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Hawai‘i Gets $6M for Public Health Preparedness

July 18, 2017, 12:31 PM HST · Updated July 18, 12:41 PM
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Senator Mazie K. Hirono announced today that Hawaiʻi will receive $6,125,363 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to increase the state’s ability to prepare and respond to potential public health threats.

Senator Hirono and Governor Ige get a firsthand look at Hawaiʻi Biotech’s work in developing a Zika virus vaccine. File photo credit: Office of US Senator Mazie Hirono.

“Our experience fighting Zika, dengue, and other diseases has taught us how important it is for states and local governments to have the resources they need to confront potential public health threats,” said Senator Hirono. “I will continue to push to ensure that Hawaiʻi receives the funding it needs to prepare for and respond to future public health emergencies.”

The federal funding was awarded to the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Health to support its Disease Outbreak Control Division’s Public Health Preparedness Branch, which helps DOH effectively respond to public health threats, emergencies, and disasters that threaten local communities throughout the state.

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Specifically, the funding will help DOH recruit and train emergency operations personnel, strengthen connections with the Native Hawaiian health care system, conduct community assessments, improve risk communication messaging systems, and expand partnerships for medical countermeasure dispensing operations.

Earlier this year, Sen. Hirono led a letter to the Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee Chairman Roy Blunt and Ranking Member Patty Murray urging for the continued funding of programs that help ensure the nation’s hospitals and public health systems are able to safeguard against public health threats.

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