A Comparison of US Federal Government Spending for Research and Development Related to Public Health Preparedness Capabilities, 2008–2017

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Objective The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed 15 National Public Health Emergency and Preparedness Response Capabilities (NPHPRCs) to serve as national standards for health-related core capabilities. The objective of this study is to determine the level of federal funding allocated for research related to NPHPRCs during 2008–2017. Methods An online search of was performed to identify federal awards, grants, contracts from 2008–2017 related to research associated with NPHPRCs. Inclusion criteria were identifiable as research and disaster-related; US-based; and specific reference to any of the NPHPRCs. A panel of 3 experts reviewed each entry for inclusion. Results The search identified 15 278 transactions representing US $29.2 billion in awards. After exclusions, 93 entries were found to be related to NPHPRCs, averaging US $2 783 136 annually. Funding notably dropped to US $168 684 in 2010 and ceased entirely in 2016. Ten (67%) of NPHPRCs received funding. Eighty-percent of funding focused on 4 capabilities. Three federal agencies funded 80% of research. Sixteen (24%) of the 47 recipients received 80% of all funding. Conclusion US federal investments in research and development related to NPHPRCs have been highly variable over the past decade. One-third of NPHPRCs receive no funding. There are notable gaps in funding, content, continuity, and scope of participation.
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Background: In 2008, the Institute of Medicine released a letter report identifying 4 research priority areas for public health emergency preparedness in public health system research: (1) enhancing the usefulness of training, (2) improving timely emergency communications, (3) creating and maintaining sustainable response systems, and (4) generating effectiveness criteria and metrics. Objectives: To (1) identify and characterize public health system research in public health emergency preparedness produced in the United States from 2009 to 2015, (2) synthesize research findings and assess the level of confidence in these findings, and (3) describe the evolution of knowledge production in public health emergency preparedness system research. Search Methods and Selection Criteria. We reviewed and included the titles and abstracts of 1584 articles derived from MEDLINE, EMBASE, and gray literature databases that focused on the organizational or financial aspects of public health emergency preparedness activities and were grounded on empirical studies. Data collection and analysis: We included 156 articles. We appraised the quality of the studies according to the study design. We identified themes during article analysis and summarized overall findings by theme. We determined level of confidence in the findings with the GRADE-CERQual tool. Main results: Thirty-one studies provided evidence on how to enhance the usefulness of training. Results demonstrated the utility of drills and exercises to enhance decision-making capabilities and coordination across organizations, the benefit of cross-sector partnerships for successfully implementing training activities, and the value of integrating evaluation methods to support training improvement efforts. Thirty-six studies provided evidence on how to improve timely communications. Results supported the use of communication strategies that address differences in access to information, knowledge, attitudes, and practices across segments of the population as well as evidence on specific communication barriers experienced by public health and health care personnel. Forty-eight studies provided evidence on how to create and sustain preparedness systems. Results included how to build social capital across organizations and citizens and how to develop sustainable and useful planning efforts that maintain flexibility and rely on available medical data. Twenty-six studies provided evidence on the usefulness of measurement efforts, such as community and organizational needs assessments, and new methods to learn from the response to critical incidents. Conclusions: In the United States, the field of public health emergency preparedness system research has been supported by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since the release of the 2008 Institute of Medicine letter report. The first definition of public health emergency preparedness appeared in 2007, and before 2008 there was a lack of research and empirical evidence across all 4 research areas identified by the Institute of Medicine. This field can be considered relatively new compared with other research areas in public health; for example, tobacco control research can rely on more than 70 years of knowledge production. However, this review demonstrates that, during the past 7 years, public health emergency preparedness system research has evolved from generic inquiry to the analysis of specific interventions with more empirical studies. Public Health Implications: The results of this review provide an evidence base for public health practitioners responsible for enhancing key components of preparedness and response such as communication, training, and planning efforts.
This article is the latest in an annual series analyzing federal funding for health security programs. It examines proposed funding in the President's Budget Request for FY2018 and provides updated amounts for FY2017 and actual funding for FY2010 through FY2016. The proposed FY2018 budget for health security-related programs represents a significant decrease in funding from prior years and previous administrations. In total, the President's proposed FY2018 budget includes $12.45 billion for health security-related programs, an estimated decrease in funding of $1.25 billion, or 9%, from the estimated $13.71 billion in FY2017 and an 11% decrease from the FY2016 actual funding level of $13.99 billion. Most FY2018 health security funding ($6.67 billion, 54%) would go to programs with multiple-hazard and preparedness goals and missions, representing a 14% decrease in this funding compared to FY2017. Radiological and nuclear security programs would receive 20% ($2.48 billion) of all health security funding, a slight decrease of 2% from the prior year. Biosecurity programs would be funded at $1.53 billion (12% of health security funding) in FY2018, a decrease of 6% compared to FY2017. Chemical security programs would represent 3% ($389.7 million) of all health security funding in FY2018, a 9% decrease from the prior year. Finally, 11% of health security funding ($1.39 billion) would be dedicated to pandemic influenza and emerging infectious diseases programs, the only category of funding to see an increase (3%) above FY2017.
The authors review lessons learned from several recent public health emergencies and argue that we must conduct research during emergencies to improve our capacity to prevent illness and injury. They propose policies to facilitate timely research.
The federal government plays a critical role in achieving national health security by providing strategic guidance and funding research to help prevent, respond to, mitigate, and recover from disasters, epidemics, and acts of terrorism. In this article we describe the first-ever inventory of nonclassified national health security-related research funded by civilian agencies of the federal government. Our analysis revealed that the US government's portfolio of health security research is currently weighted toward bioterrorism and emerging biological threats, laboratory methods, and development of biological countermeasures. Eight of ten other priorities identified in the Department of Health and Human Services' National Health Security Strategy-such as developing and maintaining a national health security workforce or incorporating recovery into planning and response-receive scant attention. We offer recommendations to better align federal spending with health security research priorities, including the creation of an interagency working group charged with minimizing research redundancy and filling persistent gaps in knowledge.
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