Trust for America's Health releases guidelines in the event of bioterror

The public health nonprofit organization Trust for America's Health recently released a series of recommendations to prioritize prevention and help protect the population from a pandemic or bioterrorism event.

"A Healthier America 2013: Strategies to Move from Sick Care to Health Care in Four Years" outlines top policy approaches to public health needs.

"America's health faces two possible futures," Gail Christopher, the president of the board of TFAH, said. "We can continue on the current path, resigning millions of Americans to health problems that could have been avoided or we invest in giving all Americans the opportunity to be healthier while saving billions in health care costs. We owe it to our children to take the smarter way."

The report recommends adopting an aggressive approach to preventing and controlling infectious diseases, including sustaining investments in epidemiology and public health laboratory capacity that would be critical in fighting an emerging disease or pathogen release. The report also says that the United States must sustain investments in immunization programs and increase access to the influenza vaccine.

"Prevention delivers real value as a cost-effective way to keep Americans healthy and improve their quality of life," Dr. Jeffrey Levi, the executive director of TFAH, said. "Everyone wins when we prevent disease rather than treating people after they get sick. Health care costs go down, our local neighborhoods are healthier and provide more economic opportunity, and people live longer, healthier, happier lives."