Newswise — The reauthorization of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act signed by the president Monday includes measures that are critical to ensure that our nation has the resources and expertise needed to confront, control and combat emerging public health threats. Key to that is a provision supporting the development of a trained and ready public health workforce with medical education loan repayment opportunities for individuals serving in U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Epidemic Intelligence Service, a program that provides expert responders and trains future public health leaders.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America, which led efforts to develop the EIS loan repayment provision and to strengthen the reauthorization of the Act with its inclusion, is proud to have played a role in building a need-driven and proactive foundation on which to build critical and effective emergency public health responses. The ability to offer loan repayment to EIS officers should help CDC to better recruit physicians to this important public health role, a challenge in recent years with rising rates of mounting medical student debt driving new physicians to career paths offering higher financial compensation. As responses to infectious diseases outbreaks are a central focus for EIS, this opportunity will be particularly meaningful for infectious diseases physicians.

The bill approved today by House members also addresses urgent IDSA priorities by supporting additional important initiatives through the Department of Health and Human Services Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to address antimicrobial resistance including with strategies to drive the development of new drugs.

The leadership and members of IDSA applaud congress and the administration for enhancing this essential legislation and bringing it to fruition, and we offer our full support and guidance toward its implementation.