November 3, 2017 Edition

Madera County Appoints New Public Health Director

Madera County recently named Sara Bosse as its new Director of Public Health. Bosse began her new role this week and was previously the Fresno County Department of Public Health Manager of the Office of Policy and Planning.

Please join us in welcoming Sara to her new role in Madera County.

CHEAC Office Closed on Friday, November 10

CHEAC will be closed on Friday, November 10 in observance of Veterans Day. Next week’s Weekly Update will be distributed on Thursday, November 9. CHEAC will return to normal operations on Monday, November 13.

House Passes Measure to Fund CHIP and Community Health Centers, Gut PPHF

The U.S. House of Representatives today passed a measure to reauthorize and fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), community health centers, and other health-related programs.

Recall, the House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced measures in October on a partisan-basis to fund CHIP for five years and community health centers for two years. All Democrats voted against the proposals due to concerns with the bill’s offsets, including utilizing the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) and increasing Medicare premiums for individuals with specified incomes.

Three Republican House members voted against the measure, while 15 Democratic House members voted to support the measure. The measure passed today slashes more than $6.35 billion in PPHF dollars over the next ten years. Should the measure be signed into law, California would lose out $27 million in PPHF in FY 2019 alone and $165 million in PPHF through FY 2023.

PPHF is a critical public health funding source, supporting grants from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to states, territories, and nonprofit and tribal organizations throughout the country. These funds are used for a variety of core public health functions, including vaccination programs, infectious disease detection and prevention, and chronic disease prevention.

While the health programs included in the measure passed today are essential, CHEAC opposes funding them at the expense of other critical public health investments. The measure now moves on to the Senate, where it likely faces a more difficult path forward. Already on Thursday, 22 Democratic U.S. Senators penned a leader to Senate leadership expressing opposition to funding health programs with PPHF.

Last month, the Senate Finance Committee also advanced a five-year CHIP reauthorization measure on a bipartisan basis. However, a funding source for the measure has not been identified and negotiations are ongoing. The measure has not been set for a floor vote.

While the CHIP Program expired at the end of September, states have had enough funding to continue the program for a short time. Several states could potentially run out of funding as early as this month without action from Congress and President Trump.

Governor Brown, California Congressional Delegation Submit Federal Funding Request for Wildfire Recovery

Today, Governor Jerry Brown joined California’s two U.S. Senators and 39 members of the California congressional delegation to request $7.4 billion in federal funding to assist in wildfire relief and recovery efforts throughout the state. Governor Brown also expedited more than $40 million in state funds for immediate recovery efforts, including cleanup, hazardous waste removal, and assistance for Californians impacted by the fires that are not eligible for federal aid.

In the letter sent to the White House today, Governor Brown and California’s members of Congress urge President Trump and Congress to work quickly to provide a supplemental disaster-related appropriation to support the state as it recovers from October’s devastating fires. The federal funding would be dedicated to cleanup, recovery and assistance programs, housing support, local health services, and reconstruction, among other causes. More information about the federal funding request is available in the governor’s press release.

Presidential Commission Adopts Final Opioid Crisis Report

On Thursday this week, the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis finalized its report to the Trump Administration. The report consists of 56 recommendations—ranging from opioid prescribing practices, prevention and treatment services, law enforcement tactics, and funding mechanisms—and focuses on federal, state, and local actions. Notably, the report did not include how much funding would be needed to implement its recommendations. The commission instead provided ideas for how federal money should be allocated to states and urged Congress to “appropriate sufficient funds” to support its recommendations.

The report finalized by the commission comes on the heels of President Trump’s public health emergency declaration last week. In a press statement, the White House announced its plans to review the recommendations of the commission and determine ways in which the Administration can address the nationwide opioid crisis.

Halloween PHAB Fairy Seen in Mendocino County

On a lighter note—Mendocino County Public Health Director Barbara Howe transformed into the PHAB Fairy for Halloween this week, granting domain-approval dreams to her staff. Howe’s costume was quite the talk of the department, and Mendocino County Public Health staff appreciated the Halloween visit from the fairy.