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The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's (ATSDR's) Cooperative Agreement Program is critical to ATSDR's success in accomplishing its mission in communities nationwide. The Program funds 25 partner organizations, which includes 80 full time employees, at an average level of $400,000 annually per partner. Twenty-five states use Cooperative Agreement Program funding to build their ability to evaluate and respond to environmental public health issues.

The Cooperative Agreement Program's primary goal is to give partners the resources to build their capacity to assess and respond to site-specific issues involving human exposure to hazardous substances in the environment.

The Program helps ATSDR's partners

  • identify exposure pathways at specific sites;
  • educate affected communities and local health professionals about site contamination and potential health effects;
  • review health outcome data to evaluate potential links between site contaminants and community health outcomes.

The Cooperative Agreement Program enhances ATSDR's communication and collaboration with state, local, and federal health and environmental agencies. Since the Cooperative Agreement Partners are located nationwide and require less travel times, this program enhances the capability of ATSDR to conduct its site-specific activities in a timely fashion. By being geographically closer to the site-related issues, the Cooperative Agreement Partners tend to be more accepted by local communities than federal staff. Public health assessment activities conducted by ATSDR's Cooperative Agreement Partners contribute approximately 65% of the site-specific activities, which includes public health assessments (PHAs), health consultations (HCs), exposure investigations (EIs), and health education & community involvement (HE & CI) completed by ATSDR annually.

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