Saturday, April 13th, 2013

SILVER SPRING, MD -- (Marketwired) -- The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) applauds President Obama's $40 million budget request for the new Advanced Molecular Detection and Response to Infectious Disease Outbreaks (AMD) initiative for fiscal year 2014. Developed per the recommendations of an external panel of experts convened to keep the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) -- including the state and local public health laboratories -- at the forefront of disease detection, the primary goal of this initiative is to build capacity for bioinformatics and genomics.

The AMD will significantly speed adoption of new technologies both at CDC and at public health laboratories, allowing for quicker detection, and will also allow CDC to develop state of the art bioinformatics capacity. Reducing illness can only be realized by making such improvements.

"Without this initiative, the nation's public health labs will fall behind in our ability to detect and respond to outbreaks, causing more Americans to get sick," said Scott J. Becker, APHL's executive director. "More illness not only leads to bad health outcomes, but also increased health care costs, both of which can be avoided with this modest effort."

The AMD initiative is one of the few glimmers of improvement in a dismal budget climate for CDC, our nation's 24/7 health protection agency. Combined with the proposals to increase funding for food safety efforts at both CDC and the FDA, the President has indicated substantial support for improving the operations of federal, state and local public health laboratories. This comes precisely when needed as the specter of new infectious diseases is just around the corner.

The Association of Public Health Laboratories is a national nonprofit located in Silver Spring, MD, that is dedicated to working with members to strengthen governmental laboratories with a public health mandate. By promoting effective programs and public policy, APHL strives to provide public health laboratories with the resources and infrastructure needed to protect the health of US residents and to prevent and control disease globally.

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Michelle M. Forman

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APHL, Obama Budget Initiative, Speed Disease Detection



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