Protect, strengthen public health workforce, advocacy groups tell president

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The role of federal public health and biomedical researchers is critical and should be remembered as long-term policy regarding federal hiring is considered, several advocacy groups, including Argentum, told President Donald Trump in a Feb. 27 letter.

The groups specifically pointed out important roles that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration play in ensuring safety in everyday, emergency and national security situations.

“We ask that the long-term federal hiring strategy reflect the need for a strong workforce not only to respond to public health emergencies, but throughout the public health continuum to help prevent them, to protect the public from ongoing health threats, and to promote healthy communities,” they wrote, expressing pleasure that jobs that respond to public health and medical emergencies, as well as jobs related to food, drug and medical device safety, are exempt from the current federal hiring freeze.

“Moving forward, we look forward to working with you to protect and strengthen the workforce across the public health continuum,” they said.

Seventy-three organizations signed the letter. Among those represented, in addition to Argentum, were Alzheimer's Mississippi, Alzheimer's Orange County, the American Federation for Aging Research, the American Geriatrics Society, the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging, Dementia Alliance International, the Gerontological Society of America and Youth Movement Against Alzheimer's.

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