In his third announcement of the territory’s receiving federal dollars to improve government services in as many days, Governor de Jongh said this evening that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have awarded the Department of Health $100,000 towards improving the ability to provide public health services to Virgin Islands residents. The funding was made possible through the new Prevention and Public Health Fund created by the Affordable Care Act.
“These monies will help the health departments improve the quality and effectiveness of the critical health services that our residents have come to rely on,” de Jongh said, adding, “I am grateful to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for the continued inclusion of the territory in providing federal dollars which strengthen our public health system through better coordination and collaboration and which will help to deliver higher quality health care more efficiently.”
The governor said that this new 5-year cooperative agreement program entitled, Strengthening Public Health Infrastructure for Improved Health Outcomes, will provide the Virgin Islands Department of Health and health departments across the nation with needed resources to make fundamental changes in their respective organizations and practices, so that they can improve the delivery of public health services including:
- Building and implementing capacity within health departments for evaluating the effectiveness of their organizations, practices, partnerships, programs and use of resources through performance management
- Expansion and training of public health staff and community leaders to conduct policy activities in key areas and to facilitate improvements in system efficiency
- Maximizing the public health system to improve networking, coordination, and cross-jurisdictional cooperation for the delivery of public health services to address resource sharing and improve health indicators
- Disseminating, implementing and evaluating public health’s best and most promising practices and
- Building a national network of performance improvement managers that share best practices for improving the public health system.
The governor said that the continued investment in public health builds a foundation for a strong and healthy society and contributes to lowering the cost of health care. “Investing in proven preventive services and strong policies helps us to avoid unnecessary costs later.”