Warner & Kaine Announce Over $74 Million in Federal Funding to Strengthen Public Health Workforce and Infrastructure in Virginia
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $74,454,985 in federal funding to strengthen the public health workforce and improve critical public health infrastructure in Virginia. The funding, awarded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), was made possible by the American Rescue Plan, which Warner and Kaine helped pass last year.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused extraordinary challenges for our nation’s public health system and put a spotlight on longstanding gaps in public health preparedness. Effective public health prevention and response requires accurate and timely data reporting and must be supported by a robust workforce.
“Our state and local public health workers serve on the frontlines helping to promote and protect the health and well-being of communities across the Commonwealth,” said the senators. “We’re glad this funding is headed to Virginia to ensure that we have the workforce, services, and systems needed to improve preparedness and respond to emerging public health threats.”
The funding is awarded as follows:
- $68,451,486 for the Virginia Department of Health (VDH)
- $6,003,499 for the Virginia Beach Department of Public Health
Approximately 40 percent of VDH’s funding will be distributed to local health departments across Virginia. Over a five-year period, the flexible funding will be used to:
- Recruit, hire, train, and retain diverse public health staff, such as community health workers, epidemiologists, contact tracers, laboratory scientists, and data analysts, to reduce public health workforce shortages;
- Build foundational capabilities through strengthened community partnerships that enhance communication and policy development; and
- Increase availability of public health data through improved data infrastructure and interoperability
Kaine, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions (HELP) Committee, has long supported efforts to improve our public health data infrastructure. His legislation to improve our nation’s public health data infrastructure was included in the PREVENT Pandemics Act that passed out of the HELP Committee in March 2022. Kaine also led the charge to include $200 million—an increase of $100 million compared to Fiscal Year 2022—to modernize public health data systems in the Fiscal Year 2023 federal budget bill that the Senate is expected to take up later this year.