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HHS FY2015 Budget in Brief

Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund

The Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund directly supports the nation’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from the health consequences of naturally occurring and manmade threats.

Emergency Fund Budget Overview

(Dollars in millions)

Funds by Office: Office of the Secretary, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) 

2013

2014

2015

2015
+/
2014

Preparedness and Emergency Operations

28

28

25

-3

National Disaster Medical System 

50

50

50

--

Hospital Preparedness

358

255

255

--

ESAR-VHP (non-add)

-- 

Medical Countermeasure Dispensing

--

5

--

-5

BARDA

415

415

415

--

Strategic Investor (non-add)

-- 

-- 

20 

+20 

Project BioShield

--

255

415

+160

Policy and Planning

15

15

15

--

Operations

31

31

31

--

Subtotal, ASPR Program Level

897

1,054

1,206

+152


 

Funds by Office: Office of the Secretary (OS)

2013

2014

2015

2015
+/
2014

Security and Strategic Information

6

6

7

+1

Cybersecurity

38

41

45

+4

Medical Reserve Corps

11

11

9

-2

HHS Lease Replacement

16

16

--

-16

Subtotal, Other Office of the Secretary

71

74

62

-12

Pandemic Influenza

--

115

170

+55


 

Totals and Less Funds from Other Sources

2013

2014

2015

2015
+/
2014

Total Program Level, PHSSEF

968

1,243

1,438

+194

Use of BioShield Balances

415

--

--

--

Use of PHS Evaluation Funds

--

--

15

+15

Total Discretionary Budget Authority, PHSSEF

553

1,243

1,423

+180


 

Full Time Equivalents

2013: 663

2014: 741

2015: 765

2015 +/- 2014: +24

Emergency Fund Activities

The FY 2015 Budget includes $1.4 billion for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (PHSSEF) in the Office of the Secretary. Funds will enhance the nation’s preparedness against naturally occurring and man-made health threats. The Budget continues support of the Administration’s priority to lead the public and private advancement of the medical countermeasure enterprise. Across the department, the Budget provides nearly $5 billion to support the advanced development of medical countermeasures, pandemic influenza preparedness activities, and emergency preparedness.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHT -- BARDA and BioShield Medical Countermeasure Pipeline

Project BioShield, established to support the development and procurement of medical countermeasures, was originally authorized in 2004 and initially funded for 10 years through FY 2013. During this timeframe, BARDA procured 12 new medical countermeasures while completing research and development, which moved over 80 additional countermeasures into the pipeline for procurement. Although these accomplishments show significant progress to date, countermeasure development and procurement must continue to keep up with the ever changing threats facing the country.

With this second phase of Project BioShield, BARDA anticipates procuring 12 new medical countermeasure products between FYs 2014 2018. These countermeasures include: skin therapeutics for thermal and radiation burns; devices to measure radiation exposure; chemical antidotes; broad spectrum antibiotics; and improved anthrax vaccines.

Bioterrorism and Emergency Preparedness

The Budget supports preparedness and response activities within the Office of the Secretary, as well as the coordination of programs across HHS, to improve the nation’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from public health emergencies and disasters. The FY 2015 Budget request for these bioterrorism and emergency preparedness activities is $1.3 billion, an increase of $194 million over FY 2014.

Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response: The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) serves as the lead for federal public health and medical services response efforts under the National Response Framework. ASPR’s efforts focus on promoting community preparedness and prevention; building public health partnerships with federal agencies, academic institutions, and private industry; and coordinating federal public health and medical response capability. The FY 2015 Budget provides $1.4 billion for ASPR; an increase of $207 million over FY 2014.

Through extensive research, development, and procurement, ASPR has significantly improved the nation’s ability to respond to man-made threats such as chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) agents, in addition to natural threats including pandemic influenza and other emerging infectious diseases. To build upon these improvements in emergency response, the FY 2015 Budget provides $415 million for activities to support Project BioShield (BioShield).

The Budget also includes $415 million for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). BARDA will fund the operating costs for the Centers of Innovation for Advanced Development and Manufacturing, which will include the development of existing promising medical countermeasure candidates, such as the anthrax vaccine portfolio. BARDA will also invest in the development of bio-diagnostic devices, new broad spectrum antimicrobial drugs, radiological and nuclear countermeasure products, and chemical antidotes. Together, these activities will contribute to the Department’s efforts to expand the medical countermeasure pipeline for procurement.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHT -- H7N9 Influenza Outbreak Response and Preparedness

In March 2013, the first human cases of the novel avian influenza strain, H7N9, were reported in China. As of January 2014, 237 cases have been identified, including 58 deaths. Although H7N9 has not reached the United States, the interim risk assessment, conducted by the Department of Agriculture and the CDC, has indicated that this strain poses pandemic potential. Fortunately, lessons learned from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic have brought about improvements in response and coordination between agencies across the Department, including BARDA, CDC, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Since the onset of the virus, HHS has taken steps to research and develop H7N9 vaccine candidates with the goal of producing a domestic stockpile. These candidates are currently at various stages of clinical trials testing. BARDA has also established the Fill-Finish Network, which is intended to boost the nation’s ability to provide influenza vaccine domestically. Should large-scale distribution of a H7N9 vaccine be necessary, BARDA will be able to engage this network, which is anticipated to increase existing capacity by 20 percent.

In FY 2015, $255 million is requested for the Hospital Preparedness Program, the same level as FY 2014. Funding supports state and local grants to enhance hospital and healthcare coalition planning for emergency management, and to integrate private and public response systems to improve surge capacity and enhance community preparedness for public health emergencies. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program will provide $617 million to state, local, tribal, and territorial public health departments to upgrade their ability to effectively respond to a range of public health threats. The two programs are now aligned around 15 key response capabilities, and between FY 2005 and FY 2014, have provided a combined total of nearly $11 billion in cooperative agreements to support flexible and adaptable community preparedness planning and encourage close coordination among a variety of stakeholders across the health spectrum.

The Budget provides $75 million to support the department’s emergency preparedness and response efforts. This request includes funding for the National Disaster Medical System, which is a nationwide system of health care providers who are able to deliver quality medical care to the victims of, and responders to, a domestic disaster. This funding also supports ASPR’s emergency operations, which are activated during support of federal governmentwide events and provide expertise and coordination to agencies across HHS. In addition, $15 million will support the department’s planning and response requirementsetting activities, such as the development of strategic plans and guidance for domestic and international public health emergency preparedness and response activities.

The Budget proposes an emergency transfer authority, which was first requested in FY 2014, to assist in the rapid response to public health emergencies. This authority will provide flexibility to quickly redirect resources to programs across the department in support of disaster response.

PERFORMANCE HIGHLIGHT -- Universal Influenza Vaccine Development in the Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative

The advanced development of vaccine candidates for a potential universal influenza vaccine is an activity highlighted in the President’s proposed Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative in the FY 2015 Budget. Developing a universal flu vaccine would allow individuals to receive immunity across strains, instead of requiring individual vaccination against each separate strain. These funds would also support activities to improve the basic effectiveness of existing vaccines.

Pandemic Influenza

The 2013 emergence of the novel avian influenza virus, H7N9, demonstrated the critical need for ongoing influenza preparedness activities. Ongoing efforts to improve pandemic flu response, preparedness, and research and development have made a tremendous impact on the ability to protect the nation’s citizens. Though this progress-to-date is exceptional, it is essential that these efforts continue to further strengthen the Department’s ability to combat future novel influenza strain outbreaks. The FY 2015 Budget requests $170 million to counter the continuing threat of a global influenza pandemic. This funding supports improvements in vaccine production and manufacturing efficiency, ongoing countermeasure stockpiling and storage, antiviral drug advanced development, and improvements in respiratory protection devices. This funding also supports the advanced development of potential candidates for a universal influenza vaccine, which builds upon previous research completed by NIH.

The Budget also includes support for improvements in diagnostic testing, international manufacturing and response efficiency, and diplomatic activities, including collaboration with the World Health Organization.

Cybersecurity: The Budget provides $45 million to protect the department’s information technology systems and to support the safeguarding of personally identifiable information, commercial proprietary data, and scientific research of national importance. In FY 2015, funding will support the full operations of the Trusted Internet Connection, which consolidate the Department’s internet traffic into three secure portals and provide for advanced threat monitoring capabilities. As cyberthreats become more frequent and more sophisticated, additional funding in the FY 2015 Budget will better enable the department to identify, and respond swiftly to mitigate, cybersecurity risks.

Security and Strategic Information: The Budget includes $7.5 million, $1 million above FY 2014, for Security and Strategic Information, which in part enables the Department to translate and respond to secure information and fulfill its role as an interagency actor in health defense. Increased funding will support the Defensive Counterintelligence program, which detects vulnerabilities to HHS missions and maintains the security of classified information from insider threats.

Medical Reserve Corps:The Budget request includes $9 million for the Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps in FY 2015, which is $2 million below FY 2014, to maintain training with current units. Funding will continue to support local units that are trained and available to respond to public health emergencies.

Highlighted Bioterrorism Preparedness Activities: Many offices and programs across the Department contribute to the nation’s preparedness and response capabilities. An additional $3.5 billion in bioterrorism and emergency preparedness funding is requested directly in the appropriations for CDC, FDA, NIH, and the Administration for Children and Families to support disaster services coordination, biodefense research and development, and other programs to maintain the nation’s disaster readiness.

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