04/06/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

More than 175 Public Health Organizations Send Letter of Support for Health Reform to Congress and the President

More than 175 organizations issued a letter of support today to the President, the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives to strongly support comprehensive health reform efforts, emphasizing the need to modernize and increase funding for disease prevention, wellness, and public health in the United States.

The following is the text of the letter and a list of the organizations that have signed on in support of the letter:

Dear Mr. President/Senator/Representative:

In recent months, we have inched closer to something that has eluded us for decades - comprehensive health reform. From the prevention, public health and health workforce provisions, to the insurance market reforms, to the expansion of coverage, we believe key elements included in both the House and Senate bills would represent a new direction for America's health care and public health systems.

As you determine the next steps this nation will take to advance the nation's health, the undersigned organizations urge that as you move forward, you will maintain the comprehensive nature of this reform package and enact legislation that ultimately promotes prevention and wellness, bolsters our health care and public health workforce, and expands coverage while controlling costs and reforming the insurance industry. Though the path ahead may be uncertain, we urge you to seize this opportunity to make a real difference in the way that this country delivers health.

In particular, in whatever vehicle you ultimately enact, we urge your continued support for the establishment of a dedicated funding mechanism for prevention and public health. As you know, both the House and Senate bills included mandatory funding for prevention and public health through a Prevention and Public Health Fund and a Community Health Center Fund (Senate bill) and a Public Health Investment Fund (House bill). The Senate-passed bill provides a combined $25 billion for its Prevention and Public Health Fund and Community Health Center Fund, and the House-passed bill includes a total of $33.9 billion for its Public Health Investment Fund. We strongly support inclusion of no less than the House-passed amount in the final bill. We also urge you to ensure that the final bill provides sustained investments of guaranteed funds for prevention and public health. Further, the bill should ensure that new funding will supplement, not supplant, our current investment in prevention and public health.

The opportunity that we have before us today - to enact comprehensive health reform that emphasizes prevention and wellness, instead of just disease treatment - may not come again for decades. Americans need strong leadership during these trying times. The unprecedented investments in wellness and prevention included in the House and Senate bills would help us to forge a new way forward by enabling us to build stronger, healthier, more resilient communities. Toward that end, we urge you to include a dedicated funding mechanism for prevention and public health in the final bill.

1. Advocates for Better Children's Diets
2. AIDS Action Council
3. All Saints Home Care And Referral Services (CA)
4. American Academy of Physician Assistants
5. American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance
6. American Association for Health Education
7. American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
8. American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
9. American Association on Health and Disability
10. American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
11. American College of Clinical Pharmacy
12. American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
13. American College of Preventive Medicine
14. American Diabetes Association
15. American Heart Association
16. American Lung Association
17. American Public Health Association
18. American Social Health Association
19. American Thoracic Society
20. Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
21. Association of State & Territorial Health Officials
22. Arthritis Foundation
23. Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc.
24. Association for Utah Community Health
25. Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs
26. Association of Ohio Health Commissioners
27. Association of Public Health Laboratories
28. Association of Schools of Public Health
29. Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors
30. Association of State and Territorial Directors of Nursing
31. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
32. Beach Cities Health District (CA)
33. Bi-State Primary Care Association
34. Brooklyn Perinatal Network, Inc.
35. Bryan County Health Department (GA)
36. California Center for Public Health Advocacy
37. California Primary Care Association
38. Camden County Health Department (GA)
39. Campaign for Public Health
40. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
41. Center for Adolescent Health & the Law
42. Center for Science in the Public Interest
43. CEO Services (NY)
44. Chatham County Health Department (GA)
45. Children's Dental Health Project
46. Children's Hospital and Research Center Oakland
47. Christian County Health Department (KY)
48. CityMatCH
49. Colorado Community Health Network
50. Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service
51. CommonHealth ACTION
52. Community Action Partnership
53. Community Catalyst
54. Community Health Association of Mountain/Plains States
55. Community Health Care Association of New York State
56. Community Health Centers of Arkansas, Arkansas Primary Care Association
57. Community Health Councils
58. Community Health Partnership: Oregon's Public Health Institute
59. Connecticut Association of Directors of Health
60. County Health Executives Association of California
61. Defeat Diabetes Foundation
62. Delaware Center for Health Promotion
63. Effingham County Health Department (GA)
64. Faces & Voices of Recovery
65. FamilyCook Productions
66. Family Voices
67. Georgia Public Health Association
68. Glynn County Health Department (GA)
69. Hawai'i Primary Care Association
70. Health Education Network of Delaware
71. Health Justice Network
72. Health Officers Association of California
73. Health Resources in Action, Inc.
74. Hepatitis B Foundation
75. Hepatitis Foundation International
76. Home Safety Council
77. Huron County Health Department (MI)
78. Illinois Association of Public Health Administrators
79. Illinois Primary Health Care Association
80. Indiana Association of Public Health Physicians and Local Health Departments Organization, Inc
81. Indiana Primary Health Care Association
82. Infectious Diseases Society of America
83. Institute for Public Health Innovation
84. International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association
85. Iron Disorders Institute
86. Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved
87. Kansas Association of Local Health Departments
88. Kentucky Health Departments Association
89. Kentucky Public Health Association
91. La Fe Policy Research and Education Center
92. Liberty County Health Department (GA)
93. Local Public Health Association of Minnesota
94. Long County Health Department (GA)
95. Louisiana Primary Care Association
96. Louisiana Public Health Institute
97. Maine Primary Care Association
98. March of Dimes Foundation
99. Maryland Association of County Health Officers
100. Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers
101. McIntosh County Health Department (GA)
102. Mental Health America
103. Michigan Primary Care Association
104. Minnesota Association of Community Health Center
105. Mississippi Primary Health Care Association
106. Missouri Association of Local Public Health Agencies
107. Missouri Primary Care Association
108. Monroe County Public Health Department (MI)
109. National Alliance of Multi-ethnic Behavioral Health Associations
110. National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors
111. National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association
112. National Assembly on School-Based Health Care
113. National Association for Sport and Physical Education
114. National Association of Chronic Disease Directors
115. National Association of Community Health Centers, Inc.
116. National Association of County and City Health Officials
117. National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors
118. National Athletic Trainers' Association
119. National Center for Healthy Housing
120. National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity
121. National Coalition of STD Directors
122. National Council of Asian and Pacific Islander Physicians
123. National Environmental Health Association
124. National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention
125. National Health Equity Coalition
126. National Network of Public Health Institutes
127. National Nursing Centers Consortium
128. National Nursing Network Organization
129. National Recreation and Park Association
130. National REACH Coalition
131. National WIC Association
132. Nebraska State Association of County & City Health Officials
133. Nemours
134. New Jersey Association of County Health Officers
135. New Jersey Health Officers Association
136. New Jersey Primary Care Association
137. New Mexico Primary Care Association
138. New York Academy of Medicine
139. New York State Association of County Health Officials
140. North American Quitline Consortium
141. North Carolina Association of Local Health Directors
142. North Carolina Community Health Center Association
143. North County Health Services (CA)
144. OCA: Embracing the hopes and aspirations of Asian Pacific Americans
145. Ohio Association of Community Health Centers
146. Oregon Primary Care Association
147. Out of Many, One
148. Partnership for Prevention
149. Physician Assistant Education Association
150. PolicyLink
151. Prevention Institute
152. Public Health Foundation
153. Public Health Institute
154. Public Health-Seattle & King County
155. Public Health Solutions
156. REACH Southeastern African American Center of Excellence for Eliminating Disparities
157. Society for Adolescent Medicine
158. Society for Public Health Education
159. South Asian Americans Leading Together
160. South Carolina Primary Health Care Association
161. Special Services for Groups, Inc. - ALAS para tu Salud
162. Special Services for Groups, Inc. - PALS for Health
163. State and Territorial Injury Prevention Directors Association
164. Texas Association of Local Health Officials
165. The AIDS Institute
166. Thurston County Board of Health (WA)
167. Trust for America's Health
168. Tuscola County Health Department (MI)
169. United Fresh Produce Association
170. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
171. Washington Association of Local Public Health Officials
172. Washington Health Foundation- Healthiest State in the Nation Campaign
173. West Virginia Primary Care Association
174. Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments and Boards
175. Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association
176. YMCA of the USA"