The COVID-19 and Pandemic Response Centers of Excellence Act (H.R. 4292, S.2307)

The COVID-19 and Pandemic Response Centers of Excellence Act (H.R. 4292S.2307) would establish a new designation program within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) whereby academic medical centers would be awarded to serve as research and communication hubs to improve the United States’ ability to swiftly respond to emerging public health threats and to continue battling COVID-19. Through the creation of this critical designation program, academic medical centers across the country could better care for the diverse communities they serve as we continue to understand the short and long-term implications of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Through comprehensive multidisciplinary approaches, academic medical centers are uniquely apt to care for COVID-19 patients and survivors, provide mental health resources for frontline health care workers, combat health care disparities and promote health equity and provide robust public health endangerment research and education while simultaneously engaging in cutting-edge research that continues to lead to diverse clinical trials, vaccines and therapies.

In addition, the legislation would create a public-private advisory network whereby designated academic medical centers and critical public health agencies within the federal government –such as FDA, CDC and NIH – can come together to share best practices and other information for the purposes of continuing to respond to this crisis and to ensure we are in a better position to respond to the next public health emergency our nation faces.

The COVID-19 and Pandemic Response Centers of Excellence Act is endorsed by the National Rural Health Association (NRHA), AARP, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), Long COVID Alliance, The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPM&R), The Associated Medical Schools of New York (AMSNY), Solve M.E/CFS Initiative, Baylor Scott & White Health, Cornell University, Houston Methodist, Johns Hopkins University & Medicine, Louisiana State University, Mass General Brigham, NYU Langone Health, Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey, Stony Brook University, The Ohio State University, The University of Utah, University of Iowa Health Care, Washington University, Atrium Health, UNC Health & UNC School of Medicine, The State University of New York and New York-Presbyterian, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), University of Rochester Medical Center, and Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

On November 17, 2021, Weill Cornell Medicine, The Ohio State University and LSU held a legislative briefing regarding the COVID-19 and Pandemic Response Centers of Excellence Act (H.R.4292, S.2307). Panelists discussed different aspects of the Centers of Excellence program, how it would work and why it's important to stakeholders. The legislative briefing can be found online here.

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