“Georgia is uniquely positioned to support the nation’s first federal agency dedicated to a new approach for developing breakthrough innovations and advancing outcomes for all patients,” the letter says. “If headquartered in Georgia, ARPA-H would be supported by our world-class talent, dynamic commercial technology sector, and rich public health research legacy.”
The new agency is an independent entity within the National Institutes of Health, which is based in a suburb of Washington. The delegation in its letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra does not advocate for a particular city or region in Georgia for the new agency’s headquarters.
However, the letter does list what the delegation perceives as Georgia’s advantages, including existing health care system partnerships with medical schools in Atlanta, Augusta and Macon, a strong network of historically Black colleges and universities, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and the Atlanta-based U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“There is no better way to maximize ARPA-H’s mission impact than to be supported and surrounded by institutions whose missions match that of ARPA-H,” the letter says. “Atlanta is the nation’s center for global health.”
U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, an Atlanta Democrat, and U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, a Pooler Republican, are taking the lead on the effort. Having the support of the entire delegation, which currently breaks down to eight Democrats and eight Republicans, indicates the potential positive impact landing the agency could have on the state’s economy, related businesses and institutions of higher education.
Other cities and states across the nation are also expected to compete for the agency.