After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, anthrax attacks, and hurricane Katrina, we as Americans are worried and concern about our health, safety, and protection. In the U.S. the topic on every political official's agenda is public health emergency preparedness. According to the CDC, $1 billion per year is allocated to state and local health departments for emergency preparedness. As a result, the role of public health required reorganization in order to address emergency preparedness. The infrastructure of public health has dramatically been reshaped.
Public Health must now partner, network, and collaborate with other public and private sector organizations in relations to emergency preparedness. Preparedness planning has been instrumental in forging these new relationships. The preparedness mission has also posed major challenges for public health in the areas of leadership, quality, and accountability. Based on trial and error, it has been a challenge implementing the association of emergency preparedness into the public health system. The implementation process has encountered various barriers such as: staff shortages, inadequate training, poor communication, etc. However, communication and working relationships are improving amongst public and private sectors. Also there is a sense of calmness amongst Americans because the federal, state, and local governments are working together to provide emergency health preparedness to all citizens.
Prior to these catastrophic events, public health was insufficiently funded and neglected by policymakers. Today, the U.S. is challenged with improving and maintaining an effective and efficient bioterrorism and natural disaster system as it correlates to public health preparedness.
Institute of Medicine, The Future of the Public's Health in the 21st Century, Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2003.
Lurie, N., "The Public Health Infrastructure: Rebuild or Redesign?" Health Affairs,... [continues]
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