Huge Advocacy Win! Congress Establishes New CDC Chronic Disease Awareness Program

At the beginning of 2020, we asked you to reach out to your members of Congress about a sign-on letter supporting sleep community priorities, including the establishment of a new Chronic Disease Education and Awareness Program at the CDC. Thanks to your advocacy, 41 U.S. Representatives signed onto the letter, putting into motion our community’s priorities in budget negotiations over the year.

As 2020 comes to a close, we are thrilled to report that the final FY21 Omnibus Bill that recently passed through the House and the Senate includes the new CDC Chronic Disease Education and Awareness Program (in Division H of the bill). In other words, your advocacy worked!

“People living with sleep disorders often go years or decades without proper diagnoses,” said Project Sleep’s President & CEO, Julie Flygare. “Reducing these unacceptable delays-to-diagnosis is a huge priority for our organization and this new federal program is an important step to help people with under-recognized conditions find accurate diagnoses faster.”

Why this matters

The new CDC Chronic Disease Education and Awareness program aims to expand public health education and awareness activities that help to improve surveillance, diagnosis, and proper treatment for chronic diseases. Congress included $1,500,000 in funding to establish a competitive grant program to expand and advance CDC’s work with stakeholders on education, outreach, and public awareness activities for a variety of chronic diseases for which there is a clear disparity in public and professional awareness that are not already specified in the CDC’s budget.

This approach would utilize a competitive grant process to strengthen the science base for prevention, education, and public health awareness for a variety of chronic diseases, such as sleep disorders, that do not currently have dedicated resources that would lead to meaningful patient outcomes.

Huge Thanks!

Special thanks to every advocate who took part in this effort—you raised your voice and Congress took action. Thank you to all the members of Congress and staff who helped champion this effort through both the House and Senate.

“The sleep community played a pivotal role in securing this new program,” said Flygare. “During such a challenging year, this is a bright moment showing that our advocacy is strong and progress is still possible.”

Get Involved

With a new Congress starting in January 2021, we will have new opportunities to educate your policy makers about sleep and sleep disorders. We also look forward to working with you next year to increase funding for this new CDC program so it is capable of supporting additional activities and collaborating with more chronic disease communities. The best way to get involved is by signing up for our e-updates.

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