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Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
September 03, 2003

Clifton R. Lacy, M.D.

For Further Information Contact:
Donna Leusner

DHSS Announces Award of $40.9 million
To Strengthen Public Health Infrastructure, Hospital System


TRENTON -- Department of Health and Senior Services Commissioner Clifton R. Lacy, M.D. today announced the award of $40.9 million in federal funds to be used to strengthen the state’s public health infrastructure and enhance hospital and health system emergency preparedness.

The $40.9 million includes $27 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for public health infrastructure improvements and $13.8 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration to enhance hospital and health care system emergency preparedness.

Part of the $27 million from the CDC includes funding for smallpox preparedness and for the Strategic National Stockpile, which is a program to rapidly distribute pharmaceuticals in case of a public health emergency.

“A coordinated and comprehensive response plan is essential to ensure the safety and security of New Jersey families," said Governor James E. McGreevey. “The federal funding will enhance the initiatives we have already implemented in such areas as redundant and reliable communications and laboratory services."

For example, DHSS has an uninterruptible, hospital communications network which allows the state's 85 acute care hospitals to communicate with each other and with key state government agencies in the event of a disaster or public health emergency.

 “These federal dollars in combination with the resources Governor McGreevey has provided from the State of New Jersey are essential to fund the health preparedness efforts of our state,’’ said Dr. Lacy.

The Department will hold a press availability later this week to discuss the details of what programs and initiatives this funding will support.

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