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Media Advisory: Public Health in Jeopardy: Nation’s Local Health Departments Lose 15 Percent of Jobs


 

Contact Becky Wexler
(301) 652-1558
bwexler@burnesscommunications.com

 
Media Advisory: Public Health in Jeopardy: Nation’s Local Health Departments Lose 15 Percent of Jobs

Washington, DC (June 24, 2010)

WHAT: A Capitol Hill briefing with Congressman Robert Andrews (D-NJ) and public health leaders on the need to save local health department jobs

WHEN: June 30, 2010, 2:30–3:30 PM

WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2261

WHY: Since 2008, the recession and budget cuts at the federal, state, and local levels have caused local health departments to reduce their workforce by 25,500 jobs, or 15 percent. These cumulative reductions in staff have compromised local health departments’ ability to keep Americans safe and provide basic disease prevention and emergency preparedness services.

Local health departments are the bedrock of our nation’s public health system.They keep food safe, detect and stop outbreaks of disease, and help create conditions in the community that make healthy choices in diet and exercise the default option. But staff cuts and layoffs are eliminating essential public health services across the country.

“This erosion of the public health system will continue and worsen without federal support and passage of legislation like the Local Jobs for America Act,” said Robert Pestronk, executive director of the National Association of County and City Health Officials. “Although the preservation of jobs in all sectors is important, local public health jobs protect people and save lives. Every day, health department workers ensure conditions that prevent disease from happening in the first place.”

WHO: Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ), Chairman of the Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor will share comments on the need to save public health jobs and introduce a panel of national and local public health leaders to discuss the importance of expanding the shrinking public health work force, including the following:

  • Robert M. Pestronk, Executive Director, National Association of County and City Health Officials (Moderator)
  • Georges C. Benjamin, MD, Executive Director, American Public Health Association
  • Terrance Allan, Health Commissioner, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, Ohio
  • Peter L. Beilenson, MD, Health Officer, Howard County, Maryland

HOW: Members of the media may register to attend the briefing by contacting Becky Wexler, Burness Communications, at (301) 652-1558 or bwexler@burnesscommunications.com.

Follow news about budget cuts and job losses in local health departments across the country at www.naccho.org/newsmap

About the National Association of County and City Health Officials
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation's 2,800 local governmental health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities.

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