A new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center makes recommendations on modernizing the U.S. public healthcare systems in light of the challenges the country has faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report, Public health Forward: Modernizing the U.S. Public Health System, outlines critical investments the country needs to make to modernize the public health system so the United States can respond to an array of public health challenges – from pandemics to the opioid crisis to mental illness – while ensuring that all Americans have the opportunity to achieve their best health and well-being.
“No health challenge facing America – from the pandemic to the opioid crisis and mental health to diabetes and obesity – can be surmounted without a well-resourced, staffed, technologically connected public health system which fosters partnerships and engages communities,” said Dr. Anand Parekh, BPC’s chief medical advisor, who led the project. “It’s time we no longer take public health for granted.”
The Bipartisan Policy Center worked with the Public Health Forward coalition made up of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Big Cities Health Coalition, CDC Foundation, de Beaumont Foundation, Kresge Foundation, National Association of County and City Health Officials, Pew Charitable Trusts, Public Health Accreditation Board and the Sunflower Foundation, to produce the report.
The group called on state, territorial and local policymakers and health departments to invest in public health by taking steps to provide flexible funding while maximizing assets to support public health services and capabilities; to strengthen the collection of public health data and invest in data sharing; to invest in the recruitment and retention of a diverse and inclusive public health workforce; and to review, evaluate and modernize public health governance structures and statutory responsibilities.