Hybrid Hearing on “Upgrading Public Health Infrastructure: The Need to Protect, Rebuild, and Strengthen State and Local Public Health Departments”
On Wednesday, September 29, 2021 at 2:00 p.m., Rep. James E. Clyburn, Chairman of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, will hold a hybrid remote/in-person hearing examining challenges facing the nation’s state and local public health departments as they respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The hearing will also address the dangerous politicization of public health and identify ways to rebuild and strengthen the country’s public health infrastructure.
For decades, state and local public health departments have been chronically underfunded and understaffed. These challenges have impaired the government’s ability to improve the health of the U.S. population and respond effectively when crises arise. Compounding matters, throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the reckless politicization of public health has contributed to unprecedented levels of personal attacks against public health workers, high burnout rates and rapid turnover in the public health workforce, and recruitment challenges for many departments—all of which have threatened the success of the nation’s coronavirus response.
With the American Rescue Plan, Congress and the Biden Administration are making strong investments in the U.S. public health infrastructure—but more must be done to ensure that state and local public health departments receive the funding and resources they need over the long term. During the hearing, experts will discuss potential solutions to these challenges, and ways local, state, and federal officials can work together to strengthen the public health system.
Dr. Joseph Kanter
State Health Officer and Medical Director, Louisiana Department of Health
Dr. Jennifer Bacani McKenney
Health Officer, Wilson County Health Department (Kansas)
Dr. Beth Resnick
Assistant Dean for Practice and Training; Senior Scientist, Bloomberg School of Public Health Johns Hopkins University
Dr. Mysheika Roberts
Health Commissioner, Columbus Public Health (Ohio)