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.