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Pain in the Nation: The Epidemics of Alcohol, Drug, and Suicide Deaths 2022

May 24, 2022

COVID-19 has intensified the nation's troubling long-term trends for alcohol, drug, and suicide deaths. Between 2019 and 2020, these deaths increased a stunning 20 percent, driven by a 27 percent increase in the rate of alcohol-induced deaths and a 30 percent increase in drug-induced deaths. Increases were particularly large among communities of color and young adults. The rise in deaths occurred across all states and the District of Columbia, except for New Hampshire. And for the first time, two states--West Virginia and New Mexico--surpassed 100 deaths from alcohol, drugs, and suicide per 100,000 people. 

Ready or Not 2022: Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters and Bioterrorism

March 10, 2022

This report measures states' degree of preparedness to respond to a wide spectrum of health emergencies and to provide ongoing public health services, including disease surveillance, seasonal flu vaccination, safe water, and expanded healthcare services during emergencies. It includes policy recommendations for strengthening the nation's health security.

State of Obesity 2021: Better Policies for a Healthier America

September 15, 2021

In 2020, 16 states had adult obesity rates at or above 35 percent, up from 12 states the previous year. These and other emerging data show that the COVID-19 pandemic changed eating habits, worsened levels of food insecurity, created obstacles to physical activity, and heightened stress, all exacerbating the decades long pattern of obesity in America.This report is based in part on newly released 2020 data from the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System and analysis by Trust for America's Health (TFAH). It provides an annual snapshot of rates of overweight and obesity by age, race/ethnicity and state of residence for U.S. adults. In the report, TFAH calls for addressing the social determinants of obesity, for example, by ensuring access to no cost healthy school meals for all students, a program started during the pandemic.

Aligning Public Health Interventions with Older Adult Housing Needs and Challenges

August 1, 2021

This brief outlines current housing challenges faced by older adults and potential areas for public health intervention. It summarizes existing programs that offer housing support for older adults and offers recommendations in each of the five key roles for public health.

A Blueprint for the 2021 Administration and Congress The Promise of Good Health for All: Transforming Public Health in America

October 16, 2020

The nation's public health system is dangerously inadequate and needs sustained attention and investment. This report provides an action plan for the administration and Congress taking office in 2021.

A Funding Crisis for Public Health and Safety: State-by-State and Federal Public Health Funding Facts and Recommendations 2018

March 1, 2018

A healthy United States is a strong United States. A prepared nation is a safe nation. But persistent underfunding of the country's public health system has left the nation vulnerable.

Racial Healing and Achieving Health Equity in the United States

January 1, 2018

This issue brief was developed to help identify and acknowledge health inequities, influencing factors and policy recommendations that can help the nation achieve health equity.

Ready or Not? Protecting the Public From Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism 2017

December 1, 2017

In the 16 years since the 9/11 and anthrax tragedies, the country has had countless reminders demonstrating the need for a sufficient response to the public's health needs during major incidents—be they caused by extreme weather events, disease outbreaks or a contaminated food supply.The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season was particularly historic. After Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, it hovered over Houston for days—dropping several feet of rain that caused unprecedented flooding and sank the Earth's crust around Houston two centimeters. Harvey was followed by two Category 5 storms–Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which had a profound impact on many Caribbean nations, Puerto Rico, the Florida Keys and other areas in the region. Out West, rain was scarce as communities were ravaged by one of the worst wildfire seasons ever.The fast-moving blaze in California's wine country killed 43 people, scorched 250,000 square miles and destroyed 8,900 structures.Despite the frequency of health threats, often the country is not adequately prepared to address them, even with all the prior lessons about what is needed for an effective response. Emergencies are a matter of when, not if; there is no reason to continue to be caught off guard when a new threat arises.The good news is that considerable progress has been made to effectively prepare for and respond to public health emergencies of all types and sizes,and much of what it takes to prepare for bioterrorism, major disease threats or major disasters is also essential to respond to ongoing health threats. The bad news is that the accomplishments achieved to improve public health and preparedness for all hazards are being undermined due to severe budget cuts and lack of prioritization.

A Funding Crisis for Public Health and Safety: State-by-State Public Health Funding and Key Health Facts 2017

April 1, 2017

A Funding Crisis for Public Health and Safety: State-by-State Public Health Funding and Key Health Facts, 2017 found that core funding for disease prevention and health promotion programs has declined by around $580 million federally and has remained flat in states since 2010 (adjusting for inflation).The annual review demonstrates that cuts to federal funds have not been offset by increases to state and local funding.  Adjusting for inflation:The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) core budget has decreased by more than $580 million since 2010.  In fiscal year 2016, the agency's budget was $7.17 billion ($22.26 per person).State public health spending has remained relatively level since 2010 ($11.5 billion total in 2015-2016, median spending $31.62 per capita). The President's proposed FY 2018 budget blueprint would include a nearly 18 percent cut to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  The full budget detail is expected to be released later this Spring. Budget sequestration – which requires reductions in the rate of increase in federal spending – is scheduled to go back into effect in FY 2018 and would lead non-defense spending, including at CDC, to fall 16 percent below 2010 spending rates (adjusting for inflation).

The Impact of 2017 Health Reform Proposals on Coverage of Clinical Preventive Services

March 1, 2017

Impact of the 2017 Health Reform Proposals on Clinical Preventive Services reviews the current status of public and private insurance coverage of preventive services, and what would be at stake if they were eliminated or reduced, either through legislation or administrative actions.

Blueprint for a Healthier America 2016: Policy Priorities for the Next Administration and Congress

October 19, 2016

This report, produced by the Trust for America's Health with support from several foundations including Kresge, calls for a new approach to health which prioritizes improving health and addressing major epidemics in the United States. The report highlights pressing crises and how investments could yield positive returns on investment by adopting proven health strategies, such as substance use prevention, programs to promote physical activity and connecting health and social services.

Reducing Teen Substance Misuse: What Really Works 2015

November 18, 2015

A significant number of students try alcohol, tobacco or other drugs as teenagers. More than 65 percent of students have used alcohol, more than 40 percent used illegal drugs and around one-quarter used cigarettes at some point before entering or while in high school. While the number of teens who regularly misuse or develop substance use disorders has been decreasing over time, overall levels are still too high. In this report, the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) examines how to help move towards a strong prevention-oriented, continuum-of-care approach to substance misuse -- looking at policies and programs that have a high impact for improving the well-being of America's youth.