Trust for America’s Health (TFAH)

tfah.jpgTrust for America's Health (TFAH) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. From anthrax to asthma, from chemical terrorism to cancer, America is facing a crisis of epidemics.  By focusing on PREVENTION, PROTECTION, and COMMUNITIES, TFAH is leading the fight to push disease prevention higher on the national agenda, from Capitol Hill to Main Street. We know what works. Now we need to build the resolve to get it done.

Ready or Not? 2008

The sixth annual Ready or Not? report finds that finds that progress made to better protect the country from disease outbreaks, natural disasters, and bioterrorism is now at risk, due to budget cuts and the economic crisis. In addition, the report concludes that major gaps remain in many critical areas of preparedness, including surge capacity, rapid disease detection, and food safety. It contains state-by-state health preparedness scores based on 10 key indicators.

Keeping America’s Food Safe

TFAH and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) examine the fragmented and antiquated food safety system and propose ways to improve the food safety functions at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The report calls for the immediate consolidation of food safety leadership within the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and ultimately the creation of a separate Food Safety Administration within HHS.

Pandemic Flu: Lessons From the Frontlines

Trust for America's Health (TFAH), the Center for Biosecurity, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) analyze the initial response to the H1N1 outbreak, Pandemic Flu: Lessons From the Frontlines, which found that U.S. officials executed strong coordination and communication and an ability to adapt to changing circumstances, but it also how quickly the nation's core public health capacity would be overwhelmed if an outbreak were more severe or widespread

Short of Breath

Our Lack of Response to the Growing Asthma Epidemic and the Need for Nationwide Tracking.
Asthma is America's fastest growing chronic affliction, but experts don't know why. This 2001 report shows that although the condition affects more than 17 million Americans--nearly five million of whom are children - 27 states don't track the disease at all.

Ready or Not? 2006

Protecting the Public's Health from Disease, Disasters, and Bioterrorism.
TFAH's fourth annual Ready or Not? Report finds that five years after the September 11th and anthrax tragedies, emergency health preparedness is still inadequate in America. The report includes an evaluation of all 50 states with 10 preparedness indicators, based on input and review from public health experts.

Our Lack of Response to the Growing Asthma Epidemic and the Need for Nationwide Tracking

Asthma, a disease which can make breathing so difficult that even simple tasks are impossible and can even lead to death, is America’s fastest growing chronic affliction.  So far, more than 17 million Americans—nearly five million of whom are children—have been hit by this epidemic. And we don’t know why.  But we do know asthma attacks are triggered by local environmental factors, from indoor irritants such as mold and tobacco smoke to outdoor air pollutants such as ozone.

Birth Defects Tracking and Prevention: Too Many States Are Not Making the Grade

This report concludes that most states are doing a poor job of tracking and preventing birth defects, which are the number one cause of infant mortality in the United States. Birth defects account for almost 20 percent of all infant deaths each year. The report gives each of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, a letter grade based on their efforts to monitor and research birth defects.

Ready or Not? 2003

Protecting the Public's Health in the Age of Bioterrorism.
This 2003 report discovers that after two years and nearly $2 billion of federal bioterrorism preparedness funding, states are only modestly better prepared to respond to health emergencies than they were prior to September 11, 2001. The report examines 10 key indicators to assess areas of improvement and ongoing vulnerability.

5 Easy Steps to Making Health Advocacy Hometown News

Advocating for Better Health in Your Community Through Media Attention.
Media coverage is often one of the most effective ways to raise public awareness and understanding about a health problem or issue that is of concern to you. TFAH outlines five steps any individual or organization can take to communicate the importance of a particular health issue to decision makers and their community.

Ready or Not? 2004

Protecting the Public's Health in the Age of Bioterrorism.
TFAH's second annual study of preparedness finds that, despite incremental progress, the government still has a long way to go to protect the American people from a bioterror attack. The report examines 10 key indicators to gauge state preparedness and determine America's overall readiness in responding to bioterrorist attacks and other health emergencies.

Germs Go Global

A report that finds at least 170,000 Americans die annually from newly emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, a number that could increase dramatically during a severe flu pandemic or yet-unknown disease outbreak. Factors including globalization, increased antimicrobial (drug) resistance, and climate and weather changes are contributing to the increased threat.

Modernizing the Federal Public Health System to Focus on Prevention and Preparedness

Blueprint for a Healthier America: Modernizing the Federal Public Health System to Focus on Prevention and Preparedness.  The Blueprint makes recommendations for the next Administration and Congress on ways to improve the health of Americans. More than 150 experts and organizations helped identify gaps and fixes for federal public health agencies and programs through a year-long consensus-building process.

Healthy Women, Healthy Babies

This TFAH report was released as part of the Annie E. Casey Foundation's KIDS COUNT DATABOOK 2008. The report explains why after 40 years of progress, infant mortality rates in the U.S. have stalled since 2000. TFAH finds that chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes play a part in the trend, and offers recommendations to lower infant mortality rates.

F as in Fat 2008

How Obesity Policies are Failing in America.
In this report, TFAH and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) conclude that adult obesity rates increased in 37 states in the past year. The report calls for the creation of a National Strategy to Combat Obesity and includes state-by-state data.

F as in Fat 2005

How Obesity Policies are Failing in America.
The second annual edition of this report concludes that national and state policies are falling far short of obesity prevention and reduction goals. It finds that the U.S. does not have the aggressive, coordinated national and state strategies needed to address the crisis -- threatening to make the epidemic worse.

2003 Update: Birth Defects Tracking and Prevention One Year Later: One Step Forward. Two Steps Back?

As part of its ongoing efforts to strengthen the fundamentals of our public health defenses, Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) has identified nationwide tracking of chronic conditions and diseases as a priority.  Monitoring and tracking initiatives, like registries created to monitor birth defects, form the backbone of a vital, functional and responsive public health network.

Public Health Preparedness

This preparedness progress report, written one year after September 11th 2001 and subsequent anthrax attack, analyzes the government's response. TFAH finds that public health officials acted quickly to limit harm to people's health. However, these crises also revealed the limits of the public health system.

SARS and Its Implications for U.S. Public Health Policy – "We've Been Lucky"

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a serious public health threat. A SARS outbreak would provide a "real time" example of the complex challenges facing the U.S. public health system. This report provides a brief analysis of the key public health infrastructure components that would be engaged in a SARS epidemic and TFAH's recommendations for strengthening them.

Public Health Laboratories: Unprepared and Overwhelmed

This report addresses the role of public health laboratories, which are designed to respond to terrorism as well as more conventional threats -- from analyzing water contaminants to cancer screening. TFAH finds that these vital facilities have fallen into a state of disrepair. The report also makes a series of assessments on the ability of state public health labs to respond to specific chemical weapon events.

Shortchanging America's Health 2005

A State-by-State Look at how Federal Public Health Dollars are Spent.
This study examines key health statistics and public health funding levels in each state. States are ranked by per capita funds received from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A Public Opinion Strategies poll on America's Top Health Concerns is included. This survey examines national perceptions of a number of health-related issues, including: a ranking of top health concerns, impressions of the nation's readiness for natural emergencies or terrorist attacks, and the difference in men's versus women's opinions on disaster preparedness.