HHS Announces Grants for Public Health Disaster Preparedness

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded more than $971 million to continue improving preparedness and health outcomes for a wide range of public health threats within every state, eight U.S. territories, and four of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas.

The funding awards included a total of approximately $352 million awarded for the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) cooperative agreement and more than $619 million awarded for the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) cooperative agreement.

Administered by the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), HPP funding supports preparedness for health care systems, health care coalitions and health care organizations. HHS’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention administers PHEP funding to support the preparedness of state, local, and territorial public health systems.

HPP and PHEP funding helps recipients build and sustain public health and health care preparedness capabilities outlined in ASPR’s Healthcare Preparedness Capabilities: National Guidance for Healthcare System Preparedness (PDF – 902 KB) and in CDC’s Public Health Preparedness Capabilities: National Standards for State and Local Planning. These documents establish standards for protecting human health and national health security.

For the first time, the HPP and PHEP funds are being awarded jointly, encouraging cooperation between the nation’s health care and public health systems. This change follows a year-long effort by ASPR and CDC to align the two federal preparedness programs. These programs represent critical sources of funding and support for public health and health care preparedness systems.

Improved coordination among federal emergency preparedness programs is a high priority of HHS and other federal entities, as well as for HPP and PHEP awardees. In December 2010, ASPR, CDC, and other federal partners began developing strategies to better align grants with public health and health care preparedness components.

With aligned HPP and PHEP cooperative agreement programs, states and communities can more easily, efficiently, and effectively conduct joint planning, exercising, and program operations. These activities are vital in preparing communities to respond and recover from emergencies and help communities manage health care and public health on a daily basis.

An HHS official noted that as access to health care increases, more Americans are likely to seek care from primary care providers and health clinics to address these day-to-day health issues rather than visiting emergency departments. With fewer people seeking basic care in emergency rooms, hospitals can care for a greater number of patients during emergencies.

ASPR and CDC aligned HPP and PHEP cooperative agreements to advance all-hazards preparedness and national health security, promote responsible stewardship of federal funds, and reduce the administrative burden for grant recipients. The programs support complementary preparedness capabilities and performance measures, use the same processes for grants administration, technical assistance and data management, use common reporting requirements, and have compatible IT systems.

While closely aligned in many aspects, HPP and PHEP will continue to remain individual programs, in accordance with authorizing legislation. HPP and PHEP budgets also will remain separate, to ensure accountability for the statutory requirements of each separate funding stream.

This alignment has resulted in several key changes for the 2012 HPP-PHEP grant cycle. Among the changes are a single HPP-PHEP funding opportunity announcement, funding application, and grant award, as well as a single grants administration agency, CDC’s Procurement and Grants Office. An aligned grant cycle is also being implemented, with the annual HPP-PHEP grant cycle beginning each July 1 and ending on June 30 of the following year.

To learn more about HPP and PHEP including grant awards to individual states, territories or localities, visit http://www.cdc.gov/about/organization/ophpr.htm.

State HPP Awards

State PHEP Awards

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