Sequestration Affects DHPE
Thursday, September 26, 2013
DHPE joins the ranks of organizations with federal funding that are feeling the hit of the Sequester. "Our Year 4 federal funding in the form of a CDC cooperative agreement has been cut by one million dollars,” says Dr. Susan Goekler, Executive Director. "That's out of $3 million, so it's a huge impact.”
The school employee wellness program was cut entirely, other capacity building plans were thwarted, and the 33% reduction left DHPE with little choice but to lay off staff. Long-time DHPE staffer (and deputy director for programs) Pam Eidson is leaving at the end of September.
Pam is philosophical: "The programs are in a great place these days, running smoothly. Steve Owens and Doreleena Sammons-Posey will do a fine job in continuing to carry out the programs under Susan's direction.” Pam says she plans to spend a month doing some intentional work to decide what she wants to do next. "I've learned so much from Susan and the rest of the DHPE staff, and it is a delightful place to go on a daily basis.” Even so, Pam expressed some relief that she will no longer be commuting from Atlanta to Washington, DC, every week. "It has definitely been hard on my family. We made sacrifices.”
"Losing the institutional knowledge Pam has—that's going to be very hard on us all,” says Roosevelt Dzime-Assison, Director of Finance and Operations. "Truly, we will miss her invaluable contributions to the organization.” Pam is staying involved as an associate member and will continue to represent DHPE as
a volunteer on the ASTHO Tobacco Issues Forum.
Other DHPE changes due to the sequestration funding cut have not been determined.