The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) recently released a document for the Biden-Harris Administration transition team and 117th Congress highlighting the role local health departments play.
The document was sent on behalf of nearly 3,000 local health departments. It lists efforts to strengthen the public health system and help the country emerge safely from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The document lists several areas that should be of focus: supporting local health departments during their COVID-19 response, using local expertise in national planning, investing in covid-19 vaccine deployment and infrastructure, restoring support and trust in public health, maintaining and growing COVID-19 innovations and investments, and providing long-term investment to strengthen health equity.
Long-term investments include investing $4.5 billion in additional annual mandatory funding to support local health departments and end the cycle of funding during a crisis but eliminating additional funding once a crisis passes; and increasing investment in the Medical Reserve Corps and funding a program to help recruit and retain top talent to local and state governmental public health departments.
It also includes policies that ensure public health is considered outside of the health sector and in government budget allocation decisions.
Finally, it includes upgrading data transmission systems.