WASHINGTON, D.C. – At a press conference at the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) in Cincinnati, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced today that he secured $110 million in federal funds to advance construction and site consolidation at the facility. After touring NIOSH last year, Brown has been pressing the Obama Administration for construction funds.
“The employees at NIOSH in Cincinnati play a crucial role in ensuring the health and safety of millions of American workers,” Brown said. “But for too long, they have been working in aging and outdated buildings. This funding will accelerate infrastructure updates to ensure experts at NIOSH have the best facilities to undertake the cutting-edge scientific research to keep Americans safe. It ensures that the Ohio workers who research workplace safety each day can enjoy a safe working environment.”
Brown – who has engaged regularly and directly with former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius, the White House, current HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shaun Donovan – visited NIOSH in February 2014 and immediately began urging the Administration to dedicate funding to improve the facility. A timeline of his actions follows:
- Feb. 19, 2014: Brown visits NIOSH facility.
- April 4, 2014: Brown urges House and Senate Appropriations Committee leaders to prioritize funding for NIOSH.
- April 17, 2014: Brown highlights this issue as a priority following the Finance Committee’s Hearing on the President’s budget, submitting a question for the record to HHS about NIOSH.
- June 12, 2014: Brown calls on HHS Secretary Burwell – during her first week on the job – to prioritize funding for NIOSH. His letter can be read here.
- Aug. 22, 2014: Brown calls on OMB Director Donovan in August 2014, urging budget funding for NIOSH. The letter can be read here.
As part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NIOSH is responsible for conducting research and making recommendations to prevent work-related injury and illness. The NIOSH facilities in Cincinnati employ nearly 550 Ohioans.
The funds announced today, provided by HHS, will provide $110 million to consolidate NIOSH’s Cincinnati research facilities into one central location to improve and enhance scientific collaboration. The funding will also ensure that there are appropriate and adequate research facilities for NIOSH’s scientific program and will reduce operating costs by consolidating two separate campuses.
CDC has completed the planning phase for acquiring new buildings and land to improve the NIOSH campus, including program requirements and a project development study.