sources. The work continues as APHA celebrates its 150th anniversary, which is highlighting the Association’s accomplishments and looking toward the future of public health.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Media Relations
“The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn its nearly 50-year-old Roe v. Wade decision allowing a constitutional right to abortion is a catastrophic judicial failure that will reverberate differently in each state and portends to jeopardize the health and lives of all Americans.
APHA has long held that access to a full range of reproductive health services, including abortion, is a fundamental right. When access to abortion is denied, it further undermines the health of marginalized populations.
The Supreme Court’s action is no surprise. A draft of the decision released weeks ago prompted dismay and heartache, along with rightful protests across the country.
Written by Justice Samuel Alito, in a Mississippi case, Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the decision is an error of science, a lapse in values, and a misguided punch to a nation still reeling over a pandemic. It is the greatest setback for reproductive rights in more than a generation and among the worst decisions in Supreme Court history.
Specifically, today’s action overturns a decision by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that found a Mississippi law ran afoul of the Supreme Court precedent by seeking to effectively ban abortions at 15 weeks. This drastic rollback of reproductive rights is likely to have a major impact on a range of other reproductive and health services. APHA submitted an amicus brief to the court on this case urging them to reject the Mississippi law.
With the Supreme Court’s action, many states are pushing bills that reflect Mississippi’s ban, or put even more extreme restrictions into place that violate human rights. This tragic acceleration of denying abortion access increases the risk of injury or death. Also, pregnant people pushed to carry unintended pregnancies to term face higher risks of poverty and poorer health.
Congress must immediately pass legislation to protect and advance access to abortion and reproductive justice, and remove restrictions on public funding and insurance coverage for legal abortions. States must take action to make the procedure legal for patients who seek it and abortion providers who offer the essential health care service. Further, states should fund and equip their public health departments to help people obtain comprehensive reproductive health services consistent with public health values and frameworks.
The Supreme Court decision sets the nation back decades and demands action by all of us to protect reproductive freedom for all. A public health strategy to achieve health in all policies, economic equality, social justice and human rights should protect and advance access to abortions and reproductive justice.
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Contact: Media Relations, 202-777-3913
“The American Public Health Association shares in the shock and devastation felt by families and loved ones of the more than 18 lives taken by gun violence in Uvalde, Texas today. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and we hope they receive the support they need to grieve and deal with this horrible attack.
This carnage must end, because we’ve seen this all too often. This is the 27th school shooting this year. Expanding beyond schools, we’ve had more than 198 mass shootings in 2022. As a society, we deserve better. Our leaders must act now and implement the many proven commonsense solutions that will reduce the risks of these horrendous acts of violence.
Gun violence is preventable and we don’t have a moment to wait. The safety of our children is at stake.”
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