PHEP Timeline

Please review some of the highlights of the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program since its establishment in 2022 when it was known as the Public Health Preparedness and Response for Bioterrorism Program.

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    • Following passage of the Smallpox Emergency Personnel Protection Act (PL 108-20), Congress approves $100 million in emergency supplemental funding for states to conduct smallpox intervention and vaccination planning activities.
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    • Congress passes the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-188). The act improves the ability of the United States to prevent, prepare for, and respond to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. It provides significant new preparedness grant opportunities for states and local governments.
    • In 2002, Congress appropriates nearly $1 billion in funding to support preparedness and emergency response nationwide in public health departments. Funding is distributed as a population-based formula cooperative agreement to 62 recipients. Recipients include all 50 states; the District of Columbia; the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Marianas Islands; American Samoa; Guam; the U.S. Virgin Islands; the Republics of Palau and the Marshall Islands; the Federated States of Micronesia; and the nation’s three largest municipalities – New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles County.
    • CDC transfers the bioterrorism program to the new Office of Terrorism Preparedness and Response (OTPER) in August 2002. Staff detailed to the State and Local Preparedness program initially manage OTPER.
    • CDC establishes the Career Epidemiology Field Officer (CEFO) program to strengthen state, tribal, local, and territorial surveillance and epidemiology capacity for public health preparedness and response. Through placement in frontline public health agencies, CEFOs provide communities with a more direct connection to CDC expertise, resources, and technical assistance.
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    • The events of September 11 and the subsequent anthrax attacks highlight the importance of public health during emergencies. They also expose weaknesses in public health’s ability to respond during a potential crisis.
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    • CDC establishes the Public Health Preparedness and Response for Bioterrorism Program to help state and local health departments improve bioterrorism preparedness and response capabilities. The program is authorized under sections 301(a), 317(k)(1)(2), and 319 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. §§ 241(a), 247b(k)(1)(2), and 247d).
    • CDC publishes Program Announcement 99051 in the spring of 1999. The program begins as a competitive grant with approximately $40 million awarded to 53 applicants to address specific “focus areas.”