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CPH Applauds House Effort to Highlight Role of Public Health.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern (D-MA), U.S. Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) and U.S. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) today invited their House colleagues to join the newly formed bipartisan Congressional Study Group on Public Health. The new member organization will hold regular educational briefings on Capitol Hill to inform members of Congress and their staffs about the diverse and important work of public health experts and the health protection efforts they undertake. The Campaign for Public Health commends the co-chairs of this new organization for raising congressional awareness of the importance of public health.

The study group will invite key scientists and researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide Congress with an up-close understanding of the agency's work. Public health experts from industry, local government and the non-profit sector will also be invited to participate in these briefings.

"The co-chairs of this new study group should be applauded for their strong leadership and foresight," said Evan Jones, chairman of CPH. "The Campaign for Public Health looks forward to highlighting the work of these dedicated members of the House on their worthy effort to show how public health impacts our daily lives."

"Members of Congress are often informed of public health topics on a case-by-case, disease-by-disease basis," McGovern said. "In reality, specialists working in my communities to reduce the prevalence of diabetes, limit injury or immunize our children are often the same individuals we may ask to respond to a possible pandemic flu, natural disaster or bioterrorist attack."

"Approximately 70 percent of the CDC's funds are directed for local public health programs and health crisis response situations," Granger said. "This bi-partisan Congressional Study Group on Public Health will help educate members about the CDC's work and what's happening in their state or district."

"We are excited to give the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a forum where the important work of health promotion and illness and injury prevention, is highlighted here in our nation's capital. Through increased understanding of CDC's many critical programs, we hope to gain the Congressional support this important agency needs to continue to save lives and help make Americans healthier for generations to come," said Roybal-Allard, who sits on the Health and Human Services Subcommittee of Appropriations. The Congresswoman's father, the late Congressman Edward R. Roybal, was an early and longtime Congressional advocate of the agency. The CDC's main campus in Atlanta bears his name.

CPH and other organizations focused on public health will help support the study group with their ideas and connections to the public health community.

"As the recent multi-state outbreaks of E. coli have shown, protecting the public's health is life and death work demanding coordination at every level of government," said Georges Benjamin, MD, FACP, executive director of the American Public Health Association. "APHA looks forward to working with the Campaign for Public Health and with the co-chairs of the Congressional Study Group on Public Health in this important educational effort."

The first Congressional Study Group on Public Health briefing, "An Introduction to Public Health -- Methods and Benefits of Preventing Death, Disability and Disease," will be presented in March.

The Dear Colleague letter sent today to members of the House of Representatives by the co-chairs of the new organization is available at http://www.fundcdc.org/. This letter lists additional topics the Congressional Study Group on Public Health is considering for future events.

The Campaign for Public Health is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization with a mission of increasing federal support for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CPH was founded in 2004 and is comprised of prominent leaders in the public health community.

CONTACT: Karl B. Moeller, +1-202-898-9060, for Campaign for Public Health

Web site: http://www.fundcdc.org/
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