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HHS Unveils Smaller Readiness Grants

The Obama administration last week announced $916 million in fiscal 2013 grants under two medical readiness programs, substantially less than last year's awards for the initiatives to boost preparations around the country for unconventional-weapon attacks and other disasters.

The Health and Human Services Department said it would provide $584 million under the Public Health Emergency Preparedness cooperative agreement grant initiative and $332 million under the Hospital Preparedness Program. Fiscal 2012 awards under the two programs stood at $619 million and $352 million, respectively.

Grants in the current budget cycle cover all 50 states and eight territories, according to an HHS statement. Four major urban centers received special attention.

“Recent events underscore the critical role these preparedness programs play in ensuring our health care and public health systems are poised to respond successfully to emergencies and recover quickly from events like Hurricane Sandy, large explosions such the chemical plant in Texas, or terrorist attacks like the Boston Marathon bombings in April,” Nicole Lurie, HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response, said in the press release.

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