Press Room

ASTHO Urges Congress to Increase Funding for Public Health Programs

ARLINGTON, VA (April 26, 2018)Today, John Wiesman, ASTHO president and secretary of health at the Washington State Department of Health, submitted written testimony to the House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee urging Congress to provide increased funding to support public health programs in FY19. This funding would allow federal agencies that support state, local, and territorial public health departments to improve the health of the population by addressing the opioid epidemic, enhancing preparedness programs, and continuing services through the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant.

“Our federal partners, including CDC and HRSA, provide a level of financial support to health departments that state budgets simply cannot fulfill on their own. We are pleased Congress recently provided the most significant increase for public health in over a decade, however, we must build upon this momentum and provide states and territories with sustained, predictable, and hopefully increased funding in FY19 and beyond.

State and territorial health officials are saving lives every day and health departments rely heavily on these federal funds to achieve broad impact and sustain high levels of success. The health of our nation is a matter of national security. ASTHO and our members stand ready to assist Congress and the Administration in our shared work of protecting and promoting the public’s health.”


ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories and freely associated states, and the District of Columbia, as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in public health practice