The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded $24 million to fund 55 projects in 29 state and local public health departments that could serve as innovative approaches for influenza pandemic preparedness.
“What is learned from these projects can benefit everyone because it could improve national, regional and local public health detection and response to a pandemic involving influenza,” said Richard Besser, M.D., Director of CDC’s Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response. CDC intends for the recipients to implement promising practices or to develop effective approaches and models that can be replicated nationally, Besser said.
State and local health departments submitted a total of 184 funding applications in a competitive application process. Eligible applicants for the awards were limited to the 62 state, local and territorial public health departments that currently receive federal funding through CDC’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Cooperative Agreement.
The 29 award recipients have one year to complete the projects, which begin on Sept. 30, 2008. The projects focus on seven key areas:
- Using public engagement as part of the public health decision-making process;
- Electronic laboratory data exchange to support influenza pandemic monitoring;
- Integrating state-based immunization information systems to track distribution of influenza pandemic countermeasures;
- Developing statewide electronic death reporting systems compliant with Public Health Information Network (PHIN) requirements;
- Collaborative planning among healthcare providers to ensure the delivery of essential services during an influenza pandemic;
- Developing interventions that promote preparedness for pandemic disease among identified vulnerable populations; and
- Distributing and dispensing antiviral drugs to self-isolated or self-quarantined persons in an influenza pandemic event.
The $24 million for the new projects are part of $600 million in PHEP supplemental funding appropriated by Congress to accelerate state and local influenza pandemic planning efforts. The focus of the funding, which was distributed in three phases beginning in 2006, was on practical, community-based procedures that could prevent or delay the spread of an influenza pandemic.
A list of the 29 award recipients and their projects can be found at http://emergency.cdc.gov/cotper/coopagreement/07/funding-schedule-pan-flu.asp.