In its report “The Future of Public Health”, the Institute of Medicine noted that the removal of environmental health authority from public health agencies had led to fragmented responsibility, lack of coordination, and inadequate attention to the health dimensions of environmental problems.
The Pew Environmental Health Commission issued the report “America’s Environmental Health Gap: Why the Country Needs a Nationwide Health Tracking Network.” The report, which stated that the existing environmental health system is neither adequate nor well organized, recommended the creation of a “Nationwide Health Tracking Network for disease and exposure.”
Congress appropriated funds the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the development and implementation of a nationwide environmental public health tracking network and also to develop capacity in environmental health at the state and local health Departments.
CDC funded 20 state (including Connecticut) and local health departments and three schools of public health to build environmental public health capacity, increase collaboration between environmental and health agencies, identify and evaluate environmental and health data systems, build partnerships with non-government organizations and communities, and develop model systems that link environment and health data and that other states or localities can use.
CDC funded 17 state and local health departments (including Connecticut) and four academic institutions to continue work on implementing both the national and state Environmental Public Health Tracking networks.