PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Department of Health will receive $5.4 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to improve preparedness and health outcomes for public health threats, U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., announced Thursday.
The department will receive $5 million from the Public Health Emergency Preparedness cooperative agreement. The funds are intended to enhance the ability of hospitals and health care systems to prepare and respond to public health emergencies such as man-made and natural disasters, terrorism, food-borne outbreaks and health epidemics.
RIDOH will receive $445,000 from PHEP to improve laboratory and surveillance systems that help track infectious diseases, and to detect and identify biological chemical and other high-priority threats to public health.
“This is a smart investment in bolstering public safety and public health,” said Reed, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees federal funding for HHS programs. “Our dedicated hospital workers and emergency responders are our first line of medical defense when disaster strikes. This federal funding will help them coordinate and effectively respond when we need them most.”