Carper, Coons, Carney announce more than $590,000 to combat infectious diseases

Grants to Delaware DHSS will help fight infectious diseases through enhanced workforce training and improved information technology

WILMINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Representative John Carney today announced a total of $594,379 for the Delaware Department of Health & Social Services from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to strengthen local health departments’ capacity to conduct research on the prevention of infectious diseases.

“Advancing preventative medicine and technology is one of the best ways to keep Delawareans healthy now and into the future,” Senator Carper said. “This grant is a common-sense approach to reducing our nation’s health care costs by stopping preventable and infectious illnesses before they start. This grant to the Delaware Department of Health & Social Services will strengthen Delaware’s ability to prevent and combat infectious diseases before they spread, while creating good jobs. This is just the win-win situation I had in mind when I supported the Affordable Care Act in the Senate.”

“The best way we can keep our state healthy is by preventing Delawareans from getting sick in the first place,” Senator Coons said. “America has historically been on the cutting edge of medical research breakthroughs, and this funding will ensure that we remain a world leader. I welcome these job-creating grants to the Delaware Department of Health & Social Services and look forward to continuing my work with Delaware’s medical community to keep the First State healthy.”

“Prevention is key to protecting Delawareans’ health and addressing the threats of infectious diseases before they spread,” Congressman Carney said. “The funding announced today will allow the Delaware Department of Health & Social Services to continue making critical advancements in this area, while creating jobs for Delaware workers. I’m confident that the developments of this research will move us toward greater health and protection for all Americans.”

The grants, which are partially supported by the Affordable Care Act, are designed to improve the quality of health care and strengthen the public health infrastructure by providing resources to states’ epidemiology and laboratory work, detecting and preventing healthcare-associated infections, and supporting immunization programs. This is double the national spending for the same programs in 2010.

“This funding will be used to create jobs, enabling the hiring and training of epidemiologists, laboratory scientists and health information specialists in the field of infectious diseases,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “These are experts who often work behind the scenes in health care to fight disease and keep us healthy. These grants will also make it easier for health departments to better manage and exchange important information.”

Specifically, Delaware Department of Health & Social Services received $427,600 in funding for epidemiology and laboratory capacity, $66,700 for healthcare associated infections, and $100,000 from non-Affordable Care Act funds for epidemiology and laboratory capacity.

“Investing in public health is a key part of the Affordable Care Act,” U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. “It helps transform our nation’s health care system from one based on when people get sick to one that prevents disease in the first place.”