SMDM supports Return on Investment: A Healthy Nation is a Prosperous Nation

Public health is the science and art of preventing disease, promoting physical and behavioral wellness, supporting personal responsibility, and prolonging life in communities where people live, work, and learn.

March 24, 2011


Dear Member of Congress:

Our health is inextricably linked to our mission readiness on the battlefield, our productivity on the job, our educational attainment in the classroom, and our competitiveness around the world. Federal agencies and programs have a unique role in enhancing Americans’ health and well-being. Investment in these areas has and will continue to show returns on taxpayer dollars. Given the critical nature of these programs, we recommend funding of $65 billion for discretionary public health programs (Function 550) in the FY 2012 budget resolution. In developing our recommendation, we strived to balance reducing the deficit without compromising Americans’ immediate health needs.

Public health is the science and art of preventing disease, promoting physical and behavioral wellness, supporting personal responsibility, and prolonging life in communities where people live, work, and learn. The federal health agencies comprising the public health continuum—National Institutes of Health, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Resources and Services Administration, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and Indian Health Service, among others—have benefited from longstanding, bi-partisan support of Congress and administrations, and Americans’ lives are better because of it. These agencies have, and will continue to support Americans in making healthy choices and protect and improve our lives and welfare.

The President’s FY 2012 budget request misses an opportunity to invest in Americans’ health, providing inconsistent and in most cases insufficient support for these important agencies and programs. The undersigned 470 national, state, and local organizations and six former Surgeons General support the goal of deficit reduction. However, limiting budget reductions to non-security, discretionary spending—which comprises only one-eighth of federal spending—will not significantly reduce the deficit, nor will it make a dent in the national debt. Instead, these cuts will do more harm than good, compromising the health of our citizens, our communities, and our nation.

Alternatively, our requested $7 billion increase over FY 2010 Function 550 would bolster:

  • Biomedical, Behavioral, and Health Services Research: Enhancing scientific discovery; saving lives, revitalizing local economies, and preserving our nation’s long-term competitiveness.

  • Food and Drugs: Assuring the safety of our nation’s food and the safety and efficacy of drugs, biologics, vaccines, and medical devices.

  • Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: Strengthening capacity in states and communities to prevent and treat costly chronic and infectious diseases; protecting Americans in the event of public health threats; and ensuring those with disabilities reach their highest potential in function and health.

  • Health Professions Education: Assuring that there is a robust workforce of doctors, nurses, dentists, physician assistants, public health providers and other health professionals to care for Americans in need.

  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse: Assuring access to needed services for hundreds of thousands in need of care, including veterans and service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Health Care for American Indians and Alaska Natives: Reversing current health disparities for a population that now suffers a life expectancy that is four years lower than the general population.

  • Safety Net Health Care Services: Assuring access to basic and targeted health care services for vulnerable populations—children, the elderly, and the uninsured.

Our recommendation does not include and is over and above funding provided through emergency requests, user fees, and mandatory transfers.

We thank you for your ongoing support of the public health continuum, and look forward to working with you. If you have questions, please contact Emily J. Holubowich, Executive Director of the Coalition for Health Funding, at or 202.484.1100.

Joined by,

Richard H. Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS
17th Surgeon General of the United States 

Steven K. Galson, MD, MPH
Rear Admiral, USPHS (Ret.)
Acting U.S. Surgeon General 2007-2009 

M. Joycelyn Elders, MD, MS 1
5th United States Surgeon General 

C. Everett Koop, MD, ScD
13th United States Surgeon General 

Kenneth Moritsugu, MD, MPH, FACPM,
Rear Admiral, USPHS (Ret)
Acting U.S. Surgeon General 2006-2007 

David Satcher, MD, PhD
16th Surgeon General of the United States



Academic Pediatric Association
Academy of General Dentistry
Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses
Academy of Radiology Research
Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research
Adult Congenital Heart Association
Advocates for Youth
AHEPA Cooley’s Anemia Foundation
AIDS Action Baltimore
AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, Inc.
AIDS Alliance for Children, Youth & Families
AIDS Foundation of Chicago
AIDS Project Los Angeles
AIDS United
Alliance for a Stronger FDA
Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine
Alliance for Aging Research
Alliance for Integrative Health Care
Alpha-1 Association
Alpha-1 Foundation
Alstrom Syndrome International
Alzheimer's Association
America Walks
American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing
American Academy of Dermatology Association
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Neurology
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Academy of Periodontology
American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
American Academy of Physician Assistants
American Art Therapy Association
American Association for Cancer Research
American Association for Dental Research
American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
American Association for Respiratory Care
American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
American Association of Anatomists
American Association of Colleges of Nursing
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine
American Association of Immunologists
American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
American Association of People with Disabilities
American Association of Public Health Dentistry
American Association of Women Dentists
American Association on Health and Disability
American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
American College of Cardiology
American College of Clinical Pharmacy
American College of Medical Genetics
American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
American College of Physicians
American College of Preventive Medicine
American College of Rheumatology
American College of Sports Medicine
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American Counseling Association
American Dental Association
American Dental Education Association
American Dental Hygienists' Association
American Diabetes Association
American Dietetic Association
American Educational Research Association
American Epilepsy Society
American Federation for Medical Research
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention/SPAN USA
American Gastroenterological Association
American Geriatrics Society
American Health Planning Association (AHPA)
American Heart Association
American Hospital Association
American Institute for Medical and Biomedical Engineering
American Liver Foundation
American Lung Association
American Medical Student Association
American Medical Women's Association
American Mental Health Counselors Association
American Nephrology Nurses Association
American Nurses Association
American Occupational Therapy Association
American Organization of Nurse Executives
American Pediatric Society
American Physical Therapy Association
American Physiological Society
American Podiatric Medical Association
American Psychiatric Association
American Psychological Association
American Public Health Association
American School Health Association
American Sleep Apnea Association
American Social Health Association
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
American Society for Bone and Mineral Research
American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
American Society for Clinical Pathology
American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
American Society for Microbiology
American Society for Nutrition
American Society for Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics
American Society for Preventive Cardiology
American Society for Radiation Oncology
American Society for Reproductive Medicine
American Society of Clinical Oncology
American Society of Hematology
American Society of Human Genetics
American Society of Nephrology
American Society of Neurorehabilitation (ASNR)
American Society of Pediatric Nephrology
American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses
American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
American Sociological Association
American Thoracic Society
American Urogynecologic Society
amfAR - The Foundation for AIDS Research
Angioma Alliance
Arthritis Foundation
Association for Clinical and Translational Science
Association for Patient-Oriented Research
Association for Prevention Teaching and Research
Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC)
Association for Psychological Science
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
Association of Academic Health Centers
Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries
Association of American Cancer Institutes
Association of American Universities
Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges
Association of Community Health Nursing Educators
Association of Departments of Family Medicine
Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors
Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs
Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs
Association of Minority Health Professions Schools
Association of Nutrition Services Agencies
Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO)
Association of Population Centers
Association of Public Health Laboratories
Association of Rehabilitation Nurses
Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions
Association of Schools of Public Health
Association of State & Territorial Health Officials
Association of State & Territorial Public Health Nutrition Directors
Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors
Association of University Centers on Disabilities
Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
Autism Society
Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Benign Essential Blepharospasm Research Foundation
Biophysical Society
Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN)
Boston Public Health Commission
Boys Town National Research Hospital
CADASIL - Together We Have Hope
California Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors
California Center for Public Health Advocacy
California Foundation for the Advancement of Addiction Professionals
California Institute for Mental Health
Campaign for Public Health
Cardio-Facio-Cutaneous International
CDC Coalition
Center for Oral Health
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Charlene Miers Foundation for Cancer Research
Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science
Chicago House and Social Service Agency
Chicago Recovery Alliance
Child Neurology Society
Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
Clinical Research Forum
Clinical Social Work Association
Coalition for Health Funding
Coalition for Health Services Research
Coalition for Imaging and Bioengineering Research
Coalition for the Advancement of Health Through Behavioral and Social Sciences Research(CAHT-BSSR
Coalition for the Life Sciences
Coalition of Heritable Disorders of Connective Tissue
Coalition to Promote Research (CPR)
Colorectal Cancer Coalition
Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service
CommonHealth ACTION
Community Access National Network
Community Servings, Inc.
Community-Campus Partnerships for Health
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Research, Education and Support (CARES) Foundation, Inc.
Connecticut Certification Board
Consortium of Social Science Associations
Cooley's Anemia Foundation
COPD Foundation
Corporation for Supportive Housing
Council of Accredited MPH Programs
Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists
Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation
DBS Voices of the Rockies
Defeat Diabetes Foundation
Dental Hygienists’ Association of the State of New York
Detroit Medical Reserve Corps
Digestive Disease National Coalition
Directors of Health Promotion and Education
DNDi NA - Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative North America
Dystonia Advocacy Network
Dystonia Medical Research Foundation
Easter Seals
Eat Smart, Move More South Carolina
Elyria City Health District
Emergency Nurses Association
Emory Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Emory University
Empire Project for Oral Health
Epilepsy Foundation
Fabry Support & Information Group
Faces & Voices of Recovery
Family Care Council Area 8
Family Violence Prevention Fund
Family Voices
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences
Foundation for Biomedical Research
Foundation of the National Lipid Association
Friends of AHRQ
Friends of Cancer Research
Friends of NCHS
Friends of SAMHSA
Friends of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (FNIDCR)
Genetic Alliance
Genetic Alliance Registry and BioBank
Genetics Policy Institute
Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer's Initiative
Gerontological Society of America
Global Justice Institute
Health Professions and Nursing Education Coalition
Health Professions Network
Heart Rhythm Society
Hepatitis B Foundation
Hepatitis Foundation International
HHT Foundation International
Hispanic Dental Association (HDA)
Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools (HSHPS)
HIV Medicine Association
HIV Prevention Justice Alliance
Howard University Health Sciences
Human Rights Campaign
Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition
Illinois Public Health Association
In Need Of Diagnosis, Inc. (INOD)
Indiana Rural Health Association
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Institute for Public Health Innovation
Institute of Social Medicine and Community Health
InterAmerican Heart Foundation
Intercultural Cancer Council Caucus
International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium
International Essential Tremor Foundation
International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
International Myeloma Foundation
Interstitial Cystitis Association
Intracranial Hypertension Research Foundation
Jacob's Cure
Jeffrey Modell Foundation
Jewish Women International
Kakkis EveryLife Foundation
Kids That Care Pediatric & Cancer Fund
Kids With Heart National Association for Children's Heart Disorders, Inc.
Kirby Marketing Solutions
Latino Coalition for a Healthy California
League of United Latin American Citizens
Learning Disabilities Association of America
Local Government Commission
Lung Cancer Circle of Hope
Lupus Research Institute
Lymphangiomatosis & Gorham's Disease Alliance
March of Dimes Foundation
Medical Library Association
Medicines for Malaria Venture
Meharry Medical College
Mental Health America
Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
Metropolitan Community Churches
Metropolitan Latino AIDS Coalition (MLAC)
Missouri Association of Local Public Health Agencies
MLD Foundation
Morehouse School of Medicine
NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals
Narcolepsy Network, Inc.
Nashville CARES, Nashville, Tenn.
National AHEC Organization
National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research
National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Alopecia Areata Foundation
National Association for Biomedical Research
National Association for Children's Behavioral Health
National Association for Geriatric Education
National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems
National Association for Sport and Physical Education
National Association of Chronic Disease Directors
National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
National Association of County and City Health Officials
National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Disorders
National Association of Geriatric Education Centers
National Association of Local Boards of Health
National Association of Medical Minority Educators, Inc. (NAMME)
National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA)
National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems
National Association of Social Workers
National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors
National Association of State Head Injury Administrators
National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors
National Black Nurses Association
National Business Group on Health
National Coalition for Cancer Research (NCCR)
National Coalition for LGBT Health
National Coalition for Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases
National Coalition of STD Directors
National Complete Streets Coalition
National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council of Women's Organizations
National Council on Diversity in the Health Professions
National Disability Rights Network
National Empowerment Center
National Fabry Disease Foundation (NFDF)
National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association
National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health
National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention
National Gaucher Foundation
National Health Care for the Homeless Council
National Health Council
National Hispanic Medical Association
National Kidney Foundation
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National Latino Behavioral Health Association
National League for Nursing
National LGBT Cancer Network
National Lipid Association
National Lung Cancer Partnership
National Marfan Foundation
National Minority AIDS Council
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
National Network of Health Career Programs in Two-Year Colleges (NN2)
National Network of Public Health Institutes
National Nursing Centers Consortium
National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
National Organization for Women
National Osteoporosis Foundation
National Patient Advocate Foundation
National Psoriasis Foundation
National Rural Health Association
National Spinal Cord Injury Association
National Student Nurses' Association, Inc.
National Tay-Sachs & Allied Diseases Association, Inc.
National Urea Cycle Disorders Foundation
National Women's Health Network
Nebraska AIDS Project, Omaha, Neb.
Nevada Cancer Institute
New York State Public Health Association
New York Stem Cell Foundation
North American Primary Care Research Group
North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine
Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy
Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs (NOVA)
Oncology Nursing Society
One Voice Against Cancer
Oral Health America
Oral Health Kansas, Inc.
Oregon Public Health Institute
Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation
Ottauquechee Community Partnership
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
Parkinson’s Action Network
Partnership for Prevention
Pediatric AIDS Chicago Prevention Initiative
Pediatric Stroke Network, Inc.
Physician Assistant Education Association
PKD Foundation
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Population Association of America
Prevent Blindness America
Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association
Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia Foundation
Project DOCC - Delivery of Chronic Care
Project Inform (San Francisco)
Project Open Hand, San Francisco
Public Health - Seattle & King County
Public Health Institute
Pulmonary Hypertension Association
Purine Research Society
PXE International
Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities Coalition
RTI International
Ryan White Medical Providers Coalition
Safe States Alliance
Sarcoma Foundation of America
School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine
School Social Work Association of America
Scleroderma Foundation
Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS)
Shape Up America!
Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation
Sleep Research Society
Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine
Society for Clinical and Translational Science
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Society for Medical Decision Making
Society for Neuroscience
Society for Pediatric Research
Society for Public Health Education
Society for Women's Health Research
Society of General Internal Medicine
Society of Gynecologic Oncologists
Society of Hospital Medicine
Society of State Leaders of Health and Physical Education
Society of Teachers of Family Medicine
SouthEastern African American Center of Excellence for Eliminating Disparities
Spina Bifida Association
Strata Various Product Design, Culver City, Cal.
Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome (SADS) Foundation
Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association
Texas Biomedical Research Institute
Texas Society for Biomedical Research
The AIDS Institute
The American Brain Coalition
The American Society for Cell Biology
The Endocrine Society
The Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The LGBT Cancer Project - Out With Cancer
The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
The NephCure Foundation
The Paget Foundation
The SPARK Programs
The Task Force for Global Health
The TMJ Association, Ltd.
Therapeutic Communities of America
Total Health Awareness Team, Rockford, Ill.
Tourette Syndrome Association, Inc.
Treatment Access Expansion Project
Treatment Action Group
Trust for America's Health
Turner Syndrome Foundation, Inc.
U.S. Hereditary Angioedema Association
U.S. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (USPRA)
United Spinal Association
University of Central Florida
University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing
Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services (UCHAPS)
VHL Family Alliance
WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease
YMCA of the USA


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